Painting concrete differs from painting other materials. A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest ways to revive and revitalize any surface. Painting concrete surfaces, on the other hand, can be more difficult than painting drywall, wood, metal, or other materials. Because concrete is porous, it can absorb and transport water (and paint), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be covered successfully with the right products and techniques. Follow the tips below if your concrete walls, floors, or exterior foundations need a little TLC.
What You’ll Need
To start with painting, make sure these materials needed is available:
- Paint roller
- Wire brush
- Hose or pressure washer
- Protective goggles
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- White vinegar
- Concrete foundation repair
- Concrete sealant
- Masonry paint
- Drop cloth
- Painter’s tape
Step 1: Remove any existing paint
You’re likely repainting concrete because the old paint is chipping or peeling away. Remove any large vines or other debris from the surface before using a power washer to remove old paint from exterior surfaces. When painting an interior surface, use a wire brush, a paint scraper, and some elbow grease.
Step 2: Clear the area
Dirt, grease, and other grime become trapped in concrete over time due to its porosity. After you’ve removed the old paint, thoroughly clean the surface to ensure the new paint adheres well. A power washer’s force is usually sufficient to clean exterior surfaces, but you’ll need to use a different cleaning agent for inside walls and floors. TSP, which can be found in most hardware stores, is an effective cleaner for this task. Wear safety goggles and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying TSP.
Step 3: Make the necessary repairs
After cleaning the concrete, use a simple concrete patch product to repair any small cracks or surface blemishes and wait the recommended amount of time before proceeding. Of course, a professional should evaluate any large cracks or surface issues because they can indicate more serious foundation issues.
Step 4: Seal and prime the surface
Because concrete absorbs and transports water, it must be sealed before painting. Basement walls and floors require a sealer because they are prone to leaks, water damage, and mold growth. Apply a primer to the surface after the sealer has cured – this usually takes 5 to 7 days, depending on the manufacturer – to fill the pores in the concrete and even out the surface. Request assistance from a professional at your local hardware store in selecting the right product(s) for your project, and then wait at least 8 hours for the primer to dry before proceeding to the next step.
Step 5: Paint the concrete
Finally, you are ready to start painting. Use a concrete-specific formula and apply it with a masonry brush or roller. Apply several thin coats rather than one or two thick coats, and wait at least a day between applications. After the final coat, allow the paint manufacturer’s recommended drying/curing time before reinstalling furniture and reusing the space.
Step 6: Allow It to Dry
Allow a few hours for the paint to dry before removing any preparations you may have used. Then wait a few days to see if any areas need to be touched up or if a third coat is required.
Painting concrete is a task that is frequently overlooked. It can, however, make a room feel more alive and vibrant. Remember that damaged concrete cannot be painted until it has been repaired. So, if you have any damaged concrete, call Peoria Concrete Contractors for concrete repairs before you start your painting project.