How to Paint a Concrete Driveway

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Things You'll Need

  • Concrete filler and sandpaper

  • Trisodium phosphate, bucket, gloves and bristle brush

  • Concrete bonding primer

  • Paint roller with long extender arm

  • Wide paintbrush

  • Concrete paint

Your house is beautiful. Your yard's pristine. Your driveway? It's kind of an eyesore. You can paint it to make it more appealing. Your moderate effort to color the flat expanse will make it the envy of your neighborhood. Painting a concrete driveway is, in some ways, simpler than painting a wall because all of your efforts are directed downward. Nobody would blame you if you can't wait to get started.

Step 1

Sweep your driveway thoroughly with a bristle broom. Patch any holes or scratches with concrete filler. Allow it to dry, then sand the surface until it is smooth.

Step 2

Remove oil or grease stains by mixing ¼ cup of trisodium phosphate for every gallon of warm water in a bucket. Put on protective gloves as you work this solution into the stains with a bristle brush.

Step 3

Rinse the driveway with a strong stream of water from a hose. Allow the concrete to dry for two days.

Step 4

Wait for a cool day to begin painting your driveway, or get started early in the morning before the sun makes the concrete hot and the paint a little more difficult to work with. You might wish to apply one coat of a concrete bonding primer to your driveway. Similar to wall primer, it will grab the forthcoming paint to the surface and can produce a better result. Still, you may wish to skip this step if you're in a hurry.

Step 5

Cut in the paint around the edges of your driveway with a wide paintbrush, just as you would do with ceilings, doorways and windows on a wall. This step will make the paint application a relative breeze.

Step 6

Start at the top of your driveway and apply the paint in sections of about 2 or 3 feet, working left to right and then down. Keep a "wet edge" with the paint roller, just as you would if you were painting a wall.

Step 7

Wait for the paint to dry and apply a second coat, if you wish, to deepen the color. Follow the directions on the paint can before walking or driving a car over your newly painted driveway.

Tip

If your concrete driveway is new, wait seven days before painting it with latex paint and 28 days before using oil-based paint. The latter might provide better coverage, but it also will take longer to dry, just like indoor paint.

People who are truly in a hurry might prefer to apply the paint with a sprayer, but the result is usually inferior as the application can be uneven and erratic, even on days with mild wind.

references & resources

M.T. Wroblewski

M.T. Wroblewski

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.