How to seal & paint concrete

Written by misty s. bledsoe
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Painting concrete can create vibrancy and mood to existing construction. Concrete must be completely dry and clean prior to beginning this process. Before beginning, you will need gather the necessary supplies and choose the type of sealant and paint you will be using. In most cases, you will be using a concrete sealant made especially to act as a moisture barrier. Some sealants come mixed with the paint for an all-in-one type of product, so read the labels carefully.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Brick mortar (optional)
  • Concrete putty (optional)
  • Broom
  • Wire brush
  • Soap, any kind
  • Fans (optional)
  • 2 or 10-gallon trash bags
  • Concrete sealant, moisture barrier type
  • Concrete paint
  • Paint tray
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller (optional)
  • Vacuum (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Examine the concrete for any holes or cracks, especially small ones. These must be filled with either brick mortar or concrete putty before beginning. Let these dry before cleaning the concrete. If the cracks or holes are not fixed, moisture can leak in and eventually cause cracking or paint flaking. Cracks and holes also can lead to a weakening of the overall structure, because they allow moisture build up within the concrete. When the moisture freezes in the winter, it will cause cracks in the concrete.

  2. 2

    Clean the concrete thoroughly once the concrete is completely dry. The average drying time for concrete is around 28 days. Using the broom, sweep any debris and dirt away. Scrub the cement with a mixture of soap and water, using the wire brush, if necessary. Rinse the cement with water. Wait until the surface is dry before continuing.

  3. 3

    Cover the paint tray with a trash bag. Add cement sealant to the paint tray. With a paintbrush or paint roller, apply sealant over the top of your cement structure, so that you have an even coating. Make sure it is completely dry before adding the paint.

  4. 4

    Remove the trash bag with the sealant in it and discard. Put another trash bag over the paint tray. Add cement paint to the paint tray. Using a paintbrush or paint roller, apply an even coating of cement paint to your structure. The cement is now painted.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are able, use a vacuum over your structure to remove more dirt before washing it. Consider using mosquito netting to cover the structure and to lessen the possibility of bugs landing in the cement, sealant or paint, as it dries. Using large fans in the area can help speed up a drying process.
  • Use care when using a wire brush. The bristles are sharper than they appear. You may prefer to use safety goggles when using sealant and paint to avoid accidentally getting any in your eyes. Make sure there is proper ventilation at all times when adding sealant and paint. In addition, make sure there is proper ventilation when the sealant and paint are drying.

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