Painting concrete surfaces is not about just splashing colors on the wall, but it requires skills, tools, and temperament. The cement painting is tricky because concrete breathes, carries moisture, and sucks up the paint. You can paint drywall in a day, but painting concrete takes about a week to finish.
Here is a set of tips and tricks to help you in paint concrete like a pro:
Cleanse the Concrete
Concrete is a porous surface that is why it traps grease, dirt, and oil. Thus, cleaning concrete is a vital step. First of all, use trisodium phosphate to remove oil and dirt. You can opt for an eco-friendly cleanser like pre-paint cleaner. Next, shed the vines and moss sprouting out of the foundation of the wall. Use a pressure washer to hose down remaining roots and dirt. Remove efflorescence i.e. a white powder that emerges on wet concrete by phosphoric acid masonry cleaner.
Remove old paint
Strip down or blister the paint indoors with the help of a wire brush that cost around $3 to $5, a paint scraper ($10-$20) and elbow grease. While removing paint outdoors use a power washer to get rid of the old paint which costs around $40 to $75 on the rent daily.
Seal Interior Concrete
Water and air move through standard concrete. So, sealing concrete is a necessary measure to prevent water vapors to seep in or promoting the growth of mold and the damp basement like feeling. Closing cracked patches through masonry sealer like Thoro seal can cost around $35 for a 50-pound bag.
Carefully follow the complete instructions for mixing, curing and applying the sealer. Masonry sealers usually require two coats. Painting contractors recommend curing for six to seven days before applying the next layer.
Use a Primer
Primers for concrete are called block primers. Block primers fill up the pores and smoothen out the surface. For exterior foundations and walls, use exterior-grade block filler. Primers like Masonry Bonding primer are suitable for indoor concrete surfaces as well as outdoor concrete and cost around $18 per gallon. Primer takes two hours to dry; you should wait for at least 8 hours but not more than a month, to apply paint.
Paint the concrete
Masonry paint also known as elastomeric wall coating or elastomeric paint is an excellent choice for cement painting as it contains binders that expand and contract with the concrete. Paint applied on the exterior of a house can crack and peel on concrete.
Masonry paints cost for $20 per gallon. They can be tinted, and are thicker than exterior paint. Applying it with a masonry brush, texture or high-capacity roller will give you the best results possible. Some masonry paints are thicker than the exterior paint and contain fine particles that can block air sprayers.
In whatever fashion you may apply paint, let it dry for a day between coats. You will probably need two to three coats of paint, so check the weather forecast for a week before you begin.