Tired of the Gray Look? Paint Concrete to Liven Up Your Life!

From sky blue, to brick red or even iridescent lime or fluorescent pink, you can go as far as your
imagination will take you, but be prepared to expend a little elbow grease because painting concrete is
not like painting drywall. You almost have to think of a concrete surface as a living thing. It breathes and
will absorb moisture, including your paint. Here’s how to do it right…
First you need to clean it. If you are painting exterior concrete, pull off any growth such as vines or moss.
Then, because it is so porous, you will want to pressure wash your concrete to ensure that you eliminate
any trapped dirt and grime. If your concrete surface has been previously painted, you need to strip off
the old paint. A little help from a wire brush should suffice.
Next you want to deal with the moisture issue associated with concrete. You know how a basement can
feel damp and musty and promote mildew growth? That’s exactly what you want to prevent, so you
need to seal your concrete to avoid any moisture seepage. It will probably take two coats, with five to
seven days of drying in between for optimal results.
If you want your walls smooth, you’ll need to fill in those pores with primer. If you are working on an
exterior concrete surface, be sure to use exterior grade block filler. Also be mindful that even though
primer dries quickly, you should wait at least a day, but not more than a few weeks to paint it.
Now it’s time to paint! Because concrete expands and contracts, you’ll want to use elastomeric paint
instead of traditional paint. It’s thicker than ordinary paint, so a sprayer might clog, but it can easily be
applied with a roller or brush. If you’re outside, check your long-range weather forecast before you start
because you will need two or three coats and a day in between each.