Q. My house has a cement block foundation, and I’d like to dress up the painted block with a stucco-like product. Any advice on what to use?
A. A basic way to mix the plaster or stucco is to start with an 80-pound bag of cement, water and 70 pounds of masonry sand. First, use a screen to sift the coarse rocks out of the sand, leaving only the fines in your mixing area (masonry box, wheelbarrow, etc.). Then dump half the bag of cement into the sand. Next, use a hoe or shovel to mix in water and pigment until you have a thick, muddy consistency tinted to your desired color. When you drag a hoe through the stucco, it should be just thick enough to hold its form. Prep the wall surface by spraying the block with water to prevent the stucco from drying too quickly. Use a masonry trowel to apply the mud in overlapping arcs to the wall. Then trowel the surface to your preferred texture.