Painting concrete is nothing like painting other surfaces such as drywall. One of the main differences is the time that is needed to complete the job. Concrete can absorb moisture and so it may take several coats before it is completely covered and so you should allow up to a week to finish the job. Choosing to paint concrete is a personal choice as many people think it looks fine as it is. If you are painting concrete, then the following tips can help..
Make Sure The Concrete Is Clean
The fact that concrete is so porous means that it tends to collect dirt, grime and grease. This means that water alone will not usually be enough to get the concrete clean. Trisodium phosphate should remove most of the dirt and grease, and a power washer can be used if their is any moss growing. A powdery substance called efflorescence can sometimes be left on the concrete after cleaning has taken place. If you notice this, then it can be removed with masonary cleaner.
2. Strip Away Any Old Paint
If the concrete surface is already painted, then this can be removed with a paint scraper or wire brush. You may also be able to use a pressure washer, but this should only be used on exterior walls.
3. Seal The Concrete
When you reach this step you may decide that just cleaning the concrete has made it look so good it doesn’t need to be painted. However, if you do want to continue, then sealing the concrete is the next step. This is really important if the surface you are working on is indoors. Applying a sealant will prevent moisture from getting into the concrete and will also stop any mold growing. A masonry sealer will be the best choice and you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Applying a sealant also has the added advantage of smoothing out any cracks in the concrete before it is painted.
4. Apply Primer To The Concrete
When painting concrete you should apply primer in the same way as you would if you were painting drywall. There are different types of primer depending on whether you are painting an interior or exterior wall, so make sure you are using the right one. The primer will fill any gaps that are in the concrete and this creates an even surface to be painted. The primer will need to be applied at least 8 hours before you start painting. As long as the concrete is painted 30 days after the primer is applied, then you should get good results.
5. Apply The Paint
The final step is to apply the paint. Exterior paint is likely to crack when applied to concrete so masonry paint will be the best choice. This is because this paint expands and contracts with the concrete so there will be no cracks. You will need a specialist paint brush or paint sprayer when you are using masonry paint because it is a lot thicker than regular paint.
If you have any questions about painting concrete surfaces, then Elizabeth Concrete Foundations will be happy to help. We have many years of experience in this type of painting. We can be contacted on (908) 249-0906 and our friendly staff have plenty of advice to offer. There are also more tips on our website elizabethconcrete.com.
We would also be happy to provide you with a quote for painting your concrete if you do not have the time to carry out the work yourself. This quote will be made for free and comes with no obligation. Contact us now.