What's the best way to paint concrete walls?

Answered by Brett ~ January 16, 2012 ~ No Comments

I want to paint the concrete walls in my laundry room, which are very rough and old. What's the best way to paint these types of surfaces?

John ~ Ft.Myers, FL

Brett Kulina

John, although painting an interior concrete wall is almost as simple as painting interior sheet rock, there are a few extra steps needed to insure a good looking finish that will last. The initial step is to clean the concrete wall with some TSP (trisodium phosphate), which should remove any dirt or grease on the wall. If the surface is in really bad shape, then you may need to use a cleaner specially made for masonry surfaces.

Once the surface is clean, then you will need to seal the concrete using a concrete sealing product. You may first need to use a wire brush to remove any loose particles before you can properly seal the wall. Concrete sealers are designed to fill the small pores in the wall surface and can help prevent moisture from getting behind the paint. Keep in mind that some sealers are not compatible with some wall coatings, so always select products that are compatible. It's also worth noting that some concrete sealers can take up to seven days or longer to fully cure, so plan accordingly.

The final steps are to prime and paint the wall. Most paint manufacturers offer some sort of elastomeric paint, which is basically a paint with additives that allow the paint to move with the contraction and expansion of the concrete surface without cracking or peeling. Benjamin Moore sells their Super-Spec Masonary Acrylic Latex Paint, which is a fine product for walls that are good shape. You may want to visit a paint supply store in the Ft.Meyers area so that you can see the different color options that are available and gather some prices on the needed materials.

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