Is your concrete porch or patio in need of a makeover? Paint is the fastest and easiest way to change the look and feel of an outdoor space. Though you'll find much of the process quite similar to painting a wall, there are a few essential steps you'll need to take to prep the concrete properly. We've got you covered with all the know-how you need to ensure your painted porch ends up pretty — and stays pretty. Follow along, and you'll have a beautiful space throughout the seasons.
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Things You'll Need
Goggles, gloves, and mask
Watering can (optional)
80- or 100-grit sandpaper or wire brush
Concrete crack filler (if needed)
Paint tray and liner
3/8- to 1/2-inch nap paint roller
Paint roller extension pole (optional)
Tip: Before painting your concrete porch or patio, check the weather to make sure no rain is in the forecast. You'll need at least two days straight of no rain to allow the primer and paint to dry properly.
Let's have a look at the before for comparison. The concrete was previously painted a hunter green color, but had faded significantly over the years. Plus, it was covered in leaves, dust, salt deposits, and some of the paint was chipping off. Basically, it was in need of a makeover — badly!
Step 1: Sweep
Remove any rugs, planters, or other items from the porch, and use a stiff-bristle broom to sweep away any leaves, dust, or debris. If you have a shop-vac, it's also helpful to vacuum up any remaining dust, especially in the corners of your porch.
Step 2: Degrease or Etch
If your porch was previously painted:
If your concrete surface is already painted, and the paint is in fairly good condition, then you can simply give it a good cleaning with a degreaser, which is specially formulated to remove a variety of substances like rust, grease, or efflorescence (a powdery salt deposit commonly found on concrete surfaces). Evenly apply the cleaning solution (wearing gloves), scrub with a stiff-bristled brush or broom, and rinse thoroughly with a hose or pressure washer. Let dry 24 hours.
If your porch has never been painted:
If your concrete surface has never been painted before, you'll need to prepare it first by etching, which opens up the pores of the concrete and improves paint adhesion. Pour the etcher into a watering can (wearing gloves), and pour evenly over the concrete surface (working in small sections for larger porches or patios). Scrub with a stiff bristled brush or broom, and rinse the surface at least three times with a hose or pressure washer to thoroughly remove the solution. Let dry 24 hours.
Note: Newly poured concrete should cure for at least 30 days before etching and preferably 90 days prior to priming and painting.
Step 3: Sand
The degreaser should have removed most problem areas, but if there are any stubborn spots with flaking or peeling paint, sand them smooth with 80- or 100-grit sandpaper, or scrub with a wire brush. Thoroughly sweep away the sanding dust. If a significant portion of the porch is covered in peeling paint, then it might be best to strip the entire surface with a concrete paint stripper first. If you etched your surface, there's no need to sand.
Step 4: Tape and Fill in Cracks
Use painter's tape to protect any areas you don't want painted, such as around the door frame, siding, and stone or brick trim. If you have any cracks in the concrete, you should fill them in now with concrete crack filler. Allow the filler to dry completely.
Step 5: Prime
Start priming the porch by cutting in around the corners and along the edges with a paintbrush.
Then pour some primer into a lined paint tray, and roll the primer onto the rest of the porch. Let it dry at least eight hours. If you have a large porch or patio to paint, we highly recommend using an extension pole for your paint roller to save your back and knees!
Step 6: Paint
Similar to the primer, start by cutting in around the corners and edges with a paintbrush.
Then use a paint roller to coat the rest of the porch with paint. Wait seven to eight hours before painting a second coat.
Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before removing the tape and opening the porch to light foot traffic. It takes up to a month to fully cure and withstand heavy traffic.
Then deck it out with your favorite accessories, and enjoy!