How to Paint a Concrete Patio

How to paint a concrete patio

Summer is here and you’ve got yourself a new grill, awning, and barbeque set. But when you place them on your old and dull patio, you realize that the contrast is terrible.

You’ve tried using a pressure washer, but the patio still looks dirty and unattractive. You start looking for alternatives like patio pavers and terra cotta stones, but they seem too expensive and labor-intensive.

However, there’s a less expensive alternative where you can use paint to coat your patio and even imitate some decorations to make it look more appealing.

In this article, I’ll cover some basic steps on how to paint a concrete patio, and provide you with an estimate of what you’ll need to do the job. You can find everything you need at your local hardware store.

However, since not all patios require the same preparation, it’s important to read the article carefully and design your shopping list accordingly.

What you need to paint the patio:

  • Paintbrushes. Three inches would be good to start if you don’t have small details or hard spots to paint. If you need smaller ones, you can buy them as well.
  •  Paint roller. You can use a regular paint roller for the paint, but the coating might be better with short microfiber.
  •  Primer and paint for concrete. The primer is here so that the paint will stick better. Buy two coatings.
  •  Coating. You will use this to coat the surface after painting. It will protect your hard work. Before you buy, check that primer, paint, and coating work together from the local seller. Some don’t mix well, so it’s good to make sure. If you need more time, ask the seller what paint can be used on concrete. They might promote epoxy or polyurethane, depending on climate.
  •  Soap, water, mop, scrub brush, or broom. For cleaning purposes.
  •  Concrete degreaser. It will do the last removal.
  •  Floor sander with sandpaper for concrete. Check the rental place where they give you the correct papers for the patio project. You don’t want the patio to be polished, as a slightly rough surface is better for paint and primers to adhere to.
  •  Concrete repair filler and trowels. This is for the minor fixes. I’ve got a guide here if you need to do bigger ones.
  •  Painter’s tape. You can use this for painting borders with a clean line.
  •  Measuring tape and pencils (optional). If you need to mark.
  •  Stencils (optional). Stencils are used if you want to create lovely patterns.
  •  Gloves, masks, and respirators as required. It’s good to protect yourself. Some coatings, for example, have ingredients that can cause allergic reactions.

Repainting concrete patio slab

Step One: First, you need to clean the concrete thoroughly. This means removing all stains, grease, oil, and other spills. Any substance on the concrete will not allow the paint to adhere, making it chip and crack, and we don’t want that.

First, use soap and water. The Scrub brush should work well here; if you have a pressure washer, use that after to clean it or garden hose. If none are available, a good old bucket of water will also work.

After you’re done with soap, finishing with a degreasing solution should do the trick.

After using so much water, we must let it dry a bit. A few or a couple of days should work. If the concrete needs to be fixed, you can do it the same day after it is only moist and there are no water puddles.

If there are leftovers from old floors, you may want to sand them the next day so the paper won’t get full of wet dust immediately.

Step Two: Now, this is the step for the next day after washing the concrete. We want the concrete to be dry from the surface so we can sand it and fix the cracks.

If old glue from the previous flooring exists, it must be removed. Use a sander with a vacuum attachment and wear a respirator. Even when you use a vacuum, there will be some dust, and it’s good to avoid breathing that. Remove pets from the house- no one and nothing should breathe that dust in.

Begin with rough sandpaper and move to finer grits. Your local tool-renting store can walk you through renting a floor sander and selecting the best sandpaper for your concrete floor.

Fill in any cracks, holes, or breaks with the concrete filler. If you have big holes, you can follow our link to guide at the beginning. The cracks must be dust-free, so use a vacuum to clean the spots so the concrete filler can adhere.

Be sure to follow all safety precautions and allow it to dry for the specified time. Try to fix the level of the crack with the rest of the floor. If required, you don’t want the patches to show too much.

Step Three: First, vacuum the patio clean. Apply one or two coats of primer, allowing it to dry for the required time between each coat. Please read the manufacturer’s label to see how many times you must do it and how long it takes to dry. There are differences. I’d use one that only needs to be done once.

Oversee outdoor patios to ensure leaves, dirt, pets, or family do not come in contact with the wet primer. It would be ideal to do it in calm weather and look at the weather report so that no rain will come.

Patio season is coming, or it is already here, and you’ve invested in a new grill, awning, and barbeque set. All seems perfect until you place them and notice that the contrast with your old patio is awful. It’s dirty, dull color, and not even a pressure washer can save it anymore.

You start to look up alternatives, but patio pavers, terra cotta stones, and everything else just seems so expensive and labor-intensive. You start to lose hope little by little as you’ve already spent some cash on the previous items.

Well, lucky for you – here is a less expensive solution where you don’t need to cut stones or do any other heavy labor. You can use paint to coat your patio and even imitate some decorations if you don’t want any boring one color solutions.

I’m going to cover some basic steps for how to paint a concrete patio. I’ll use as much description as I can without seeing the project. This will help you to estimate if you want to do this project.

Everything you need is at your local hardware store. Since not all patios need the same preparation, read the article carefully to design your shopping list.

What you need to paint the patio:

  • Paintbrushes. 3 inches would be good to start if you don’t have small details or hard spots to paint. If you need smaller ones, you can buy them as well.
  • Paint roller. You can use a regular paint roller for the paint, but coating might be better to be done with short microfiber.
  • Primer and paint for concrete. Primer is here so the paint will stick better, buy for 2 coatings.
  • Coating. You will use this to coat the surface after painting. It will protect your hard work. Before you buy, check that primer, paint, and coating work together from the local seller. Some don’t mix well, so it’s good to make sure. If not sure, ask the seller what kind of paint can be used on concrete. They might promote epoxy or polyurethane depending on climate.
  • Soap, water, mop, scrub brush, or broom. For cleaning purposes.
  • Concrete degreaser. It will do the last removal.
  • Floor sander with sandpaper for concrete. Check the rental place that they give you the correct papers for the patio project. You don’t want the patio to be polished as a little rough surface is better for paint and primers to adhere to.
  • Concrete repair filler and trowels. This is for the small fixes. If you need to do bigger ones, I’ve got a guide here.
  • Painter’s tape. You can use this for painting borders with a clean line.
  • Measuring tape and pencils (optional). If you need to mark.
  • Stencils (optional). Stencils are used if you want to create nice patterns.
  • Gloves, masks, respirators as needed. It’s good to protect yourself. Some coatings, for example, have ingredients that can cause allergic reactions.

Repainting concrete patio slab

Step One: First you need to clean the concrete thoroughly. This means removing all stains, grease, oil and other spills. Any substance on the concrete will not allow the paint to adhere, making it chip and crack and we don’t want that.

First, use soap and water. The Scrub brush should work well here, if you have a pressure washer use that after to clean it or garden hose. If none of those are available, a good old bucket of water will work as well.

After you’re done with soap, finishing with a degreasing solution should do the trick.

After using so much water, we need to let it dry a bit. A few or a couple of days should work. If the concrete needs to be fixed, you can do it on the same day after the concrete is only moist and there are no water puddles.

If there is leftovers from old floors, you propably will want to sand them next day so the paper wont get full of wet dust straight away.

Step Two: Now this is the step for next day after washing the concrete. We want the concrete to be dry from surface so we can sand it and fix the cracks.

Now if old glue from the previous flooring exists, it must be removed. Use a sander with a vacuum attachment and wear a respirator. Even when you use a vacuum, the will be some dust and it’s good to avoid breathing that. Remove pets from the house- no one and nothing should breathe that dust in.

Begin with rough sandpaper, and move to finer grits. Your local tool renting store can walk you through the process of renting a floor sander and selecting the best sandpaper for your concrete floor.

Fill in any cracks, holes, or breaks with the concrete filler. If you have big holes, you can follow our link to guide at the beginning. The cracks need to be free of dust so use a vacuum to clean the spots so the concrete filler can adhere.

Be sure to follow all safety precautions and allow it to dry for the specified amount of time. Try to fix the level of the crack with the rest of the floor. Sand if required, you don’t want the patches to show too much.

Step Three: First start with vacuuming the patio clean. Apply one or two coats of primer, allowing it to dry for the required time between each coat. Read the manufacturer label to see how many times you have to do it and how long it takes to dry. There are differences. Personally, I’d use one that only needs to be done once.

Watch outdoor patios carefully to ensure leaves, dirt, pets or family do not come in contact with the wet primer. It would be ideal to do it in calm weather and look weather report so that there will be no rains coming.

How to make concrete patio look better with a little paint

Step Four: Now you’re ready to paint. Decide what color(s) or faux paint technique you want and lay it on the patio. It may take a day or two (or more) to lay out a brick, marble pattern, or something more elaborate.

Paint your patio using your favorite technique. The beauty of this is simple- if you don’t like how it turned out, paint over it and start again.

A regular way to paint would be to start from one edge and paint the whole roller width from the house towards the outer edge. Do paint roller line after line so the finish will look lovely as it doesn’t get too dry when you do it orderly.

Signs of drying are that the roller will leave an ugly mark on the paint, and it won’t level anymore. If this happens, you need to let it go, as rolling it more and more will make it uglier.

After you have done the last layer of paint, allow it to dry as long as the manufacturer’s label says. We want to ensure it is dry before we apply the coating.

Step Five: Coat with outdoor patio coating. Follow the manufacturer label here again. Usually, the coating can be done with a thin microfiber roller or something like that. You can use the same tactic as you did with painting, line after line from the house to the outer edge.

Step Six: Now it’s time to dig that furniture out, fire up the barbeque, and show off your new patio floor.

Notes to Remember: Never use a solvent to remove old floor glues. The solvents soak into the concrete and outgas, creating hazardous fumes. These fumes are often flammable and can build up to explosive levels in a house.

Conclusion

This guide aims to provide comprehensive instructions on how to paint your patio and create beautiful decorations. While the task may seem intimidating at first, it is quite manageable with the right preparation and approach.

Firstly, it is essential to ensure that your patio is clean and free of any debris or dirt. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and will last for a longer time. You may need to sweep, wash, and scrub the surface to remove any stains or marks.

After cleaning, you should inspect the patio for any cracks or damages that need repair. Fixing these issues will prevent the paint from chipping and peeling in the future. You may need to apply some filler or patching compound to fill in any holes or cracks.

Once the surface is clean and repaired, you can start painting. You will need to choose the right type of paint for your patio, depending on the material it is made of. You may want to select a paint that is durable, weather-resistant, and easy to clean.

The painting process is relatively simple, and you can use a brush or roller to apply the paint. You may need to apply multiple coats of paint for an even finish. It’s crucial to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

Finally, you can let your creativity shine by adding decorations to your patio. You can use stencils, stamps, or even freehand painting to create unique designs. You can also add some plants, furniture, or accessories to complete the look.

In conclusion, while painting your patio may seem like a daunting task, it is quite manageable with the right preparation and approach. By following these instructions, you can create a beautiful and functional space that you will enjoy for years to come.

You might also consider staining the concrete patio; click the link to read more about it.