How to paint concrete
So you want to paint concrete. Second to water, concrete is the most used material in the world. Concrete is an extremely versatile material, hence why we love it so much! And just because you laid concrete in a shade of grey doesn’t mean it has to stay that way! With a lick of fresh paint, it may as well feel like you have renovated the whole room! Here is our guide on How To Paint Concrete.
How To Paint Concrete
Prepare the concrete
How do I prepare concrete for painting? The first step is to clean the concrete surface thoroughly. Sweep away any dirt or debris. Then with a soap and warm water mix, scrub away any old paint flakes or grime with a wire brush. Make sure there are absolutely no foreign objects stuck to the concrete like vines, moss, gunk or paint. Concrete stains are ok and will be concealed by the paint.
After a good wash, you then need to remove any residual oil or grease. To do this, create a tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) solution with water. TSP can be purchased from any home improvement store, and make sure you follow the packaging for the exact ratio. With a broom, brush the mix into the concrete surface, brushing away any stains, then rinsing with water.
After your cleaned concrete surface has dried, it’s time to repair any cracks. Apply a pre-mixed concrete patch mix in any gouges, cracks or uneven surfaces. Read our blog post here for an in-depth explanation of how to repair concrete cracks!
Seal your concrete
To ensure no moisture comes through the concrete, it’s essential to correctly seal the concrete (if it hasn’t been already). It will also make sure the paint job you worked so hard on isn’t completely ruined! You can purchase concrete sealant from any home improvement store or contact your concrete contractor to re-seal their work. If you’re taking the DIY approach, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Priming the concrete
Now you have washed, cleaned, repaired and sealed; your concrete should be ready to paint! Make sure you choose a sunny forecast ahead to paint your concrete to give the surface ample drying time between coats. When purchasing your concrete paint, don’t forget to add concrete primer into your shopping basket. Concrete primer ensures the paint adheres to the concrete correctly. Apply one to two even coats of primer with a paint roller.
Painting your concrete
When choosing paint for your concrete, outdoor paint for concrete and exteriors is your best bet. This kind of paint is formulated to expand and contract as it experiences substantial temperature changes. Apply a thin layer of paint with a paint roller, starting in the corners or top of the wall. Don’t overload your roller with paint! You add more paint in each layer rather than in one go for an even finish. Once your first coat is completed, leave to dry for one day before applying the second coat. You’ll require between two to three coats of paint depending on the specific type of paint and what kind of finish you are looking for.
Once your final layer of paint is on the concrete, leave for at least two days before walking or touching the surface. And there you have it, your comprehensive guide to painting concrete! Check out more advice and maintenance tips for concrete on our Advice page. Happy reading!