Painting Concrete? 6 Things You Need to Know!


Concrete can be one of the trickier surfaces to paint, but it doesn’t have to be! With just a few simple steps, you can paint your own concrete in no time!

What’s the secret to painting concrete? Here are six tips to help you out! 

  1. Clean Concrete is Much Easier to Paint
  2. Make Sure Your Concrete is Filled and Prepped
  3. Sealing Your Concrete Prior to Paint is a Must
  4. Prime the Concrete Before Painting
  5. Know Which Paint Works For You
  6. Make Sure You Seal the Concrete Once it is Complete!

There are multiple ways to paint your concrete. This article is going to tell you the process to get a perfect paint job every single time!

Why Should You Paint Concrete?

Since concrete is made primarily from natural materials, it is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials there is. Although concrete is one of the more durable materials, it is not always the most attractive! The good news is that you can cater it to your personal style with something as simple as a great paint job!

With a simple coat of paint, you can give new life to an existing concrete floor, or you can have a concrete floor at your new home or office that can be a huge showstopper. Depending on the look you are going for, there are varieties from opaque to more translucent paints to choose form.

Dyes are also a popular option since they tend to allow concrete to breathe and flex as it does without paint, but will not give as bold of a look.

It also is a more cost-effective way of covering any damage or wear that your concrete might have seen. It can also seriously prolong the life of any concrete that is already existing!

Although more technical skills are involved in painting concrete, there are six really simple steps you can take that will make you look like a true DIY professional!

Location is Key

Since concrete is such a universal building material, the concrete your trying to paint could be located in a number of different places. Since it is such a common building material, it can be located inside of your house, or outside of your house.

Concrete walls inside typically are fine with traditional paint. You can also use a satin finish on interior walls as well. For walls, they may see stains or possibly more damage; you should consider a semi-gloss. Any exterior walls need to be able to stand up to any ultraviolet light or weather conditions you may experience.

One area that requires a more durable paint is concrete floors. Since floors see more traffic than a wall, you want to make sure your paint job is going to last. This also needs to be considered whenever you’re painting an exterior floor, as well.

If you’re painting a statue, or something similar, then an acrylic enamel or epoxy paint is the most common options. A quick note here is that epoxy is not great for exterior statues as it can tend to fade due to the sunlight!

1.    Clean Concrete is Much Easier to Paint

If you have ever done any DIY projects, then you know a clean surface is always the best place to start. Concrete is a porous surface that can easily attract dirt, grease, and oil.

In order to clean your concrete, it is as simple as purchasing a pre-paint cleaner and washing off your surface. You can also simply use soap and warm water as well! For oil or grease stains, you may want to invest in a stronger cleanser that will fully remove those stains!

If you have cracks and any sort of growth, then you need to make sure that you remove those as well. You can use a stiff brush for the best results!

Additionally, if you’re painting over an existing paint job, then make sure that you’re taking off any existing paint completely!

After you clean your concrete, make sure you give it plenty of time to dry before moving onto the next step. Excess moisture can get trapped and ruin your paint job if you move on too quickly.

2.    Make Sure Your Concrete is Filled and Prepped

Concrete is one of those things that sees a lot of wear and tear! If you’re considering painting your concrete, then you need to be sure it is in the best shape it can be before you begin the process. Concrete can easily crack, scratch, and even form holes.

Not only will this make sure that your paint is going on as perfectly as it can, but it is also going to prevent any issues in the future! This can easily be done with a patching compound.

Once you have filled in any areas, take the time to sand the concrete to make sure you have an even surface to start on. You can also sweet and vacuum a few areas to make sure the surface is free from any additional residue as well.

If you’re painting a wall or floor, then make sure you tape off the area you wanted to be painted. Not only is this going to give you a cleaner line, but it will also help make the clean-up process easier!

3.    Sealing Your Concrete Prior to Paint is a Must

Now that you have the perfect canvas for your project, you don’t want anything to ruin it! By sealing your concrete, you are extending not on the life of your fresh paint job, but for the actual concrete as well.

Concrete sealant can be expensive, but it is not as expensive as potentially having to replace the concrete you have. We already know that concrete is porous, and any water damage can not only ruin the paint but ruin the concrete as well.

Depending on where the concrete your painting is located, sealing may or may not be required. If you’re painting outdoor concrete, you don’t have to be worried about sealing it. If you’re painting concrete that is indoors, then sealing is a must!

4.    Prime the Concrete Before Painting

The entire process of painting concrete will take a few days. It is vital to the life of your paint and concrete that you make sure you are not having any weather conditions if you are painting any concrete outside.

All primers will have their own specific drying times that you will want to be aware of. The main reason you want to use a primer is so that the paint you’re ultimately applying is going to tick.

Depending on where you are painting, you may even want to apply two different layers of primer. This is important if you’re painting over any pre-existing paint or if you’re painting outdoors.

Like with all steps, make sure that the coats you’re applying are drying completely before you add any additional layers.

One last tip is that if any primer did not adhere to the concrete, take the time to scrape away any of the primer and smooth the surface to try and reapply the primer to those areas.

5.    Know Which Paint Works for You

Now that it is finally time to paint, it is important to know which paint is perfect for the job. The type of paint you select is dependent on where the concrete you are painting is located.

One of the most popular types of paint to use on concrete is masonry paint because it tends to be much thicker, and it also can be tinted to fit in with your color preference. If you are planning on manually painting your concrete, this is a great option.

If you take the spray paint route, then it’s important to talk to a paint professional before you buy your product. Some paints work better with a spray paint gun, and others can clog the gun, and not give you what you’re looking for.

Just like you wait for each layer to dry with the primer, make sure you have plenty of time for each layer of your final paint to cover the concrete. You also want to make sure that you have great weather to make sure all of your hard work is going to last!

6.     Make Sure You Seal the Concrete Once it is Complete!

Now that you have finished painting your concrete, it is a time of one of the most important steps! After you have spent the time to paint your concrete, make sure you don’t forget to seal it!

A sealant is going to make the paint last longer, and protect it. Depending on the location of your paint, this is a vital step. If you’re painting exterior concrete or a concrete floor, don’t skip this! If there is going to be a lot of foot traffic on the concrete, you may even want to seal it twice. This is typically done on exterior areas such as patios, porches, and pool areas.

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