How to paint a concrete driveway

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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Concrete driveways last many years, as a general rule. You can, however, extend the life of your driveway and make it more attractive by painting it. This is not an easy job, but if you do it yourself you will save a lot of money. Among the keys to a successful paint job is preparation. Concrete must be dry and free of dirt and oil before being painted. In addition to this, you must choose exterior paint suitable for concrete, or it simply will not last.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pressure washer
  • Degreasing formula for use in pressure washers
  • Exterior paint for concrete
  • Large paint rollers or a paint sprayer
  • Safety glasses

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  1. 1

    Put on your safety glasses on and clean your driveway using a pressure washer. You can rent or buy a pressure washer from a home improvement store. Go over the entire driveway once, thoroughly saturating it with the power washer and cleaning formula.

  2. 2

    Use the power washer again to rinse the driveway, using clean water. Make sure all grease and debris is completely gone. Let the driveway dry completely before continuing; this may mean waiting for a couple of days, depending on the weather.

  3. 3

    Sweep the concrete of any debris that may have collected since you power-washed. Check again for any oil residue that you may have missed.

  4. 4

    Apply concrete epoxy/acrylic paint with large, long-handled roller brush or paint sprayer. A sprayer will make the job go much more quickly, but either a roller or sprayer will work. In either case, start at the end of the driveway closest to the house and work your way down.

  5. 5

    Allow the first coat to dry, and then apply a second coat of paint. Start again at the top of the driveway close to the house and work your way down. Allow the driveway to dry for at least several days before parking your car in the drive.

Tips and warnings

  • Check your weather forecast before painting. You need at least a couple of rain-free days, as the paint should not get wet.
  • If you paint while it is windy, debris will be blown onto your fresh wet paint.
  • Some kinds of epoxy/acrylic blended paint fill in cracks and crevices as you paint. There usually is no need to do this ahead of time, unless you have a large pot hole.
  • A sealer may or may not be necessary; it depends on the kind of paint you are using.
  • It is absolutely necessary to clean the driveway of all grease and debris, or else the paint will not bond to the surface properly.

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