If your concrete foundation is looking worn and weathered, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference. Painting your foundation transforms the look while also protecting and sealing the surface. With the right prep work and paint products, you can easily revitalize your foundation yourself and give your home’s exterior a brand new look.
We’ll cover choosing the best type of paint, proper surface preparation, application techniques, and care and maintenance tips. Let’s dive in!
Choosing the Right Paint for Concrete
With so many paint options available, it can be tricky to know which type is best for a concrete foundation. Here are some of the best choices:
- Acrylic latex paint – Offers good adhesion and durability for exterior concrete painting. Look for a masonry-specific latex paint.
- Epoxy paint – Extremely durable option ideal for garages and basements. Provides a glossy, protective finish.
- Concrete stain – Soaks into the pores to change the color while leaving the concrete texture intact.
For exterior foundations, consider an elastomeric paint which expands and contracts to bridge any new hairline cracks that may form. Tintable masonry paint allows you to customize the color. Gloss, satin or matte finishes are possible depending on your preference.
Picking the Right Sheen
Flat or matte finishes can help hide imperfections in the concrete surface. Satin provides a low-lustre sheen that also minimizes flaws. Gloss finishes offer a bold, shiny look but may accentuate cracks or an uneven surface. Consider your goals when choosing a sheen.
Getting Your Concrete Surface Ready for Painting
Proper prep work is crucial for success painting concrete. Here are the key steps:
Start by pressure washing the concrete to remove built-up dirt, mildew and chalking from old paint. Use a concrete degreaser to remove oil stains. Let the surface dry completely before moving on.
Repairing Cracks and Holes
Inspect closely and fill any small cracks or voids using a concrete patching compound. This prep work helps prevent cracks from showing through the new paint coat.
Roughening the Surface
Smooth concrete won’t allow paint to properly adhere. For best results, etch the surface using muriatic acid or abrasive methods like sanding or grinding. This opens up pores in the concrete for enhanced paint bonding.
Applying Primer and Sealer
Quality primer enhances adhesion and evens out variances in porosity. Concrete sealers also provide an extra moisture barrier for better protection. Using both is ideal.
Paint Application Tips and Techniques
Once prepped, it’s time to apply the paint. Here are some tips for achieving a smooth, even painted finish on your foundation:
Rolling vs. Brushing
Thick nap roller covers designed for concrete work well to get paint deep into the porous surface. Angled sash brushes also come in handy for smoothing out strokes. Combining rolling and brushing techniques is recommended.
Achieving Proper Coverage
Due to the absorbency of concrete, multiple thin coats of paint are best to ensure complete coverage. Allow proper drying time between coats as specified by the manufacturer – usually 6-12 hours.
Maintaining a Wet Edge
Work in sections and maintain a wet edge as you go to prevent lap marks. Plan your application strategy to work contiunously until a section is completed before pausing. Applying paint in direct sunlight can cause lap marks to stand out as it dries at different rates.
Watching the Weather
Avoid painting in high humidity, rain, dew or under hot sun. This allows moisture or heat to seal in paint before it properly cures. Ideal conditions are 50-90degF on a dry, low humidity day.
Caring for Your Painted Concrete
Once your paint job is complete, adhere to the curing timeline before exposing the surface to heavy use. Most concrete paints take 7-14 days to fully harden and cure. Be extra gentle when cleaning painted concrete by using a low pressure hose and mild detergent.
Applying a fresh sealant every 1-2 years will help maintain the painted surface. Spot treat any nicks or scratches right away with touch up paint. With proper care, your painted concrete foundation will maintain its revitalized look for years to come!
Painting your concrete foundation breathes new life into worn, weathered concrete. With the right prep work and paint, you can easily complete the project yourself and transform the look of your home’s exterior.
We hope our guide gave you the key techniques and tips you need for success painting concrete. Don’t live with an unsightly foundation when making it look fresh and clean again is so achievable. Get creative with color choices to give your house personality. A painted foundation offers aesthetic appeal along with protection from the elements.