Paint recommendation please

I am preparing to paint a cement block patio. It's in pretty good shape structurally, however the paint that the former owners used has peeled badly and is VERY UGLY. I'm looking to repaint. Of course I know I will have to scrape the paint off of the block, it's textured, so I'm thinking I'll need to use a wire brush, but any tips would be appreciated. Then I'll move on to the primer and paint. I really want this to last several years. It gets a LOT of use so whatever I paint it with will have to be extremely durable and up to the challenge of 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 adults and lots of friends. The patio is covered, however it does get wet when we have blowing rains. So, waterproof is also necessary. I saw some paint that has a sandy texture, I would like something like that, however not completely necessary. This is our first house and we are fixing it up as we go along ... I have read great info here :) So I was hoping someone could help me out. Thank you! I'll post before and after pics :)
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I think you'll find the wire bristols simply pass over the paint. You need something that gets under it. I suggest renting a high-power pressure washer and buying a face shield.
As for paint, I would look into an epoxy garage paint. I'm not sure how epoxy is rated for exterior use, however. You can add your own sand for grit. I believe it's also possible to stain cement after it's cured, but I know very little about it. It's probably worth researching.
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Skip the paint, plaster on a layer of tinted stucco and it will be far more durable and attractive. It can cover the mortar lines between the blocks and make the wall look monolithic. Stucco can be textured in a number of different ways. Cost will be similar to paint but the labor will be more.

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