My house is concrete block built in 1951. it has this "frosting" on the front of the house that is decorative. I'd like to be able to fill it in to make a smooth surface or remove it. I'm not sure what it is made of, other than it feels like concrete itself.
Michelle B. ~ Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Michelle, it sounds as though you have a house that is covered in a decorative stucco, or a similar cement siding, which has been applied to the surface of the concrete block wall. If you want to change the exterior finish of your house, then I do not recommend trying to remove this existing concrete surface, but rather cover it with a new coat of stucco, finished the way you want. When refinishing a stucco wall, it is important that the new coats of stucco properly adhere to the existing wall surface. While some types of stucco can be applied directly over a roughly textured surface, keep in mind that others may require an underlying layer of wire mesh, which is needed to help the different layers of stucco bond together.
If your want to color the final layer of stucco on your house, then choose a product in which the color is integrally mixed with the cement. Unlike surface finishes, such as latex paint, a wall covered with an integrally colored cement mixture will not show nicks or scratches, because the color remains consistent throughout the depth of the finished coating. Another advantage of these types of stucco finishes is that they allow the house's walls to breath. Conversely, cement walls that are covered in latex paint do not breath all that well, which means that any moisture that gets behind the finished surface cannot escape, which may cause the stucco siding to fail.
Stucco finishes vary from smooth to extremely rough, and many different architectural styles can be complemented by this traditional southwestern exterior finish. If you are curious about some potential finishes for your home, then you should consult a masonry contractor who works in the Fort Walton Beach area. A thorough inspection of your home's existing stucco will be necessary before a new stucco can be chosen and installation preparations can be completed.