Cinder block is cheap and easy, but far from aesthetically pleasing. There are decorative cinder blocks and also the option to paint, but cinder block is cinder block -- colored or not. Parging is a way of covering up a cinder block wall that is similar to applying stucco. Generally, parging uses mortar while stucco uses plaster. To cover cinder block you mix the mortar to parge and then apply it to the wall in some sort of pattern.
Grab the wheelbarrow and pour in an 80 pound bag of Portland cement. Pour in a 70 pound bag of masonry sand and stir the dry ingredients together until well mixed. Use a garden hoe or shovel to mix.
Add water to the Portland cement and the masonry sand. Use a garden hose and cold water. Add small amounts of water and mix with the hoe until all the water is absorbed. The goal is to saturate the dry ingredients to the point where no more water can be absorbed. The mixture when you run the hoe through the center should not separate.
Spray the cinder block wall with water to moisten. Mortar forms a better bond with a wet surface than a dry one. When applying wet mortar to a dry wall the dry wall sucks out all the moisture from the mortar and causes it to crack and peel.
Throw down drop cloths even if you are working outside. Go to the farthest corner on the wall, wet your trowels and use one to scoop up some mortar. Use the other trowel to take the mortar and apply it to the wall.
Apply the mixture to the cinder block wall. Make a swirl pattern of half-moons on the wall by tilting the trowel on its jagged edge.