Concrete is a highly tough and durable material that is often used as a flooring material for the exterior of buildings.
However, though it is a practical option for many due to its ability to withstand exposure to the elements, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing to look at, which causes many homeowners to wonder if they can alter its appearance.
The good news is that it is indeed possible to alter the appearance of concrete, and one of the most popular ways you can do this is by painting the surface of the concrete in such a way that it resembles the appearance of wood.
This will help to mask the concrete underneath and transform its entire look to resemble the natural characteristics of wood, which will help to create a warm and earthy feel.
However, prior to painting concrete, it’s very important that you take the necessary steps to discover whether or not your concrete is paintable.
As concrete is a naturally porous material, it means that it can have the tendency to harbor a lot of moisture, which can cause a lot of problems when it comes to painting.
For this reason, before you paint your concrete to look like wood, you should take the time to perform a moisture test.
You can do this by purchasing a moisture detector, which is a little device that is able to utilize sensors to detect moisture levels within the deeper levels of concrete.
However, if you don’t want to purchase one, you can alternatively use a polyurethane sheet, leave it for 24 hours and then inspect it to see if there are any moisture beads.
If there is a lot of moisture, you will need to give the concrete time to dry, however, if there are extremely high levels of moisture, you may need to consider replacing them.
How do you paint concrete to look like wood planks?
One of the most popular flooring trends right now is something known as the “faux wood” look, which can be achieved across a variety of surfaces, including concrete.
Due to this influx in demand for this type of flooring style, it means that there are a lot of options currently available on the market, and we’ll bet that you’d be able to find them at your local hardware store, too!
However, whether you’d like to save money, avoid having to remove your concrete slabs, or simply want to spruce up the dull appearance of your concrete, you can quite easily paint it to appear as though they’re actually wood planks.
Read on to discover two different methods for both interior and exterior concrete flooring:
- Begin by carefully applying tape (painter’s tape is best) around the edges of the concrete you are going to paint, as this will help to ensure you do not accidentally paint on any of the surrounding areas.
- Prepare the concrete by cleaning it of any dirt, debris, or oil, as these can affect the quality of the overall appearance and may even cause the paint to be unable to correctly bond to the surface.
- After the concrete has been thoroughly cleaned, you can then go ahead and apply concrete paint primer. If you are painting a small surface of concrete, then you can do this step with a paintbrush, however, if you are painting a large area of concrete then it will be best to use a medium to a large-sized paint roller.
- After applying the primer, immediately apply a layer of paint, using whichever painting tool you deem appropriate for the size of the concrete you are painting. Ideally, you should use concrete or masonry paint, and ensure that it is suitable for the type of surface you are painting, such as flooring. Additionally, you’re going to need two colors of paint, one being a slightly lighter shade than the other to create an authentic wood appearance.
- After you have applied the first layer of paint (darker color) mix the second paint color with glaze, as this will help to create a wood-like texture. Apply the lighter paint in small batches.
- Then, with your choice of graining tool, start to gently work the tool through the wet paint to create a grainy texture. Whilst doing this, make sure that you are regularly wiping the tool clean of glaze, otherwise, you might end up with unwanted paint blobs across the surface of the concrete.
- After you have done this, you can then add additional wood-like characteristics. Dark brown paint, for example, is a really clever way of adding little circles into the surface (which will resemble the naturally forming dark circles present in wood).
- Once you have completed this, then you’ll need to create the illusion of floorboards. Take a sharp knife and create floorboards on the surface, then wait for the paint to dry.
- As soon as the finished product has dried, apply a protective coat of varnish and then leave it to cure for the recommended time from the manufacturer.