Painting Concrete

Painting concrete can be a challenge, especially for those who wish to do it by themselves. Concrete is porous so it absorbs paint and carries moisture, making it a difficult surface to repaint. Because of this, it’s logical to hire a professional to help you out. Painting concrete will take approximately a week of your time, and you need to invest in expensive materials you will only use once. If you’re thinking of painting concrete, better call a professional, and he will eagerly help you out with your needs.

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Materials for painting concrete

Painted concrete wall with metal drainage pipe

Painted concrete wall with metal drainage pipe (Photo credit: Brian Reynolds)

For indoor walls or concrete floors, there are a lot of materials that are needed. These include the following: roller, brush, brush cleaner, paint, primer or sealer, trisodium phosphate, scrub brush, wire brush, scraper bucket, and a mop. After hiring a professional for painting concrete, you don’t need to prepare any of these as they have all these items at hand.
If you wish to have your exterior walls painted, you have all the more reason to contact a professional because for painting concrete (exterior walls) a power washer will be needed – something that experts readily have.

Cleaning the concrete surfaces

As it has been said, concrete is highly absorbent, and because of the grime and dirt on the surface, you can expect it to be a really difficult DIY task. That’s why it pays to hire a professional.
Before painting concrete, your contractor will prep the surface for best results. Industry-strength Trisodium Phosphate is what most companies’ use, while environmentally conscious companies utilize ‘green’ pre-paint cleaner from Krud Kutter. With a scrub brush, a professional will rigorously clean the surface.
Before painting concrete, an expert will also remove the moss and vines growing over it. An expert will make use of a pressure washer, which can remove the dirt and the embedded roots.
An expert also has trained eyes that can let him see the white powder that develops on top of moist concrete. This powder is called efflorescence, and it can be removed with the use of phosphoric acid masonry cleaner, or the Concrete Clean and Etch formulation by Krud Kutter. Chances are if you are painting concrete yourself, you might not see this efflorescence.

Removing the old paint

Flaky Paint South

Before painting concrete with a new shade, the professional will get rid of the old color first. DIYers will only use paint scraper and a wire brush to perform this task. For this part your patience will be tested. To speed up this process, you need to hire a professional, because he has equipment such as a power washer, which can remove the old paint immediately.

Sealing the concrete interiors

Because this material is porous, it’s important seal the interior walls before painting concrete. If the interiors aren’t sealed, water can seep in the concrete, and mold will grow right after. Unfortunately, this step is the one commonly missed by DIYers. A professional won’t skip this one out.
A professional who is an expert at painting concrete will make use of a hydraulic cement or a masonry sealer, which can help cover the cracks on the concrete. The methods of mixing, curing and applying vary, depending on the brand of the sealer, and if you do it on your own you can get lost along the way.
Before painting concrete, the professional will make sure that the surface is dry and sealed. The professional does this by taping a piece of plastic on the concrete, sealed airtight. If condensation forms in it the following day, it means that concrete is not sealed well, and the sealing process might need to be repeated.

Priming the concrete

Prior to painting concrete, it’s important to prime the concrete with block primer. This material makes the surface smoother, and fills the pores of the concrete. If you do this task on your own you will surely overlook this step. But if you hire a professional, he will use a primer which works well with the sealer you have just applied.
An expert will use exterior-grade block filler for paint walls and foundations made of concrete. A primer dries in just two hours, but a professional will let eight hours pass before he starts painting concrete.

Painting concrete

Before painting concrete, a professional will prepare the appropriate kind of paint. The common mistake that DIYers make is using exterior house paint, which will only peel and crack.
For concrete an expert will use elastomeric paint, also known as masonry paint or elastomeric wall coating. This type of paint features binders that swell and shrivel together with the concrete. Because it’s thicker than exterior house paint, it can be tinted according to your desire.
Apart from masonry paint, a professional might also use spray-paint color for the concrete. Because masonry paint is thick, it will not work out in a spray-paint bottle. The professional’s familiarity with paints will surely help you save a lot of money for the process.
For painting concrete floors, an expert will add floor additives so it won’t turn out slippery. He will paint his way from the door out, or else he will be trapped in a corner.
For painting concrete, he will apply the first coat and dry for a day. Professionals for best results apply the paint lightly. Don’t fret if it looks lighter, because as it dries the color will turn darker. Two to three coats will be applied right after.
If you want to add design to your concrete, you can ask your contractor to do so. He can paint grout lines to create an illusion of stone floors. He can also use different kinds of paint to make vein lines, which mimic natural stone. These creative tasks are something only a professional can perform.
If the professional is painting concrete in a big room, he can make use of different shades to create partitions in the area.

Sealing the concrete

After painting concrete, a professional will apply a coat or two of sealer. This material will lengthen the life of your concrete paint. Because sealers emit noxious gases, you can expect a professional to make use of a mask while applying it. Personal protective equipment is one of the many things that make contractors fit for a job of painting concrete.
Painting concrete might be a herculean task, but with the help of experts, you can have nice concrete surfaces, which are not dull or boring. Get started on this project by calling us professional today.

For a Free Estimate Call us at (650) 867-6077 or

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"They scheduled an appointment with me to meet at my clients business that needed exterior paint work and were there on time. They also had no problem working with the paint brand that i had specified and even gave me some helpful tips on finishes for my project. A few days before the job was to be done, they called to let me know that rain was in the forecast and offered a reschedule date. Great paint job, Great communication, and Very polite A+ (Jamie K. from San Francisco) "