Unfinished concrete patios can appear grey, drab and dull. To give your patio a fresh, inviting appearance, try covering it with a few coats of paint. You can choose a colour that compliments the colour of your home, or of existing patio elements such as tables and chairs. In addition to rejuvenating your outdoor concrete patio, you can use paint to cover up cracks, discolourations and other blemishes.
It is always a good idea to give your concrete patio surface a thorough cleaning prior to painting. According to Concrete Network, start by clearing off leaves, dirt and other loose particles using a broom, leaf blower or garden hose. Then, you should do your best to remove any stubborn stains or grease marks. While the paint may cover them, it is possible that the affected areas could show through. In addition, you should fill any cracks in your concrete with hydraulic cement or concrete patches---and allow them to dry thoroughly---prior to painting.
There are two general types of concrete paint: opaque and translucent. While the former will generally hide the natural colour of the concrete entirely, provided you add enough coats, the latter is semi-transparent, and will let some of the concrete's natural features show through. Make sure that the paint you choose is a breathable variety, which means that it will allow moisture to vaporise if it happens to come up through the concrete's surface. If this attribute is not on paint can's label, ask a hardware or home supply store employee.
If you desire a particular glossiness or other characteristic from your concrete paint, try mixing in some additives. One of the best options for concrete patios, and concrete flooring, is to mix in granular additives, or aggregates. These bits of material stick out of the concrete's surface and give it a no-slip quality, according to Home Improvement.
Stamped Concrete and Concrete Paver Options
Stamped concrete patios have imprinted patterns, which typically resemble stones or tiles. Concrete paver patios have individual blocks or tiles fitted together, forming a pattern. In both instances, there are distinct areas of a separation, which you can highlight using different coloured paints. For example, you could give your outdoor stamped or paver patio a checkerboard appearance by alternating between dark and light-coloured paints for each tile or section.
Using Stencils or Engravings
Both stencilling and engraving can give you a highly intricate, painted design or feature on your concrete patio. For stencilling, you will need a large, sturdy outline or pattern that you can lay down on your patio. You then need to fill in the spaces in the stencil with paint. According to Concrete Ideas, when engraving your concrete patio, start by laying down a coat or two of paint; ideally one that contrasts with the underlying shade of the concrete. Then, you can scrape or etch out your pattern into the paint using cutting or engraving tools.