Painting concrete is a great way to give your surface a new lease of life, and it’s also ideal for adding extra durability and protection.
Painted concrete will last somewhere between 3-5 years, depending on the elements the area is exposed to, as well as the brand of paint, and the amount of traffic the painted concrete gets.
An area of painted concrete that is exposed to sun and rain, or walked across frequently, will last for a shorter period of time than an area that is sheltered or rarely tread upon.
Regardless, sealing or painting your concrete is a good idea, even with a clear sealant, as this will reduce cracking.
Unsealed concrete can allow water to penetrate and freeze, which expands the cracks over time. Another benefit of painted concrete is that it makes it easier to wash – simply scrub and rinse with a specially designed concrete cleaner.
All in all, concrete paint is:
- Easy to apply
- Available in a broad selection of colors
- Provides good coverage
- Easy to clean
Does concrete paint chip?
Concrete paint can chip and peel if it isn’t applied properly and if the surface isn’t adequately prepared before it’s painted.
You also want to ensure that you use high-quality exterior concrete paint that’s durable enough to withstand sun, rain, and other daily wear and tear.
Before we get onto the painting, you need to ensure your concrete is prepped in the right way to ensure a smooth, long-lasting finish.
- First of all, use a patching compound to fill in any holes, scratches, or gouges in the concrete surface.
- Clean the concrete thoroughly with a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water, and allow this to dry.
- Apply a paving paint or porch-and-floor enamel to the perimeter of the concrete area, and then to the middle.
- Once dry, scrape away any lumps or bumps from the paint, and sand any areas that are rough. Apply the second and final coat of paint and then allow the concrete to dry fully.
Is there a concrete color paint?
Once upon a time, concrete paint came only in multiple shades of gray, but today you’ll find a myriad of shades on offer online or at your local hardware store.
Drylok is a super durable concrete paint that comes in eight premixed colors. It’s also worth bearing in mind that in addition to its eight premixed hues, Drylok also offers a flat white base paint that can be tinted in-store.
This means you achieve a custom color if the eight premixed options aren’t to your liking.
Rust-Oleum’s Concrete & Garage Floor Paint comes in three premixed colors, Battleship Gray Satin, a lighter Armor Gray Satin, and a beige paint called Sand Satin. While this isn’t the biggest variety of colors, at least it’s some variation.
That said, Rust-Oleum also offers satin concrete paint with a deep base, and this is available in six different hues, including Brickstone, Almond Delight, Brick Red, Cigar, Cayenne, and Ginger.
Rust-Oleum’s lighter base can be tinted in an additional 14 colors that include warm and cool pastels, so there’s plenty of choice.
Behr offers one of the most extensive ranges when it comes to concrete and garage floor paint colors.
The company’s color palette includes 75 different colors and a diverse assortment of cool and hot hues, from subdued options to more bold and fiery tones.
Can you paint colored concrete?
If you’re simply repainting colored concrete, you can just paint over it.
If you’re painting an area that has a different color on it or has a stencil design, you’ll need to remove this before painting.
Clean the Area
As ever, you need to clean the surface before painting.
Remove any furniture or items that are in the way, and sweep the surface with a broom to remove dust.
Prepare a mixture of water mixed with etch primer and use this to scrub the whole area using a stiff broom.
Leave the mixture to soak into the concrete for about 20 minutes, then wash it away using a garden hose-pipe before leaving the area to air dry.
Strip the Old Paint
Once the area is clean and dry, you need to scrape off any loose, old paint from the surface using a putty knife. Then apply the appropriate paint stripper according to the type of paint that was used on the concrete previously.
So oil-based stripper for oil-based paint, water-based for water-based paint, etc. If you’re unsure of the type of paint that was previously used on the surface, go with an oil-based paint stripper.
Don’t forget to wear protective gear when dealing with paint strippers, as they contain potentially harmful chemicals.
Once you’ve applied a paint stripper to the area, leave it to sit for 7-8 hours.
This allows a chemical reaction to take place which is what helps remove the paint. Once the stripper has loosened the paint, you can then wash and scrub the area using water and a wire brush.
Once you’ve cleaned and stripped the concrete, you can then go on to priming and painting the area.
Things to Consider
Concrete paint is usually manufactured with durability in mind rather than aesthetic appeal, so most paint will come in standard colors.
There are some brands that offer a more extensive collection of colors, and some can even be custom mixed for you.
It’s important to consider how much traffic and abuse the concrete area will be exposed to.
For example, will it be used as a driveway, will it be tread upon frequently? If so, you should prioritize durability.
Look out for a paint that not only offers stain resistance but is also easy to clean.
All outdoor surfaces will be exposed to some level of UV light and water, but some are definitely more exposed than others.
For example, concrete areas that are covered by an awning or are positioned to the side of your home will be better sheltered from the elements.
You should also bear in mind that cheaper paints will be less durable against the elements, so if your concrete is in an exposed area, be sure to pick a good paint.
Water can cause concrete to crack at a greater rate, so if your concrete will be frequently exposed to water damage, it’s best to protect it with concrete paint that sheds water so that it doesn’t prematurely crack or damage the paint.
You should also bear in mind that if you’re painting a concrete retaining wall or the cement walls of a basement, the paint will need to hold back moisture and water, so you’ll need specially designed paint for this purpose.