The ultimate guide to painting pebble dash

by | Mar 2, 2023

The ultimate guide to painting pebble dash

Pebble dash rendering is one of the most popular types of exterior wall finishes in the UK. It is a decorative coating that gives the walls a textured and three-dimensional look. This type of rendering is often used in residential and commercial buildings with an exposed brick, stone, or block wall. Pebble-dashing is also a great way to cover up surface imperfections, such as cracks or blemishes. Pebble dash rendering requires careful planning and preparation for a professional, lasting finish. Read our article about the benefits of pebble dash

What is Pebbledash?

Pebble-dashing, also known as dry-dashing or rough casting, is a popular exterior wall coating technique that involves applying a layer of small pebbles or gravel to the surface of a wall. The small pebbles are placed on top of a cemented surface to create a textured finish that is aesthetically pleasing and provides a protective layer against the elements.

Pebbledash is often used in modern buildings, as it is a durable and cost-effective way to add visual interest to a property. The pebbles are usually embedded in a cement-based adhesive, which is applied to the wall to hold them in place. The pebbles come in various colours and sizes, allowing for a range of different creative effects.

The application process requires some skill, as it is vital to distribute the pebbles evenly. It is also essential to select the correct type of adhesive for the job, as different adhesives will provide different levels of protection from the elements.

Unfortunately, most homeowners in the UK no longer like pebbledash, claiming it is out-of-date. This is why some experts believe pebble dashing can devalue properties. For this reason, some people prefer to paint or remove their pebble dash.

Can you remove pebbledash?

Yes, it is possible to remove pebbledash. However, the process is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and requires specialised tools and materials. It is also important to be aware of the potential for damage to your walls and surrounding areas.

It may not be possible to determine the condition of the wall under the pebbledash, once removed you may expose several issues, including dampness, poor brickwork, and crumbling parts that were once the hidden by the pebbledash. That’s why, before you remove the pebbledash, you must be prepared for a range of eventualities.

If removing the pebbledash is your only option, it is best to work with a professional. If you are considering removing pebbledash from your walls, it is crucial to understand that the process may require professional tools and materials. Second, the process may need multiple steps, including scraping off the pebbles, removing the underlying stucco, and cleaning the underlying wall surface. And once the render is removed, some remedial work maybe necessary to restore the surface to an attractive look. The cost of removing pebbledash ranges from £2,100 to £7,800, depending on the size of your property.

Can you paint pebbledash?

If you don’t want to remove your pebbledash, you can choose to paint over it. But you must remember that painting over pebbledash isn’t a walk in the park. So, you must plan well before you start the project.

First, choose the right paint that suits your home. Second, you must prepare the surface sufficiently to adhere to the paint. The best paint to use is breathable and waterproof masonry paint, which can protect your wall against moisture while at the same time allowing moisture to escape from the wall. Do not use acrylic-based paints because they are not breathable. They can hold water in your wall and cause it to fail. The paint itself may also peel off because of the trapped moisture.

Though acrylic paints are often described as “weather-resistant” or “weatherproof”, this is not the case. Paint can only be waterproof if it repels water and causes it to fall off its surface before it soaks in. If you use paint that’s not highly breathable and is not waterproof, it will likely flake or peel off after moisture enters beneath it.

A good paint you can try for pebble dashed surfaces is Dulux Weathershield Paint. This paint adheres tightly to the wall and is waterproof and breathable. It can prevent organic matter and dirt from accumulating on the surface of your pebbledash, thus keeping it clean and preventing discolouration. Not only that, but the paint also inhibits the growth of lichens, mildew, algae, and other organic growths.

Once you’ve chosen the right paint, the next step is to gather the right equipment, which includes the following:

A long pile roller is necessary for this project because it is the best tool for painting rough surfaces and can fill the gaps on uneven surfaces more effectively than ordinary rollers.

Additionally, a Masonry brush is excellent for reaching those tricky crannies between the pebbles, especially if it has long bristles. Note that these painting tools vary in price. The cheap ones don’t last long and may not work well.

The steps to take to paint on your pebbledashed surface include:

Step 1: Preparing the Surface

Preparing the surface is an integral part of the pebbledash painting process. It is essential to ensure the surface is clean and free of dirt, dust, and debris before beginning to paint. The pebble dashed surface should also be dry and well-ventilated. The first step is to use a pressure washer (on a LOW pressure) or hose to remove dirt and debris from the pebbledash. This should be followed by a thorough scrub with a stiff-bristled brush to remove any remaining dirt or grime. Ensuring that all walls are completely dry before starting the painting process is vital. Finally, apply a primer to the pebbledash to ensure the paint will adhere properly. To find out how to clean pebble dash, read our pebble dash cleaning guide

Step 2: Painting the pebbledash

Before you start painting, cover everything you don’t want the paint to reach. For example, you can use newspapers to cover all drain pipes to protect them from paint. Note that since you will be painting a rough surface, you will need about twice as much paint as you would need when painting a smooth surface.

A smooth surface may require one litre of Dulux Weathershield Paint for every 15 square meters. However, one litre of paint can only cover approximately eight square meters of pebble dashed surface.

When painting, begin at the top and work your way down. Make sure to paint all of the wall’s edges. Use a long-pile roller and a masonry brush to ensure that the entire area is effectively covered with paint. It is advisable to dilute the paint (10% water) for the first coat but not the second coat. Ensure the first coat is dry before applying the second.

If you wish, you can add a protective sealant to the second coat to protect the paint and the wall from the elements.

Following these steps will help you achieve a beautiful, durable pebbledash finish.

If you need help with painting your pebble dash, please get in touch.

We provide pebble dashing services in the following locations:

Croydon, Reigate, Wandsworth, London, Kingston, New Malden, Mitcham, Thornton Heath, Sutton, Crystal Palace