Do you want to paint the concrete structure in your yard? Do you wish to renovate your area by painting sidewalk concrete?

If yes, then you must want to know how to paint the concrete. This task may be new for you so you may be nervous and want some guidance. I know a lot of you may be confused and a bit worried about how to paint sidewalk concrete.

To help you, I am going to discuss the whole painting sidewalk concrete method. So, gear up to learn and paint your concrete sidewalk with these easy steps and hacks.

Learn How To Paint Sidewalk Concrete

Unpainted Clean Sidewalk Concrete pathway.
Unpainted Clean Sidewalk Concrete.

Concrete is becoming popular among interior designers and homeowners for various reasons. People use it to make their ceilings, floors, patios, and other attractive concrete structures. It is replacing polymeric sand in a lot of projects.

You may have seen it in basements, sheds, and garages of your home. Moreover, it is a famous material for making sidewalks.

But, the concrete structure doesn’t have any attractive colors. You may not like its dull gray look because it looks boring and sometimes stains easily. So, learning how to paint sidewalk concrete will make it more appealing.

But, this task requires expertise and knowledge. You can’t take just any paint and roller in your hand and simply start painting sidewalk concrete. You need to follow a proper method along with some hacks to successfully paint your sidewalk.

In fact, the method and tips can differ a bit if your concrete is old or if it has already been painted. So, I am going to discuss common methods that all of you should follow when painting sidewalk concrete. Let’s get started.

1. Clean the Concrete Surface

Man Painting Sidewalk Concrete.
Man Painting Sidewalk Concrete.

It doesn’t matter if you paint sidewalk concrete that is old or new, you should clean the concrete surface. You must always free it from any kind of dust, debris, leaves, rocks, concrete anchors, and other particles. This is the crucial step in preparing your concrete surface for paint.

Sweep away every dirt particle and vacuum your concrete until it is completely clean and dust-free.

If you see any stains or grease on your concrete, you should try to remove them. Because they can interfere with the paint and can harm your project.

So, to remove these stains, take any heavy-duty detergent. After it, wash your concrete structure with this detergent. Hopefully, the stains and grease will lift off from it.

If there are tough oil stains that are not going away, you can use TSP to clean your concrete. TSP is the short form of trisodium phosphate.

You should mix this chemical with water. The exact ratio of water and TSP is mentioned on the packaging. So you should read the exact ratio before doing anything.

I highly suggest you wear gloves, glasses, and clothes for your protection. Because this cleanser can be strong, and can cause different health issues to you.

If your concrete is exceptionally dirty, you can go for pressure washing too. It will clean your concrete completely. If there are any weeds or bushes on it, this washing will wash them off from their roots.

But, pressure washing can be a bit harmful to your concrete structure. Because, excessive moisture can cause holes and cracks in the surface. So, you should keep it to 1750 PSI only.

At the end of this step, your concrete should be bare of any stain and fully clean for the paint. If there was previous paint on it, you should strip it off in this step.

For this, you can take any wire bush. Take out every previous layer of paint to make your concrete bare. You may also need some elbow grease for getting rid of old paint. You should do whatever it takes to get rid of the old layer.

2. Apply an Etching Solution

After cleaning the concrete, you should let it dry completely. You will notice that with this whole cleaning with water and cleanser, a white and powdery substance has come on its surface.

This substance can negatively impact your paint. So, you must get rid of it.

This white powder is known as efflorescence which is actually a salt deposit. You need an etching solution to get rid of it.

You just need to apply it on your surface before painting sidewalk concrete. This will thoroughly clean it and will make concrete free from any salty substance.

3. Apply Concrete Filler

You may notice various holes and cracks on your concrete surface. These are common because when moisture penetrates deep into the surface, it can cause cracks.

These cracks are dangerous for your new paint. Because whenever rain or water falls on the sidewalk, the moisture will trap in the cracks. This moisture can peel off the new paint.

So, you should fill these cracks before painting sidewalk concrete. For this, I suggest you use a concrete filler.

You can apply this concrete filler through a caulk gun or applicator, and then wait for it to dry. The instructions on the filler’s packet will tell you the exact time this chemical will take to dry.

Once it is thoroughly dry, you can sand the concrete to get rid of excessive filler.

4. Sand the Concrete Surface

Now, you need to check whether your concrete surface is even or not. If it is not, painting sidewalk concrete will not be a good decision.

So, you need to even the surface first.  For this, take any orbital sander and sand it on uneven surfaces.

Rub it on specific parts of your concrete sidewalk so that it eventually gets even. You will see a smooth and shiny surface after this step.

But, you may notice some dust on your concrete surface after this step. So, you should vacuum it before painting the surface.

5. Apply Concrete Paint Primer

Before painting concrete sidewalk, you should apply the primer first. This primer will make sure that the paint remains stuck to the concrete surface.

If you do not apply the primer, your paint will chip off very easily and quickly. You can use a brush to cut the edges and corners of your concrete surface.

After that, use a roller to cover the large surface. Normally, you need to apply only one coat of primer.

But, as you are painting sidewalk concrete, you should apply two coats of prime before going for the paint.

Let the first coat of primer dry off before applying the second one. You should apply it through the instructions on the packet of primer.

6. Apply three Coats of Paint

Now, you need to apply the paint. I suggest you choose the right paint color that will match its surroundings. For this project, you should have a high quality roller, paint and brush. With these tools, apply the first coat of paint.

When it will dry, then go for the second coat, and then the third one. You should wait for each coat to dry before doing the other coat.

7. Apply the Sealant

For painting sidewalk concrete, you should apply the sealant in the end. Because the sidewalk will be exposed to rain and sunlight on a daily basis.

Moisture and UV rays can negatively impact the paint on the sidewalk. But the sealant on it can protect the concrete surface.

Here, you should take thick masonry sealant, paint brush and roller to do the task.

So, this is the method of painting sidewalk concrete. This is the simple and easy method I have told you.

But in it, you need to keep some important points in your mind too.

Important Points to Remember For Painting Sidewalk Concrete

I have seen a lot of people don’t take care of these points while painting their concrete sidewalk. So, you should have these in your mind if you want to do your project perfectly.

  • It will take you almost one week to completely paint the sidewalk concrete. The moisture on the painted concrete will cost you a lot. So, you should check the weather forecast before starting your project.
  • You will find various paints and sealants on the market. So, you should select the paint that is appropriate for your concrete surface. This paint and sealant are thick so can cover the porous surface of concrete easily.
  • If you get confused while applying sealant or paint on the concrete surface, you should read the instructions on their packet. These instructions will greatly help you.
  • Before applying the paint, you should take a moisture test. This test will ensure that your surface is completely dry and ready for the paint. To do the moisture test, you should take an aluminum foil or plastic. Cover the surface with it and tape the four sides of the sidewalk firmly. After twenty four hours check the foil for any sign of dampness. If there will be none, you can paint your concrete without any worries.
  • You should apply masking or painter’s tape around your concrete’s edges. In this way, the paint will not impact the neighboring surfaces.
  • When you apply the first coat of paint, there can be bumps on it due to the excessive paint. You can use a putty knife or do sanding to even the surface. After getting rid of bumps, you should go for the final coat.
  • You must put excessive pressure on the paint roller when doing the last coating to give it a finalized look.

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