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Painted Concrete


Chillbilly

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I have old concrete in southern Florida which is pitted and full of small cracks. It does have character. I want to paint it with an inexpensive coating. I don’t want to spend the money for the epoxy coverings. Paint dealers claim their concrete will not chip, although there are many in this park with painted patios which are very chipped. I will take the chance, even if I have to touch it up every couple of years. My problem is, over the summer when no one is here, the concrete gets very dirty. It gets mildew and mold. Will the paint seal the concrete? Or, should the concrete be sealed before painting? If so, with what? What paint would you suggest? Any help will be appreciated.

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Not an expert but there is most likely always going to be moisture in concrete in Florida. Either 80% humidity, the morning dew (also from humidity) or the rain. You will have to be very patient and lucky to be home and ready to paint at a moments notice when everything is as dry as can be. You could try one of the products they sell for "basement' walls that is supposed to prevent moisture from outside to come in, but then I am not sure if the paint would adhere. I can't remember what they call it but the round pebbles embedded in an epoxy is what I had on my lanai and an annual pressure wash with a bit of bleach would kill the grass around it and keep it looking good for almost a year. Was a full day job though 20 x 30 ft.

 

Rod

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In my opinion painting is not a good solution in your situation.

1. You do not know if there was a vapor barrier put down be for the concrete was laid.

2. I am assuming the concrete has been there for some time.

 

Based on your comments about moisture and mildew, I would either do it right or not do it at all, or you will just be wasting your time and money.

 

Doing it right will involve etching the concrete first to open the pores and make it penetrable with a product such as this:

 

http://www.hcconcrete.com/products/shark-grip-prep-products/Etching_Solution/index.jsp

 

Then following with a good quality concrete sealer such as this:

 

http://www.hcconcrete.com/products/solid-color-stains/solvent-based-sealer/

 

You can read and decide for yourself whether you want to paint or seal. In either case you will need to etch the concrete first to have any chance of a decent result with either method you choose.

 

I only mention the brand above as I had experience with them in my career as General Superintendent in concrete construction. There are undoubtedly other equally good products out there. When I was still working, H&C products were available through Sherwin Williams among others.

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Acid wash the concrete.

Pressure wash thoroughly to get any dirt off and to remove all the acid.

If there is significant cracking, DAP and others make a gun grade caulking-type product to fill the cracks.

Do not paint. Use a concrete stain like the H&C product. This is a penetrating stain and sealer. Porter Paint is usually a good source.

If they have a water-based stain, it's easier to handle and probably a bit more moisture tolerant.

Check with the paint store to see if they recommend a texture additive like Shark-Grip or something similar.

Above all, enjoy yourself. You are going to have a ball!

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