Concrete is an amazing building material that can be used for just about anything. It even looks great when it comes to interior design. Concrete is beautiful on floors or on walls, but suppose you want to add some color to your concrete? It is possible to paint concrete, but you've got to do it the right way to get the results you want. The process can be lengthy, but the end result is well worth it. Here's how to do it yourself in six steps.
Because concrete is porous in nature, it tends to soak up paint. You don't want that. You want your paint to cover the surface of the concrete. It is possible to get a beautiful coat of paint on your concrete wall, but you'll have to do a little more work to make it happen.
Clean the Concrete
If there is old paint already on the concrete, use a wire brush to strip it all off. Next, use a chemical concrete cleaner to clean your wall and remove dirt and dust. You can't simply use soap and water to clean concrete, as the concrete will simply soak up these items. A special masonry cleaner is designed to avoid this. You want to start with a clean surface before you paint your wall. Wear gloves and safety glasses while you work with a concrete cleaner, as these chemicals should not come into contact with your skin and eyes. Always practice good safety when DIYing.
Patch Cracks and Holes
You can't paint a wall that's got cracks and holes in it. Before you move on, take the time to repair any damaged areas of your wall. First, remove any debris from the crack or hole with a wire brush. Use a vacuum attachment to remove dust and dirt. Next, fill holes and cracks with a concrete crack sealer, which will be available at any home improvement store. Use a trowel or putty knife to get a smooth finish. Allow the sealer to settle and dry, and then apply another coat. Do this as many times as needed to fill the damaged area.
Seal the Concrete
Use a masonry or concrete sealant to seal the wall. You'll paint this sealant onto the concrete in long, even strokes. Get complete coverage and make sure your sealer is completely dry before moving on to the next step. You may need to wait several days. Get as much ventilation in the room as possible. Keep doors and windows open throughout this process—and use non-toxic materials for this entire project.
Prime Your Wall
Before you paint and after you seal your concrete, you need to prime your wall. Use a concrete primer, which will help you get a smooth, even surface that the paint can stick to. You’ll probably need to wait about 48 hours after applying primer before you can paint, but don’t wait more than 30 days to paint.
After the primer is completely dry, you're ready to paint your concrete. Use concrete or masonry paint, not standard wall paint. This paint is thicker and designed to be used on stone and concrete. You will need to use a masonry paintbrush or a texture roller to apply the paint. Because masonry paint is so thick, using an airbrush tool or a paint sprayer is not advisable. Let the first coat of paint dry thoroughly before you apply a second coat.
You can add a coat of glaze to the wall after it's been painted if you like, but it's not necessary. The glaze is applied with a sponge, so this can be a lengthy process. However, many homeowners like the final result. Wait to apply the glaze until the paint is completely dry.
Once your concrete wall is painted, it will look beautiful for many years and continue to be a focal point of any space.