Can Pebbledash be Painted?

Between the late 19th century and early 20th century, pebbledash was a popular render for protecting exterior walls in the UK.

Its popularity was attributed to its several benefits, such as waterproofing and low costs. Plus, enhances the aesthetic appeal of exterior walls.

However, pebbledash has lost popularity and is no more popular in UK homes today. This has generated different questions, such as if pebbledash is outdated, it can be painted on, and it can be removed

Here is what you need to know about pebbledash.

Paint Or Not Pebbledash

What Is Pebbledash?

Pebbledash is a wall covering commonly used on exterior. It consists of two major components: cement and small stones.

The cement mix is applied to the wall while the stones are thrown onto the surface and pressed, creating a rough surface.

A similar option is roughcast, though with a different method.

While the stones are thrown to a wet surface in pebbledash, the cement and stones are mixed before application in roughcast.

Pebble Dash
| Source:

Today, pebbledash is considered to devalue properties, and owners are looking for a means to revive their properties’ glory, either by painting or removing it completely.

Pebbledash or Roughcast?

Both renders offer different looks and touches. While roughcast is smooth to the touch and easy to paint to offer different color options, pebbledash is rough.

It is worth noting that both options are of equal cost since they are made up of the same materials.

The only significant difference is the ease of painting in roughcast and lower maintenance requirements in pebbledash.

House with Roughcast | Source:

Can Pebbledash Be Rendered Over?

The straight answer to if pebbledash can be rendered on is YES. However, while rendering over pebbledash might seem the right answer to how make pebbledash look good, it is not recommended.

While you can technically cover it with another render, there are a few reasons you don’t want to invest in the idea:

One, rendering pebbledash adds extra stress to the wall. Two, since pebbledash is primarily concrete, rendering it completely renders the walls unbreathable, exposing the walls to a high risk of damping.

Another reason you don’t want to render this kind of wall is that it has adverse effects on weak backing.

Rendering pebbledash with a weak backing can cause the whole pebbledash and the new render to fall away from the walls.

Can Pebbledash Be Removed?

The answer is YES. However, while you can remove pebbledash completely, it is worth noting that removing the render can expose the walls to a variety of issues you might not imagine.

While the walls might seem healthy on the surface, it is difficult to know how healthy they truly are underneath the render.

Removal Pebbledash

Hence, if you are planning to remove pebbledash from your walls, be prepared to tackle issues that may ensue from it.

Common issues associated with removing pebbledash include damp problems and poor brickwork in the walls that the render has been covering all the while.

Can I Remove Pebbledash Myself?

Now that you know pebbledash can be removed, you also want to know if it is what you can do yourself.

Yes, you can remove pebbledash yourself, but removing pebbledash is a bit daunting. Hence, you want to call on a professional to remove it for you.

Removing Pebbledash

Hiring a professional means the job is done the right way. Plus, they can easily fix any issues generated by removing the render. While the cost might be a setback, hiring a professional means you are not causing more damage to your home while removing pebbledash.

Can You Paint Pebbledash?

The good news about pebbledash is that it can be painted on. This means that if you don’t want to remove your pebbledash, you can revive your property’s old glory by painting on it.

Unfortunately, painting on pebbledash is not as easy as painting a regular wall. Pebbledash is even regarded as one of the most difficult surfaces to paint.

Hence, you want to do some research and paperwork to know if it is best to paint your pebbledash walls to give the finish you want.

It is important that you use the right tools and prepare the surface before the paint goes onto it.

Pebbledash House

These are necessary to have a final job that brings out the best of your property. The required tools in painting pebbles are the same as painting regular surfaces.

The cost varies with property’s size, but as a guide, budget between £750 and £1,700.

What Paint to Use for Pebbledash?

It is worth noting that the type of paint you choose for your pebbledash goes a long way to determine what you have after the painting. The best paint for pebbledash remains breathable waterproof masonry paint.

While breathability ensures your wall lets water vapor out of the render, the waterproofing property gives a repellant surface that helps resist moisture from outside the walls, boosting the wall’s overall health.

Our masonry creme paint is a great choice of masonry paint for walls as it offers both breathability and waterproofing without altering the wall’s performance.

You also want to use our masonry paint for maintaining its aesthetic performance for more than 25 years.

How to Paint Pebbledash

Necessary equipment to have around when preparing to paint pebbledash include, paint tray, long-pile roller, dust brush, masonry brush, sandpaper, masking tape, window film, and dust sheets

Preparation Stage

The preparation stage is significant in painting any surface. Preparing pebbledash for painting helps clean the dirt and dust from the surface. These are the steps:

  1. Remove dust from the surface using a dust brush and access the walls for cracks, holes, and gaps.
  2. If you find any cracks or holes, fill them with exterior filler to have a uniform surface to paint.
  3. Disinfect the surface to remove algae and moss and eliminate the risk of future bacteria growth underneath the painted surface.
  4. Give the disinfectant about two hours to dry and then wash the surface, using a hose, to remove residue.
  5. The final step in the preparation stage is applying a primer on the pebbledash if the pebbledash has not been painted before.

Like painting other surfaces for the first time, painting pebbledash for the first time also requires priming. This helps ensure that the paint can adhere to the render.

There are different options for applying a primer. While you can use a paint roller, a paintbrush is a good alternative tool. However, you might want to invest in a thin primer for ease of use.


Now that you have prepared the surface for painting, it is time to start applying the paint. However, before you start, ensure you cover all unpainted parts, such as drainpipes, in newspapers to prevent paint from getting in contact with them.

Start applying the paint from the top and move downward, covering all the edges of the surface you are painting.

While using a roller might be a fast option, consider a masonry brush for the first coat, as this ensures the paint gets into the small gaps in the render.

Common Problems with Pebbledash

Pebbledash comes with a few limitations, one of which is damping. Damp is of two forms: rising damp and penetrating damp. While rising damping occurs due to water from the ground level, penetrating damp results from water penetrating the exterior walls.

Problems Of Pebbledash

Cracks cause moisture penetration into the wall, resulting in damping. Though one major function of pebbledash is protecting the walls, it is also used to cover damaged walls, and when the protective layer cracks, moisture soaks into the exterior wall, degenerating to a severe issue over time.

Cracks occur due to the stones falling off since they are only pressed to the mortar and not mixed.


While it is not recommended to render on your pebbledash, it doesn’t mean the end of the road for giving your property a look you want. Here are two major alternatives to rendering pebbledash.

Removing Pebbledash

As mentioned earlier, you can remove it to bring your external walls back to their original status.

Removing pebbledash from your walls and rendering them create a smooth, uniform surface. However, this option is time-consuming and not cost-effective.

Boards and Render

This option lets you render your pebbledash without the fear of adding more stress to the pebbledash.

This is achieved by applying boards as insulation and then adding render over the top. However, while this might not be as costly as removing pebbledash and rendering the walls, it is time-consuming and still not cheap.


Pebbledash was a standard method of adding to a property’s value up to the 1930s, but it is no more common today.

Since pebbledash is outdated and now devalues properties, it is best to remove it, repair hidden damages, and paint the walls.

Alternatives To Pebbledash
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