How to Paint Concrete like a Pro – 11 Easy Steps

by Andrew Ahearne - March 24, 2022

Painted concrete isn’t just for looks. It can also help protect your concrete from weathering, crumbling, abrasion and general wear and tear. But before you start painting your concrete, a fair amount of preparation work is required to pull off the perfect finish. As concrete is a porous surface that can trap dirt and moisture, it’s essential to clean and seal it before painting.


Concrete Painting Summary


  1. Ensure your concrete is free of moisture using moisture metre.
  2. Strip off old paint with a wire brush and scraper then fill any cracks and holes with concrete filler.
  3. Clean your concrete with trisodium phosphate and rinse away with a power washer.
  4. Apply masking tape around your concrete’s edges.
  5. Paint around your concrete’s perimeter with your concrete paint, then use a paint roller to fill in the rest.
  6. Wait to dry and scrape lumps. Apply your final paint coat.
  7. Once dried, remove your paint tape and admire your work!


Concrete Painting Supplies You’ll Need:


  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Hose or Pressure washer
  • Metal-bristle brush
  • Concrete filler
  • Wire brush
  • Paint scraper
  • Handheld sanding tool
  • Putty knife
  • Concrete paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush


How to Paint Concrete in 11 Steps


Whether you’re painting a concrete patio, floor or wall, the painting method is pretty much the same. Follow these 11 steps on how to paint concrete for a professional-looking finish that will last:


Step 1 – Check Your Concrete for Moisture


Before painting your concrete, use a moisture metre to test for moisture on the surface. Alternatively, you can place a plastic bag on your concrete and check for condensation after 24 hours.

If your plastic bag has any moisture, the concrete is too wet to paint. You’ll then need to use specific products, or contact a professional restoration company, to dry and seal the concrete before painting.


Step 2 – Strip off Old Paint


If you’re repainting your concrete, there’s a good chance you’ll see peeling paint or bubbling paint. Strip off all the old paint using a scraper and wire brush.


Step 3 – Patch Damaged Areas with Concrete Filler


Many homeowners who own concrete floors or other surfaces are likely to see some wear and tear over time. Damage is bound to happen, whether it be from foot traffic, pets, harsh chemicals or other causes.

Fill in any cracks, gouges or holes in your concrete with a patching compound. This will give you a nice, even surface to work with. Once dried, sand the area smooth with medium-grade sandpaper.


Step 4 – Clean Your Concrete



In addition to removing any debris caused by the patching and sanding, you need to clean your concrete surface to remove any grease, oils or other contaminants.

Begin by pouring trisodium phosphate (TSP) onto your concrete and scrub with a metal bristled brush. After 20 minutes, the TSP should begin to bubble. This means the dirt and grease are breaking down and can be rinsed away with a hose or power washer. Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed your concrete, wait for 24-48 hours until it has dried up completely.


Step 5 – Use Painter’s Tape to Mask Off Edges


If you’re painting a concrete floor, it’s essential to mask off its perimeter to avoid getting paint on neighbouring surfaces. To do so, run a line of painter’s tape around the edge of the area you’re painting.


Step 6 – Prime Your Concrete


Epoxy primer is a popular option for concrete, as it absorbs well into porous surfaces and creates a sturdy grip for your paint to adhere too. It’s also extremely durable – perfect for concrete that experiences a lot of wear and tear.

To apply, use a paint roller or brush to spread the primer evenly over your concrete surface. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how long you should wait before applying your coat of paint.


Step 7 – Paint Around Your Concrete’s Perimeter


Stir your paint well and use a medium brush to apply paint around the edge of your concrete. This will provide good coverage when working on corners, edges and other tight spaces.

We recommend Masonry paint for concrete as it offers excellent durability and resistance to weathering. In areas susceptible to water damage like your home’s exterior, the paint’s binding properties will help waterproof your concrete.


Step 8 – Use a Roller to Paint Your Surface


Now it’s time to roll on the concrete paint over the rest of your concrete surface. For smooth surfaces, use a short-nap roller as you’ll need less paint for an even finish. Rougher surfaces, meanwhile, can be painted with a long-nap roller as they’re designed to hold larger volumes of paint.

If you’re painting your floor, ensure to start from the farthest corner of the room and work your way back towards the door. Painting in this fashion will avoid trapping yourself at the corner of the room.


Step 9 – Scrape Away Excess Paint


Once the paint has had enough time to dry, use a putty knife to smoothen out any lumps or bumps on the surface. You’ll then want to sand rough spots and sweep away all remaining debris.


Step 10 – Apply your Top Coat


Once your concrete surface is smooth and ready, apply a topcoat to finalise your paint job. This time, you’ll want to be firmer with your roller, applying more pressure to cover any holes that the first paint coat couldn’t. Wait until dried.


Step 11 – Remove Your Painter’s Tape


Finally, you’ll want to remove the painter’s tape around the edge of your concrete. If done correctly, you should have a clean and professional-looking paint job!


Painting Concrete – FAQ


Can you paint directly onto concrete?

As long as your concrete is clean and prepped correctly, you can paint directly onto the surface. This is applicable for exterior surfaces such as concrete patios and garage floors, as well as interior concrete surfaces like kitchen counters and floors. However, you’ll need to ensure that the concrete is free of moisture or existing sealers that could prevent the paint from properly sticking to the surface.

How long does it take for concrete paint to dry?

This will depend on the type of paint you use, but most paints will take between 12-24 hours to dry completely. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and avoid walking on the painted surface until it’s fully dry. If you’re planning on driving on your painted concrete, we recommend letting paint dry for at least 72 hours.

Can I paint over old concrete paint?

If your old concrete paint is in good condition, you can paint over it with a new coat. However, you will need to remove any loose or bubbling paint first before painting over the surface.

How do you get paint to stick to concrete?

Concrete paint will struggle to adhere to your concrete’s surface if it’s not prepared correctly. You’ll either need to etch the surface or use a concrete primer to help the paint stick. If you’re painting a concrete area susceptible to wear and tear, we recommend epoxy primer as it’s more durable and can be easily absorbed.


NewlinePainting – Interior and Exterior Painting Services


For the better part of a decade, NewlinePainting has provided high-quality interior and exterior painting services to homeowners across Australia. Our team of professional painters has you covered on all concrete surfaces, providing you with a long-lasting finish that will transform your home’s appearance.

If you’re interested in learning more about our services or would like to book a free quote, contact us at 1300 991 368 or book one on our website. We operate across Australia’s major cities, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

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