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How to Paint Concrete, So It Looks Great: A Step by Step Guide

how to paint concrete

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Painting a dull, gray concrete floor improves the overall look of your home or business. However, it can take considerable skill and equipment, especially if your floor is exposed to water. Here is all you need to know when painting concrete floors.

Materials You Need for Painting Concrete

  • TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
  • Concrete Filler
  • Paint Roller
  • Safety Goggles
  • Fine-Grip Sandpaper Discs
  • Putty Knife
  • Power Sander
  • Metal-Bristle Brush
  • Poles Sander
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Paving Paint
  • Dust Mask

What Paint Should I Use for My Concrete?

Choose paint with a high percentage of solids if you want it to stick on the concrete surface with ease.

Concrete Garage and Floor Paints

Choose a product like the Kilz Decorative Concrete Coating. However, estimating how much you’ll need for your job can be challenging. We recommend you purchase 15%–20% above your average estimate for rough concrete surfaces or keep to the 50 sq ft per gallon guideline for smooth areas.

Concrete Porch and Patio Paints

Consider using a product like INSL-X Sure Step paint for your patio or walkway. It produces excellent traction to prevent slips and falls.

Waterproofing Masonry Paints

Use a product that stays glossy for years (even when subjected to UV radiation) and puts up well to water.

Prepare the Concrete before Painting

Proper preparation is essential for painting concrete so the job looks great and lasts. Here are the steps to take:

Step 1: Wash the concrete

Use warm water, TSP, and a pressure washer if necessary to clean any dirt or grease on your concrete. If dead vines and moss are on your concrete, get rid of them using a power washer.

Step 2: Strip off the old paint

When working indoors, Scrape off peeling or blistered paint with a paint scraper and a wire brush. When working outdoors, you can eliminate old paint with a power washer.

Step 3: Seal the concrete

Seal the concrete using a concrete filler on damaged or gauged areas. Concrete sealing helps protect a concrete surface from moisture damage.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing, applying, and curing the concrete filler or sealer.

Step 4: Smoothen the concrete

Sanding will help the new paint stick on your surfaces. Give the areas you repaired a chance to dry before sanding them by hand completely.

Step 5: Make sure the surface is dry before applying the paint

After washing with TSP and sanding the surface, let it dry for at least 48 hours before you paint. When you touch the surface you should feel like 120-grit-rated sandpaper.

Painting the Concrete

Follow these steps to paint your concrete surfaces with excellent results.

Step 1: Apply a concrete primer or block primer

Use a blocking primer to fill pores and even out the surface. Use exterior-grade block filler for exterior foundations and walls, then paint the second coat of primer. Let it dry for 2 hours, and then apply your finish coat.

Step 2: Apply paint to the concrete perimeter

Sweep the area using a clean dry cloth. Next, use your paintbrush to apply the first coat over the perimeter of your concrete.

Step 3: Fill blank space using a smooth paint roller

Begin at the far end of your room and work your way in. Allow 24 hours for the paint to dry before applying a second coat.

Step 4: Scrape all protruding bumps

Sand any spots where the paint did not stick using a putty knife. Reapply the coat after sanding.

Step 5: Apply the last coat

Use the same techniques used with the first coat. Use a roller over the surface again, pushing down firmly to fill any areas that didn’t get enough paint.

Pro Tips

Allow for a 24-hour drying period between coats. Also, before you start, ensure you have friendly weather that will allow 2-3 coats

Work With The Pros

Want help with a concrete project around your home? Reach out to the expert concrete contractors of Merced. Our team has decades of experience, the tools, and the knowledge to make sure that your concrete project goes right the first time.

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