When designing an outdoor patio, it’s not uncommon for concrete to be used to create the floor given its durability. Nonetheless, some can find the look of concrete to be out of place with the rest of the back or front yard. You can make the concrete look less dull by painting it. While painting concrete can present challenges, if you take certain precautions to prevent certain issues from occurring, you should be able to successfully complete the task. Here’s how to go about painting an outdoor concrete patio.
1. Clean the patio.
Before you start the process of painting your concrete patio, you first need to give it a good cleaning. Remove all of the furniture, plants, decorations, and other objects on your patio. Cover any plants or other landscaping near the patio with tarps to protect them from the cleaning solutions you use and water runoff. Use a wire brush to clean out the cracks in the concrete. Once the cracks are cleaned out, the cracks should be filled with masonry crack filler. You should either apply it with a caulking gun or scraper depending on the brand you're using. Make sure the concrete is dry first before applying the crack filler to get the best results.
Once you've applied the crack filler, give the product time to dry between the cracks according to what the instructions state. All moss, roots, or vines that have grown on the surface of the concrete should be removed. You can accomplish the removal by using a pressure washer. If you don't have one, you can pull the roots and vines by hand, sweep the patio, and then hose it down to get out any excess dirt or debris. Any large amount of vegetation can be cleared by spraying herbicide, such as glyphosate, at least two weeks before cleaning. Once you've removed all vegetation, you can scrub the concrete with trisodium phosphate or muriatic acid, so the surface is fresh for the paint to adhere to.
These products can also help remove old paint, which is necessary to do before repainting your concrete. Be sure to follow the safety information before using them, as many cleaning products require you to wear mask, eyewear, rubber gloves, rubber boots, and protective clothing. The concrete should be rinsed before applying the cleaning solution. Keep all of the manufacturer’s instructions in mind when applying the product onto the surface.
Once you’ve finished applying your clean solution according to the instructions, you can then begin the process of flushing the surface. You can use a power washer to wash away old paint, excess debris, and efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white salt deposit that can form on concrete. If you still notice any remaining old paint on the concrete, use a wire brush to scrub it, and use the power washer again until it’s gone.
2. Prepare for painting.
Before you start painting the concrete, you need to be sure that the paint will adhere to it. Concrete absorbs moisture, and if it contains too much moisture, it won’t be able to be painted until that’s corrected. You can fix this problem by taking an 18-inch by 18-inch square of thick plastic or aluminum foil, and tape down all four sides. After about 24 hours, remove the square of the plastic or foil, and check the concrete and the bottom of the square for moisture or condensation. If the concrete still appears to be damp, wait until the weather completely dries it. The area should be protected from sprinklers and garden runoff.
With the concrete ready, you can then select your paint. You won't be able to use regular paint, as it will likely peel off or crack after being applied to the concrete surface. There are a few other types of paint that will be more effective. Look for concrete paint that contains waterproofing features or sealants. That way, it will be able to resist water, oil, salt, grease, and other substances and elements. You can also try using latex, oil-based, or water-based exterior paints designed for patios or porches. These types of paints can also be effective in withstanding foot traffic. Additionally, you can consider using garage floor coatings with color additives, as they can be protective while also being decorative.
When you've decided on the type of paint you'll use, you can select the color you'd prefer. A good rule of thumb is to choose a color that matches the exterior of your house and your patio furniture. If you need assistance, you can take color swatches with you to a paint store to compare your existing decor with the paint choices you're considering. The paint specialist may be able to help offer you some advice on what choice you should make.
In addition to selecting paint, you should consider using a primer as well. Concrete or block primers can give you a nice even surface to work with. It will also help reduce the number of coats that will be required to properly cover the surface. It's important to be sure that the primer you select is designed to be used on concrete. Concrete primers are sometimes called masonry or bonding primers. Since the primer has a viscosity lower than paint, it will absorb into the concrete better, creating a binder that the paint will stick to. Keep in mind that if you choose not to use a primer and there's moisture under your patio, the paint will end up peeling off.
After you’ve selected your paint, you’ll need to calculate how many cans you’ll need to use to cover the patio surface. Look on the paint can or the manufacturer’s website to know how much coverage the particular can you’re using provides, and then compare it with the square footage of your patio. If you’re unfamiliar with square footage, multiply the length of the area you’re painting with the width. Be sure to consider if you plan on applying multiple coats of paint. Applying the primer should make it less likely you’ll have to apply more than one or two coats of paint.
Once you have all the paint you need, you can gather all of your painting tools and equipment together. Some of the ones you might use include masonry brushes, texture rollers, and high-capacity rollers. You might want to also consider having a paint tray, plastic tarps, painter’s tape, roller and brush extenders, and thick and thin brushes. Be sure to protect other surfaces touching your concrete patio from accidentally being painted by lining them with tape. Some of the surfaces you might want to protect include exterior walls, doors, windows, and deck edges. You can also cover the ground nearby with tarps if necessary.
The ideal day to begin painting your concrete is on a dry day, and when there hasn't been rain in the past 24 hours. Make sure there also isn't any expected in the next few days. The temperature should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Painting your concrete patio
After preparing for painting, you can now begin the process. Take your primer and pour it into a paint tray. Then, grab one of your thin brushes and dip it into the primer. Start applying it on the edges of your patio. Use a thicker brush or roller to apply the primer to the rest of the patio. After you’ve applied the primer, let it dry for at least eight hours. If you plan to be reusing brushes during this process, you should thoroughly clean them after each use and let them dry before reusing.
When you’ve finished letting your concrete surface dry, pour paint into the paint tray. Trays make it easier for you to coat your rollers or brushes evenly with paint, making it easier to apply even coats of paint to your concrete patio. You can use a smaller paintbrush for applying coats of paint around the joints, edges, and other areas of your patio that might be too difficult for a large brush or roller.
A good starting point to choose when applying paint is the interior corner against your house and work your way from there. You want to avoid painting yourself into a corner or the center where you wouldn’t be able to avoid walking over freshly painted areas. If you want to remain standing when painting, you can attach your brush or roller to an extender. If you opt to use brushes instead of rollers when painting, make sure to get one big enough to cover large areas to avoid your paint drying before finishing a section.
When you've finished applying the first coat of paint, it will take about six or more hours to dry before you can apply additional coats. You can look into the manufacturer's instructions about when to apply another coat. When you apply a new coat, apply it in a different direction than the last to ensure even coverage. The paint should be dry enough for you to walk on in 24 hours.While painting a concrete patio can take a lot of work, it can be rewarding when you get done. All of these steps will help you be successful in painting your concrete patio. Another upgrade to your patio you might want to consider is Alumawood patio covers. Here’s where you can shop for patio covers in Phoenix, Arizona.