What Kind of Paint Can Be Used on Concrete? (FAQs Answered)

The most recommended paint for concrete is masonry paint. This is also known as elastomeric wall coating or elastomeric paint. What makes it a great choice for concrete is how it is formulated binders that have the ability to expand alongside the expansion of the pores of the concrete. Painting concrete may seem as challenging as painting any other surface. The only difference is the porous properties of concrete. We have rounded up the most frequently asked questions in painting concrete with answers that can help you along the way. 

Does Using Acrylic Paint Work on Concrete?

Acrylic paint is often used on concrete slabs and other concrete surfaces. The drawback that comes alongside is how the formula of acrylic paint is not formulated to withstand stress and traffic that is received by both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Acrylic can be used on concrete but it requires a sealer to ensure that the paint coat does not crack or chip away over a short period of time. Considering that acrylic paint is a water-based product, it can easily adhere to the textures of masonry surfaces wherein it is suggested to be used to paint steps, walls, floors, and even a common block surface. 

Is Painting Concrete an Advantage?

Believe it or not, painting concrete is a benefit to improve its durability. It makes the concrete last longer than expected. This is why staining or painting concrete walls can work well in transforming worn-out floors or walls to good as new. Concrete surfaces tend to be textured and dusty, painting the surface will allow it to make maintenance and cleaning more manageable. It is all about choosing the right paint for concrete in order to ensure its adherence to the surface longer than intended. 

Should Concrete be Primed Prior to Painting?

Just like any other painting job, concrete is required to be prepped and primed but using a primer depends on the type of paint that is used. Some brands of paint are formulated with primer while some do not. It would serve you best to read guidelines and labels in order to know if you still need to prime the surface considering that concrete creates a porous surface. There is a high probability that the paint will just be absorbed instead of maintaining the coating of the paint. Without the use of the right primer, there is a high probability that the coating will crack and peel over time. 

How Long Does Concrete Paint Last?

The adherence of the paint on concrete depends on the type of paint and finish that was used and the procedures that were followed. On average, it takes three to five years for the paint coating to chip or discolor in concrete. Thus, an application of a new coat is required. In some cases, it takes much longer, especially if they are used in low-traffic areas. It is all about ensuring that the paint can withstand the environmental factors of the space. Changing the color on a yearly basis would work too, especially if you have the habit of remodeling and redecorating every now and then.

What Works Best for Concrete Floors?

Concrete floors accept the most weight and stress because of the traffic and mobility of the space. Thus, proving that they require a highly durable type of paint. Latex-based paints are highly recommended for concrete floors because they dry with a hard and protective coating. This allows the floor to endure nicks, stains, and even scratches. Even without a primer coating, latex-based paint will do the trick because they are formulated to withstand extreme weight and fluctuating environmental factors. 

What is the Best Paint for Concrete Walls?

When it comes to the interior concrete walls, latex paint is highly recommended. It would be best to work with satin or eggshell finish, especially if they have little to no exposure to duress. For walls of high-traffic areas such as playrooms, and workrooms, semi-gloss to high-gloss paint finishes are highly recommended for extra protection against chipping and discoloration due to stains. For the exterior concrete walls, we highly recommend using acrylic paint that is formulated for exterior use. They are designed to withstand different weather conditions and protection against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. 

Which Between Painting or Staining Works on Concrete?

Between staining and painting concrete, staining offers a longer and more durable finish since they do not have the ability to flake, chip, or peel. It is explained that staining concrete is not just a layer of paint but it goes beyond the pores of the concrete surface. The only drawback of this process is how they discolor over time that is why it is recommended to be used alongside the application of a topcoat or a protective layer, especially when the surface endures traffic or extreme weather conditions. 

What is Best Used to Seal Acrylic Paint on Concrete?

If you are using acrylic paint on concrete, the best way to seal the paint is by etching the paint coat with acid. This will help the layer of paint develop a stronger adherence to the surface. A combined solution of diluted ammonia and muriatic acid is the best way to go. Before painting, it is also recommended to fill the holes and inconsistencies of the surface using a vinyl concrete patch to layer an even coat of acrylic paint on concrete. 

When Acrylic Paint is Used, is it Permanent on Concrete?

The permanence of acrylic paint on concrete depends on the quality of the paint as well as its adherence to the surface. No paint permanently sticks to concrete. Eventually, they will crack, peel, and would not keep up with the stress and exposure to extreme weather conditions. Over time, the quality of the coating will alleviate which will require you to reapply. If you want acrylic paint to last longer than you expected, we highly recommend etching the paint coating with a combined formula of muriatic acid and diluted ammonia. 

What Happens When Regular Paint is Used on Concrete?

There is a paint formulated for a specific purpose. Now, using regular paint on concrete is possible but you do not expect the paint to adhere to the surface long enough. It can be used as a primer though in order to fill in the concrete pores. This way, it helps you achieve your ideal transparency and evenness of the paint coat. If it used as the main paint without proper priming and sealing, expect how it can peel and chip even in shortest amount of time. We still recommend using masonry or latex paint for concrete walls for ease of application.