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Welcome to our guide on concrete painting. Concrete paint tends to be thicker than most other surfaces and requires a higher level of dedication and paint skills. Concrete is a material that is known to suck up moisture and paint, and to paint concrete materials successfully – in a way that it lasts for years down the line – requires preparation and effort. This article will help you learn the basics of painting concrete.

Areas That Require Concrete Paint

  • The outdoor patio.
  • The garage floors.
  • The basement floors.
  • Other parts of the property.

Time & Expertise Necessary

  • TIME: Expect at least 1-2 weeks to finish painting concrete. While drywall can be painted in as little as 1 day, concrete required a longer time to dry out.
  • EXPERIENCE: Intermediate. You will need basic paint experience to paint concrete.

How To Paint Concrete: 5 Steps

Step 1) Prepare The Surface

The first step is to prepare the surface. Certain concrete surfaces don’t require preparation and you can get right down to painting them. However, you’ll usually need to clean out the area in order to remove the trapped dirt and grease. If you’re painting the garage floors, you may have to remove oil too (due to oil spilling from the car). Basic dirt stains can be removed with trisodium phosphate or generic “pre-paint cleaner” solutions you can pick up at the hardware store.

If there’s any moss growing out of the foundation you should remove it manually. If you’re painting the patio, hire a pressure washing company to remove all the dirt from the patio and outdoor area of the home. You may have to remove efflorescence which is a white powder that grows on concrete.

Step 2) Remove Paint

There is always old paint that existed on the concrete, and once you’ve cleaned out the area you’ll have to remove that paint before you can apply a new coat of paint. You’ll only need basic tools such as a wire brush or a paint scraper that cost $5-20 each. If you’re painting the patio, you may need to use a power washer to remove the old paint. You can either hire a power washing company for 1 hour or rent a power washer tool for $50-100/day.

3) Seal The Holes

If you have porous concrete, be aware that moisture can move through the holes, and sealing all the walls is essential to preventing moisture from seeping in. This can cause problems down the line such as molding.

The solution here is to purchase a masonry sealer from the hardware store that can fill in those cracks. Make sure to read the guidelines and to carefully mix and apply the sealer material. You may have to wait 5 days for the sealer to fully set in place. This is why painting concrete takes so long.

Step 4) Prime Concrete

For this job, you’ll need block primer in order to even out the surface of the concrete and fill any remaining pores. If you’re painting exterior foundations, you’ll have to purchase exterior block filler. The primer will dry out in as little as 10 hours, but you have a few weeks to paint it afterward.

5) Use Concrete Paint

The final part is to do the actual painting using concrete paint. The most common paint for concrete is masonry paint which is available in most hardware stores. Masonry paint is the thickest paint and it costs $20/gallon on average. You will also need tools such as a masonry brush and a texture roller to apply the paint. These tools cost $5-10 on average.


To conclude, painting concrete requires painting the concrete by cleaning it thoroughly and letting it dry out over the course of 5-7 days. Once you’ve applied the paint, give it a day to dry out. You may have to apply two or three coats to get it right.