How long should cement dry before painting?

Updated June 13, 2017

New concrete should cure "for at least 30 days" before being painted, according to Sherwin-Williams. However, even if that time frame has passed, the paint company recommends testing for moisture. Do this by duct taping a 2-foot-by-2-foot piece of plastic to the floor or wall. Condensation or darkening of the concrete after 24 hours under cover indicates moisture.

Wait 60 Days

It's wise to let concrete cure for 60 days before painting, according to the Valspar paint company. After the concrete dries, Valspar and Sherwin Williams both say you should "acid etch" the concrete so paint will adhere to it.

Bottom Line

The website Painting Techniques & Decorating Ideas says it can take "a month or more" for new concrete to dry "depending on environmental conditions." Similar to Sherwin Williams, the site suggests using the tape-and-plastic test to check for moisture before painting.

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About the Author

Alicia Rudnicki's Library Mix website blends book buzz for all ages. A gardener, she writes for California's Flowers by the Sea nursery. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from UC Berkeley, a Master of Arts in education from CU Denver, and has taught K-12.