Concrete is one of the most common construction material used all over the world. It is tough and resists many natural forces. It also can stand falls and hits pretty good. But, is there a way to make the dull looking concrete surfaces around your house look great? Yes, there is. However, you need to prepare the surface well and choose the appropriate paints for the job. Here are some pointers that will help you select a suitable concrete paint for your exterior surfaces.
Types of Exterior Concrete Paints
'Primer-Sealer + Paint + Gloss' Combination
This is the conventional way of painting a concrete surface. For this purpose, you can use oil based or latex exterior masonry paint. Both do a decent job. In this conventional way of painting, first you will need to prepare the surface. Once the surface is ready, apply a sealer to it. Sealer is applied to any cracks, gaps or holes in the surface. Then uneven surfaces are sanded down. Then the surface is cleaned again. A coat of primer is applied to the surface, so that the layer of paint adheres better to the surface. After some time the coat of oil based paint or latex exterior masonry paint is applied.
Latex paints are water based paints while oil based paints are of course oil based. Latex paints are cheaper as they tend to be water based, the equipment for painting can be cleaned easily with plain water. Also, they are environment friendly compared to oil based paints. Oil based paints can be expensive as equipment is cleaned using a special solvent, but they generally tend to be tougher than water based paints.
Once you have applied a coat of paint, you can apply a second coat if you want. After paint application is done apply a high gloss finish to the surface. High gloss finish are tough finishes which can be scrubbed, which makes them easy to clean. Also, they resist wear and tear. However, their high shine appearance is undesirable to many homeowners.
Certain special paints are specifically made by keeping in mind exterior concrete surfaces. Using these type of paints has many benefits. These paints don't require application of primer, sealer or a gloss finish. This can really save the painting duration and cost. But, sometimes reapplications of these paints are required. Still, these paints are cost-effective and time saving and so are better. Some of these paints are cement based paints, exterior aluminum paints or special latex paints.
One such paint is Crete-Coat which comes in various colors, it has low sheen and resists growth of mold or mildew. Generally, paint is applied to concrete after it has fully cured. But, this paint can be applied on fresh or fully cured concrete surfaces. However, it is wise to always prepare the concrete surface well prior to painting for a well finished paint job. Sherwin-Williams is another leading brand when it comes to exterior tough paints.
One product by them called PORCH & FLOOR ENAMEL is great for painting patios and other exterior surfaces. Another manufacturer called Firwood has Firlex 94 paint which can be used for both exterior are interior surface. This paint can be applied on wood, steel and concrete. A single coat of this paint is enough. These are all quality paints, however, if the place is a high traffic region, then you might need frequent reapplications.
Choose any of the suitable concrete paint, according to your requirements. If you already have primer, sealer, gloss and paint leftover from a previous paint job, then paint the concrete yourself, to avoid the paint to go waste. But, if you don't have paint, then apply tougher specially formulated strong exterior concrete surface paints to protect the surface better. If you are painting exterior concrete walkways or floors, then you can mix some silica sand to it to create a non-skid surface.