How to Paint a Concrete Patio

Concrete patios are made to last. Unfortunately, they become discolored and dingy after years of exposure to the elements and regular use. There is no need to fret or consider replacement, however. There is a simple way to revive your concrete patio: paint it!

You Will Need:

  • A Power Washer OR a Concrete Cleaning Attachment for your Garden Hose (these are found in hardware stores)
  • Concrete Cleaning Solution (Optional)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Small Paint Brush (1.5-2 inches)
  • Concrete Primer (See directions on the can to assess how much to buy)
  • Concrete Paint (See direction on the can to assess how much to buy, and plan for two coats)
  • Three Paint Mixing Sticks (one for primer, two for separate paint coats)
  • Roller with ¾ Nap (Make sure it is rated for concrete)
  • Paint Roller Extension Rod
  • Paint Rolling Pan

Before You Paint

Before you begin your prep, you should choose a paint color that you like well and that complements your space. Note that concrete paint is difficult, if not impossible, to remove, so the color choice is important. When you have decided on a color, make sure you test it in natural light because your patio is outdoors, and paint colors look different when not under the hardware store’s florescent bulbs.

When you have chosen a paint color, purchase the appropriately tinted primer. You may consult the paint department employee at your local hardware store to make sure it is compatible and correct, otherwise, your paint color may not be what you want when applied and dry.

Getting Started

Prep work is often the most tedious, but doing it well is important for a polished, beautiful finished product.

Step 1: Power wash the concrete to be painted. Note that if you decide to use a cleaning solution for heavily soiled areas, you should cover all vegetation to prevent damage.

Step 2: Allow the concrete to dry for 48 hours before continuing.

Step 3: Using painter’s tape, protect all areas you wish to remain paint-free.

Step 4: Mix concrete primer with a paint mixing stick.

Step 5: Using the small brush, paint around the edges and areas that touch the building or flower beds.

Step 6: Remove painter’s tape immediately after finishing brush work. Otherwise, it may cause the paint to peel at the edges if removed later. Clean your paintbrush immediately using mild dish soap and warm water.

Step 7: Pour primer into the paint tray and saturate roller in the primer. Attach roller extension for ease of application.

Step 8: Starting in the corner farthest from the patio entry and working in even lines toward the patio stairs or entrance, apply a thin layer of primer (follow directions on the can for application). Take care not to trap yourself in a corner or against a building when applying the primer.

Person painting a roof

Step 9: Using warm water and mild dish soap, clean the roller and the paint tray immediately.

Wait approximately 4 to 6 hours (depending on climate and temperature) until the primer is dry to touch.

Time to Paint

Step 1: Mix paint well with the second paint mixing stick. Make sure that roller and the paint tray are completely dry.

Step 2: Using the painter’s tape, cover all areas you desire to be paint-free.

Step 3: Brush edges with the small paint brush and remove painter’s tape when finished. Don’t forget to clean your brush.

Step 4: Pour paint into the paint tray and saturate roller, and make sure that the extension is securely attached.

Roller brush and paint

Step 5: Repeating the process used for primer application, roll the paint onto the patio.

Step 6: Clean roller and paint tray thoroughly with warm water and mild dish soap.

Wait 24 hours for the paint to dry and cure. Then determine if a second coat is required.

If you determine a second coat is needed to cover stains or imperfections, repeat the Time to Paint steps.

After the final coat of paint is applied, wait approximately 72 hours for the product to fully cure and dry. This is important so that your furniture does not disrupt the protective coating and cause peeling.

You Have a Beautiful, Revived Space

Painting a concrete patio can be hard work, but the difference it makes to your outdoor space is so dramatic. Your friends will be impressed, and your neighbors will be jealous of the refreshed space that is sure to be a hit for your seasonal parties or for just relaxing with your favorite beverage.