Painting a Concrete Porch - Step by Step Guide
If you’ve been hoping for a way to improve the exterior look of your house, painting a concrete porch might be on your list of options to try out. It’s a relatively simple task that doesn’t require any special skills or tools. In fact, most homeowners are fully equipped to tackle this project themselves. Painting a concrete porch not only updates the overall aesthetic qualities of your home, but it can have some practical purposes as well. Some people choose to use non-skid paints on the porch to reduce the slippery nature and improve safety during bad weather. Whatever your reasons, let’s take a peek at the best way to paint a concrete porch.
Materials Needed for Painting a Concrete PorchAll good projects begin with the right materials. Here’s a list of the common items you’ll need to get the job done right. This is just a list of suggestions and you might not need everything shown.
- Scrub brush or a broom featuring stiff bristles
- Concrete cleaner
- Pressure washer
- Mild detergent
- Respirator or breathing mask
- Protective gloves
- Protective clothing
- Mild Muriatic Acid
- Paint roller pan and rollers
- Paint sprayer (if you prefer)
- Concrete paint and/or sealant (obviously we are partial to Durabak for your porch needs)
If the Porch is Already PaintedThe steps listed below deal with a concrete porch that isn’t currently painted. For those of you that already have the concrete porch painted, you’ll have some additional steps to take before you can begin. Start by cleaning the porch with a solution of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) plus water to dilute. Follow all manufacturers’ guidelines for the best results. Once that is dried, scrape off the existing paint with a power sander, pole sander or scraper. When all the paint is removed, proceed forward to step one below to begin the cleaning process of the concrete. Keep in mind that TSP is a corrosive chemical. Wear your rubber gloves, eye protection and appropriate clothing whenever you work with any chemicals. If you are going to be on your knees, be sure to wear some knee pads as well.
Step One to Painting a Concrete Porch: CleaningBefore you proceed with your plans of painting a concrete porch, you need to thoroughly clean the area. Start with your broom or shop vacuum to remove any loose debris and dirt from your porch. Failure to perform this task completely often results in unwanted, flying objects during your pressure washing. Once you’ve ensured that everything is removed, you can move onto pressure washing. For the best results, set the washer to 3000 PSI and take your time to clean the whole patio. If you notice areas with stains or extra dirt, be sure to pay closer attention to those spots. Now, you’ll have to put a little elbow grease into the job if you want it done right. Using either a detergent or concrete cleaning agent, grab your scrub brush or broom and get scrubbing. Some porches have additional stains that require some tender loving care to remove, especially if they are oil stains. Just keep scrubbing until you notice that the stains are removed. Then, rinse all the chemicals off the porch with your pressure washer. Most people find that using 3000 PSI is also ideal for the rinse. If you find any major defects to the porch or uneven surfaces, now is the time to repair them. Apply concrete patches wherever needed to ensure that moisture doesn’t seep into the paint and ruin your hard work.
Step Two to Painting a Concrete Porch: Muriatic AcidFor many people, this next step will not be necessary. As long as your concrete is completely clean and free from all stains, you can safely move onto step three. Otherwise, you need muriatic acid. Keep in mind that muriatic acid is potent and powerful. It’s the same acid that works inside your digestive system to break down food. Because of this, you want to exercise extreme caution when applying this acid. Not only does it emit toxic fumes capable of burning your lungs, but it also burns skin easily. While working with muriatic acid, you’ll want to use all necessary safety gear such as a respirator, gloves and goggles. It is also wise to wear thick clothing that covers your entire body. Using the muriatic acid, you are going to clean the concrete porch one more time. Simply dilute it appropriately with water and scrub it into your concrete. When you are finished, you can give a final rinse with your pressure washer.
Step Three to Painting a Concrete Porch: DryingOnce you’ve finished the entire cleaning process, it is time to allow your patio to dry. Depending on the climate, this length will vary but you’ll want to figure on about 24 hours. Chances are you’ll need a break after all that cleaning anyhow.
Step Four to Painting a Concrete Porch: Sealant ApplicationKeep in mind; if you are painting a concrete porch with Durabak, this step is unnecessary as our product bonds to concrete easily. It also bonds to metals, woods and other coated surfaces making it simple to repair in the future. If you are using something other than Durabak, you’ll want to apply a sealant first. Pour your sealant into a roller pan and roll the entire porch using steady back and forward movements. You’ll want to keep the sealant spread thin or you could end up with some bubbling as it dries. Then, you must go back to waiting again for the sealant to completely dry before moving on.
Step Five to Painting a Concrete Porch: Paint ApplicationNow you are ready for the fun part! Hopefully, you’ve got your Durabak paint in one of the many available colors. If you choose to roll the paint, you’ll pour the appropriate amount into your pan. Then, using the same back and forward motions, you’ll simply roll the paint onto the surface. Don’t worry about getting this done in just one coat as it typically will take several to get the look you desire. It’s important that you remember to allow the patio surface to dry completely between each coat of paint; whether you use Durabak or not. For those that prefer to use a paint sprayer, Durabak is easily applied with the help of a high-quality sprayer as well. Then, once you are finished, just be sure to do the touch-up and trim work with your paint brush. Pay close attention to those edges around the walls. Make sure that all the paint is completely dry before putting anything on your porch or attempting to walk on it.
Possible Step Six to Painting a Concrete Porch: Sealing AgainIf you’ve used a paint other than Durabak, the process isn’t yet over. Using your roller from earlier, you need to apply a second coat of sealant over the paint. This protects your paint from water damage and also reduces UV wear. If you’ve chosen Durabak, you know that our formula is not only weather-resistant but also UV-resistant, so this step is unnecessary.
Other Concrete Surfaces to PaintConcrete porches aren’t the only surface that will benefit from some fresh paint. Any exterior or interior concrete surface is brought to life with a vibrant coating of color. With just a few coats of paint, your boring, gray concrete can be quite beautiful. Not only is it a simple task, but generally inexpensive as well. Just follow the same instructions as above for any concrete surface you desire to touch up.
Other Tips for Painting a Concrete PorchWhile most aspects of painting a concrete porch are fairly self-explanatory, here are some other tips that will help you to make the most of the project.
- Remove everything from your porch before you begin the process.
- If there are plants nearby, cover them with drop cloths.
- Ensure that you choose several days in a row of nice weather before beginning any exterior painting job.
- Be cautious in your porch paint color selection. You want it to complement the exterior of your home. A muted shade is normally ideal. Darker colors emphasize the porch while lighter colors allow the porch to remain understated.
- If you struggle with bugs during the painting process, light citronella candles around your work area to keep bugs at bay.
- Once your project is over, clean the painting tools with water or solvent and store them on nails to dry.