Concrete Paint: What is it and When to Use it

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 11, 2022
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Concrete paint is a type of paint that is specifically designed for use on concrete surfaces. It is typically a thicker paint than regular wall paint, and it may contain special ingredients that help it to better adhere to concrete. Concrete paint is available in a variety of colors, and it can be used to create either a matte or glossy finish.

What is concrete paint

Concrete Stain vs. Concrete Paint: Which One is Right for Your Outdoor Living Space?

When it comes to enhancing the beauty of your outdoor living space, you have a few options to choose from, including concrete stain and concrete paint. While both options can add decorative and protective coating to your cement surface, there are some key differences to consider before deciding which one to hire for your editorial location.

Staining Concrete

Staining concrete is a popular option for those who want to add color to their exterior living space without sealing the surface. Here are some key features of concrete stains:

  • Stains penetrate the porous surface of the concrete, allowing moisture to flow freely in and out of the surface.
  • Stains come in a variety of colors, from earthy tones to bright hues.
  • Stains enhance the natural beauty of the concrete surface, highlighting its unique texture and pattern.
  • Stains are durable and can withstand harsh summer weather conditions.

Which One is Right for You?

When deciding between concrete stain and concrete paint, consider the following factors:

  • The location of your outdoor living space. If it’s in a high-moisture area, staining may be a better option.
  • Your desired colors. If you want bold, bright colors, painting may be the way to go.
  • Your furniture and decor. If you have decorative furniture and accessories, staining may enhance their natural beauty.
  • The durability you need. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, staining may be more durable than painting.

Why Painting Your Concrete is the Way to Go

One of the biggest advantages of using paint to color concrete is that it provides a long-lasting color that won’t fade or wear away easily. Unlike concrete stains that can fade over time, concrete paint is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy foot traffic. This means that you won’t have to worry about repainting your concrete every few years, saving you time and money in the long run.

Customizable Colors

Another advantage of using paint to color concrete is that it allows you to choose from a wide range of customizable colors. Whether you want to match the color of your house or create a unique design, concrete paint gives you the flexibility to choose the perfect color for your needs. Plus, you can mix and match colors to create a one-of-a-kind look that will make your concrete stand out.

Easy Application

Painting concrete is also relatively easy compared to other methods of coloring concrete. With the right tools and techniques, you can paint your concrete in just a few hours, making it a great DIY project for homeowners. Plus, most concrete paints are water-based, which means they are easy to clean up and won’t harm the environment.

Protective Coating

In addition to providing color, concrete paint also acts as a protective coating for your concrete. It can help prevent moisture from seeping into the concrete, which can cause cracks and other damage over time. Plus, it can protect your concrete from stains and other types of damage, making it a great investment for any homeowner.

Affordable Option

Finally, using paint to color concrete is a cost-effective option compared to other methods such as stamped concrete or tile. Concrete paint is relatively inexpensive and can be applied quickly and easily, making it a great option for homeowners on a budget.

Mastering the Art of Painting Concrete

Before applying paint to your concrete surface, it is essential to prepare the surface properly. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or contaminants that may interfere with the bond between the paint and the concrete.
  • Etch the surface with acid or mechanically abrade it to create a texture that will allow the paint to penetrate and adhere to the surface.
  • Stain the surface if applicable to create a decorative effect.
  • Prime the bare concrete surface with a recommended primer to ensure that the paint adheres properly to the surface.

Applying the Paint

Once you have prepared the surface, it’s time to apply the paint. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Apply the paint in thin layers to reduce the risk of failures caused by moisture or temperature changes.
  • Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat.
  • Test the paint on a small area of the surface to ensure that it adheres properly and dries to the desired color.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidance on the minimum and maximum temperatures for painting concrete (here’s how).
  • Reduce moisture on outdoor surfaces before application to ensure proper drying and curing.
  • Use slip-resistant paint for surfaces that will be walked on, such as decks or patios.

Drying and Curing

After applying the paint, it’s essential to allow it to dry and cure properly. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before walking on the surface.
  • Avoid exposing the painted surface to heavy traffic or harsh chemicals until it has fully cured.
  • Learn about the curing time of the paint you intend to use and follow the manufacturer’s guidance.

Testing the Bond

To ensure that the paint has bonded properly to the surface, perform a simple test:

  • Press a piece of duct tape firmly onto the painted surface and then quickly remove it.
  • If the paint comes off with the tape, it indicates that the bond between the paint and the surface is weak.
  • If the paint remains intact, it indicates that the bond is strong.

Slip-Resistant Properties of Concrete Paint

When it comes to flooring, safety should be the utmost priority. Concrete floors can be hazardous, especially when wet or covered in debris. Adding a coat of concrete paint can help reduce the potential for slips and falls.

Texture and Traction

Concrete paint can add texture to the surface of the floor, which can increase traction and reduce the risk of slipping. Some concrete paints incorporate abrasive materials to create a rougher surface, which can be especially helpful in areas that are prone to spills or moisture.

Visual Aesthetic

In addition to the safety benefits, concrete paint can also improve the visual aesthetic of the flooring. There are a variety of styles and finishes available, including polyurea coatings, vinyl chips, and polished concrete. These finishes can add unique visual elements to the space while also providing a tough and durable surface.

Confirming Slip-Resistance

When choosing a concrete paint product, it is important to confirm that it has slip-resistant properties. Some products may appear fine visually but may not actually provide the necessary traction to prevent slips and falls (here’s how to). Be sure to check the product information or consult with a professional to confirm the slip-resistance of the product before buying.

Choosing the Right Concrete Paint: What You Need to Know

  • What type of concrete surface are you painting? Is it a garage floor, a patio, or a pool deck? Different areas require different types of paint.
  • Consider the nature of the area. Does it get a lot of foot traffic? Is it exposed to extreme weather conditions? These factors will affect the type of paint you need.

Check the Product’s Specifics

  • What type of paint is it? Is it water-based or oil-based?
  • What finish does it offer? Is it glossy, satin, or matte?
  • What is the drying time? How long will it take for the paint to dry completely?
  • Does it require any special method or material to apply?
  • What is the maintenance like? Will it need regular upkeep or is it low-maintenance?

Look for Unique Features and Benefits

  • Does the paint offer any special benefits, such as being slip-resistant or UV-resistant?
  • Is it able to prevent damage from freeze and thaw cycles?
  • Does it include any particles or additives to increase its strength or performance?
  • Is it easy to clean and keep looking fresh?

Match the Paint to Your Preferences and Needs

  • What color do you want? Is the paint available in a wide variety of colors?
  • Do you prefer a certain brand or type of paint?
  • What is your budget? Are there cheaper versions of the paint available?
  • What do the expert reviews say about the paint?
  • Does the paint match the style and aesthetic of your home or business?

Check for Compatibility and Durability

  • Is the paint compatible with the concrete surface you want to cover?
  • Will it be able to withstand regular wear and tear?
  • How long will the paint last before it starts to fade or break down?
  • Is it able to resist damage from hot tires or chemicals?

Points to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Concrete Paint

  • Adding a new coat of paint to your concrete surface is an easy way to give it a fresh, new look.
  • Depending on the type of paint you choose, you may need to carry out some prep work before painting.
  • Some types of paint may require a bit of extra work to apply, but the end result will be worth it.
  • When picking a paint, it’s important to check the label and make sure it’s the right product for your specific needs.
  • Keep in mind that more expensive paints may offer better durability and longer-lasting finishes.
  • Always check the weather before starting your painting project. Extreme temperatures or humidity can affect the paint’s performance.
  • Block off the area you’re painting to prevent anyone from accidentally walking on the wet paint.

Removing Paint from Concrete: Tips and Tricks

Before you start removing paint from concrete, make sure to prepare the area properly. Here are some tips:

  • Remove any untreated stains or spills from the surface using a detergent and a sponge.
  • If the concrete has a sealer or wax coating, use a floor stripper to remove it.
  • If the paint is only on a spot or small area, cover the surrounding area with plastic to avoid damaging the surface.

Tools and Materials

To remove paint from concrete, you’ll need the following tools and materials:


Here’s how to remove paint from concrete:

  1. Apply acetone to the painted surface using a sponge or rag. Make sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.
  2. Let the acetone sit on the surface for a few minutes to absorb the paint.
  3. Use a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently scrape off the paint. Be careful not to damage the surface.
  4. If there are any remaining spots or stains, use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub them off.
  5. Repeat the process until all the paint is removed.


Once you’ve removed the paint from the concrete, here are some tips for aftercare:

  • If you plan on painting or resurfacing the concrete, make sure to clean the surface thoroughly and let it dry completely before applying any coating.
  • If the concrete has different textures, make sure to test the acetone on a small area first to avoid damaging the surface.

Removing paint from concrete can be a tedious process, but with the right tools and materials, it can be done effectively. Remember to take the necessary precautions and follow the steps carefully to avoid damaging the surface.


So, that’s how you can paint your concrete surfaces to make them look new again. It’s not as hard as you think, and the results are great. You can use concrete paint for just about anything, so don’t be afraid to try it. Just remember to prep the surface properly and use the right paint for the job. So, go ahead and give it a try!

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.