Painted Concrete: Floors, Walls, And More

Ever wondered how to paint concrete walls? Give your concrete surface a new look by painting it – its actually pretty easy. Concrete stairs, walkways, and patios will look like new with a fresh coat of paint and score you a lot of points for curb appeal.

It can be boring to build with all that gray concrete, but it is an inexpensive, durable building material. The surface of almost any concrete structure can be painted or stained, including walkways, stairs, brick walls, basements, and garages. 

In front-facing areas of a house, it is especially annoying to patch weathered concrete with cracks or stains that stand out. Repairs to concrete walkways and steps can be disguised by painting them. As a result, the home’s entrance will have a clean, finished look.

When it comes to preparing concrete for painting, don’t skimp. Your best results will come from cleaning and smoothing the surface as much as possible. Ensure that the cleaners and sealers you use on concrete are specially formulated. Let’s paint!

Over the course of about five days, the whole process should take about four hours of actual work. The process is not easy, but it is possible with some hard work and persistence. To paint the concrete surface, you will need to sand it, seal it, and then paint it. 

What You Need Before You Start Painting Concrete

Tools You Will Need

Before you embark on the exciting journey of painting concrete surfaces, it is important to make sure you have all the necessary tools at your disposal. Let’s delve into the essential items you will need to ensure a successful paint job.

Starting off with the basics, a reliable stiff bristle brush is crucial for effectively scrubbing away dirt and grime from the concrete surface that you plan to paint. In addition, a trusty putty knife will come in handy for repairing any cracks that may be present, ensuring a smooth and even finish. To level off the repair putty seamlessly, a pole sander is a must-have tool in your arsenal.

Besides these key tools, don’t forget to arm yourself with some common household items for a seamless painting process. A vacuum cleaner for quick and efficient cleanup, a sturdy broom to prepare the surface, and other odds and ends will prove to be invaluable during the painting process.

When it comes to the actual painting task, make sure to have a quality paint brush or roller on hand. Both tools offer distinct advantages – while the brush is ideal for reaching narrow spaces and tricky edges, the roller ensures smooth and even coverage on larger areas. Additionally, it is essential to prioritize your safety by wearing proper protective gear, such as a mask and gloves, to shield yourself from any potential hazards during the painting process.

Materials You Will Need

When it comes to the materials needed for the task at hand, there are several key items that are essential for achieving a successful outcome. Let’s explore in detail the various materials you will require to patch cracks in cement, prepare the surface, and seal and paint it seamlessly.

To begin with, when patching any cracks in the cement surface before sealing and painting, it is crucial to have essential materials on hand. This includes vinyl concrete patching compound for durable repairs, sandpaper to ensure a smooth finish, and a paint scraper for precise application and smoothing.

In addition to the patching materials, it is important to have concrete cleaner, degreaser, and etcher to effectively prepare the concrete surface for the sealing process. These products play a vital role in ensuring a clean and well-prepared surface for optimal adhesion of the sealant.

Moving on to the sealing stage, make sure to have sealing primer specifically designed for concrete surfaces. Additionally, painters masking tape is a valuable tool to have to protect surrounding areas from unwanted sealant or paint application, ensuring neat and precise results.

When it comes to selecting the paint for the project, opt for a non-skid concrete paint to enhance safety. The non-skid feature is essential for surfaces that will be walked on, helping to provide adequate grip and prevent slips or accidents. By choosing the right materials and taking necessary precautions, you can achieve a flawless finish that not only looks great but also prioritizes safety.

Steps To The Process

This is the outline of the steps it will take to get the job done:

  • Choose what type of paint to use
  • Thoroughly clean off the concrete
  • Patch any holes and cracks
  • Sand everything smooth
  • Prepare the concrete for priming and painting
  • Prime and paint concrete

Choose Type Of Concrete Paint

When selecting the type of concrete paint for your project, it is essential to consider various factors to ensure optimal results. Different types of paints are available, each offering unique benefits and characteristics tailored to specific needs. Let’s delve deeper into the options to help you make an informed decision.

First and foremost, it is crucial to choose a paint that is specifically formulated for concrete or masonry surfaces. Specialized concrete floor paint is also an option to consider, offering enhanced durability and adhesion to withstand heavy foot traffic.

Among the common paint types suitable for concrete, acrylic latex, rubberized asphalt, and epoxy paints stand out for their distinct features. Acrylic paint boasts a wide array of colors to choose from, allowing you to find the perfect match for your project. Utilizing a paint chart can be a helpful starting point in narrowing down your options and visualizing the end result.

For situations that require flexibility and resistance to cracking, masonry paint such as elastomeric paint or elastomeric wall paint can be ideal choices. These paints contain compounds that expand and contract with the cement, ensuring long-lasting performance and protection against weathering and wear.

If you opt for epoxy paint, be prepared for a higher quality and more durable finish. While this type of paint comes at a higher cost, its superior durability and longevity make it a worthwhile investment. Keep in mind that epoxy paint is a two-part mixture, requiring careful application and expertise. Seeking advice from a local paint expert can help you determine the best paint type for your specific needs and desired outcome. By selecting the right concrete paint, you can achieve a professional finish that meets your expectations and enhances the overall look and longevity of the surface.

Clean Off Concrete

When it comes to preparing concrete surfaces for painting, thorough cleaning is key to ensuring a successful and long-lasting finish. Let’s explore the essential steps involved in cleaning off concrete to create a pristine canvas for your paint project.

The first step is to determine whether your concrete has been previously sealed. If a sealant has been applied, it is important to use an etching solution to effectively remove it and allow the new paint to adhere properly to the surface.

For areas with stubborn grease and oil stains, the use of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) is recommended to ensure thorough removal. Neglecting to address these dense stains can lead to unsightly discoloration over time, compromising the quality of your paint job. In some cases, a wire brush and a bit of elbow grease may be needed to tackle tough grease and oil buildup effectively.

Using a stiff-bristle brush, clear away any loose debris or concrete particles from areas of concern, especially where the concrete appears loose or contains visible debris. Prior to painting an outdoor concrete walkway, it is crucial to eliminate any weeds, moss, or lichen from cracks to prevent interference with the paint application.

For a more in-depth cleaning process, such as the removal of old paint or deep-seated dirt, consider using a power washer to blast away accumulated grime and debris effectively. Once the concrete surface has been thoroughly cleaned, allow it to dry completely before proceeding with the next steps in your painting project. By taking the time to clean off the concrete properly, you can ensure a smooth and flawless finish that enhances the overall aesthetics and longevity of the painted surface.

Quick Tip: If you’re working with an interior concrete wall or floor and there are signs of water damage on it such as it is beginning to peel, painting over it will only provide a very temporary fix to the situation. It will be back to the damaged state in no time flat. The underlying problem will still be there. In this type of situation, it is best to hire a professional to check out the situation and in consultation with you, come up with a plan to fix it. Before proceeding to the next step, let the concrete dry – very well. You don’t want any issues with trapped moisture in the future.

Patch Holes And Cracks

Addressing holes and cracks in concrete surfaces is a crucial step in ensuring a flawless finish for your painting project. To effectively patch up small imperfections, utilize a putty knife to apply concrete compound into the damaged areas. Following the application guidelines and drying instructions provided on the packaging is essential to allow the compound to cure properly and achieve optimal results.

While filling in the holes and cracks, it is normal for the surface to not be perfectly smooth initially. This is where sanding comes into play. Use sandpaper or a sanding tool to smooth out any rough edges and uneven surfaces, ensuring a seamless transition between the patched areas and the rest of the concrete surface. By taking the time to address these imperfections and ensure a smooth foundation, you can pave the way for a professional and polished paint job that enhances the overall appearance and durability of the concrete surface.

Related: How to level and repair cracks in a concrete driveway

Sand Smooth

To achieve a flawless and even surface before painting, it is to sand smooth any bumps or rough spots on the concrete. Utilize sandpaper to gently smooth out imperfections and create a uniform texture across the entire surface. For a more efficient sanding process, consider using an affordable pole sander, which allows you to cover larger areas without straining your back.

Prior to applying the paint, focus on smoothing the surface to the best of your ability to ensure a professional finish. If you are working indoors, remember to use a vacuum to clean up any sanding residue to maintain a clean and dust-free environment. To protect yourself during the sanding process, it is advisable to wear dust masks, protective glasses, gloves, and other safety gear to prevent inhalation of particles and ensure your overall safety and well-being. By taking the time to sand smooth and prepare the surface meticulously, you can set the stage for a successful painting project with impressive results.

Prepare Concrete For The Paint Job

Preparing the concrete surface thoroughly is essential to ensure a successful and long-lasting paint job. Before you begin the painting process, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided on the product packaging for cleaning, degreasing, and etching the concrete surface. Pay close attention to the recommended steps and application methods specified to achieve the best results.

In some cases, rinsing the concrete surface with a power washer may be necessary to remove any stubborn dirt or grime effectively. Be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and exercise caution when using high-pressure water for cleaning.

When selecting cleaning products and etching solutions, it is vital to read the labels carefully to understand their intended uses and potential effects on the concrete. Some products are marketed as multipurpose or all-in-one solutions, which may eliminate the need for additional products. By choosing the right products tailored to your specific needs, you can streamline the preparation process and enhance the outcome of your paint job.

If you are handling strong chemicals during the preparation process, it is important to prioritize safety by wearing protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and appropriate clothing. Taking the necessary precautions and following recommended guidelines will not only ensure a smooth and clean surface for painting but also safeguard your well-being during the maintenance tasks.

Prime And Paint The Concrete

When it comes to painting exterior concrete surfaces, proper priming is a crucial step in achieving a durable and long-lasting finish. Before you begin painting, it is essential to consider the weather conditions for the days you have earmarked for the painting project. Checking the weather forecast can help you plan effectively and ensure optimal drying conditions for the paint.

Prior to painting, apply concrete sealing primer to any rust spots or areas that require special attention. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding with the painting process to ensure proper adhesion and a smooth finish. Concrete is known for its high absorbency, so priming is necessary to create a suitable base for the paint to adhere to effectively.

Some concrete paints come with bonding primer already included in the mixture, simplifying the priming process and allowing you to start painting immediately. However, make sure to verify if the paint you choose contains the necessary bonding primer before application.

When selecting the concrete paint, opt for a non-skid finish to enhance safety and traction, especially for areas that will be frequently walked on. Before painting, it is advisable to tape off the base of your house or wall to protect the siding and achieve clean, professional-looking results.

Apply a clean coat of paint to the desired area, ensuring even coverage and a smooth finish. For improved traction and durability, consider applying a second coat of non-skid paint with grit additives to enhance the surface’s grip and resistance to slips. By following these steps and utilizing the right materials, you can transform your concrete surfaces with a high-quality paint job that not only enhances aesthetics but also prioritizes safety and longevity.

Quick tip: Fresh concrete that has just been laid cannot be painted. Usually, after about a month or two of curing and drying time, new concrete can be painted (ask your contractor).


In summary, it is evident that thorough preparation is key when it comes to painting concrete surfaces. From cleaning and patching to priming and painting, each step plays a vital role in achieving a successful and professional finish. By following the recommended guidelines, using the right tools and materials, and paying attention to detail, you can transform your concrete spaces with a fresh coat of paint that not only enhances the aesthetics but also improves durability and longevity. Remember, proper maintenance and care are essential to ensure that your painted concrete surfaces retain their beauty and functionality for years to come. Through careful planning and execution, you can create inviting and visually appealing spaces that stand the test of time.

Recent Posts