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How To Update A Concrete Foundation With Paint

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If you want to update your concrete foundation, give it a makeover with a coat of paint. Concrete is often gray, which can be dull, especially when you update the rest of the house.

However, since concrete surfaces are porous, it can be challenging to paint. It is still possible to paint the concrete foundation with the right techniques by following these tips.

Prepare to Paint the Foundation

To paint the foundation, gather:

  • work gloves
  • eye goggles
  • masking tape
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • rags
  • garden hose or pressure washer
  • trisodium phosphate
  • white vinegar (optional)
  • wire brush
  • paint scraper
  • paint brush and thick nap roller
  • acrylic concrete filler
  • concrete sealer
  • acrylic block fill primer and concrete paint or vinyl enamel paint

Try to pain during a three to four-day dry spell. Use lawn cutting tools to remove weeds or vines that may get in the way. 

Check for cracks, and fill them with concrete filler. If the foundation has been painted before, use the scraper or wire brush or remove the old paint flakes, then rinse with the hose or pressure washer. Otherwise, proceed to clean.

Clean and Seal

Prepare a bucket of trisodium phosphate according to directions, and scrub the surface. Be careful to not get any trisodium phosphate on your skin. Let the trisodium phosphate stand several minutes.

If you find white efflorescence stains, mix white vinegar and warm water in a bucket, dip the brush in the mixture, and scrub the surface. White efflorescence is a powder substance that often occurs on moist concrete. Use the hose or pressure washer to rinse, and let it dry for twenty-four hours.

Lay drop cloths or plastic around the base. Since concrete is porous, you will need to seal it before priming. Let the sealer dry, which usually takes five to seven days, then cover adjacent wall and driveway borders with masking tape.

Prime and Paint 

If the concrete has just been laid recently, wait about thirty days before you change the color, so the structure can set. Blocking primer helps to make the surface even, and it covers pores. Prime the surface, making a three-inch thin strip around the edges with the brush. If there are grooves, prime them first. 

After you prime the edges, roll primer on the rest of the surface, cleaning extra with rags. Let the first coat dry, and add two to three more thin coats as needed for coverage.

Apply concrete paint or vinyl enamel paint for better adhesion. Paint the surface in the same manner as the primer starting with the edges or grooves, followed by flat surfaces. Let the first coat dry and add another coat, if needed.


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