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Whether it’s a drive, part of our garden, or basement floor, most of us have concrete in some capacity in our homes. And let’s face it, it’s not attractive, is it? That dull grey color leaves much to be desired, and most of us wish it were a bit brighter, whiter, or colorful. Anything other than the grey color that it is.
So what can we do about it? Well, we can paint over it to add some creativity and color into our lives! Many people opt to paint over their concrete to add a personal touch to their homes but face another challenge: what paint to use?
It can be hard to find the best paint for the job, which is why we are here today to help you on your way! We have the answers to all your concrete-related queries here so that you can leave today a concrete painting expert!
Is paint or stain better for concrete?
When it comes to painting or staining concrete, the better option depends on the concrete you are looking to cover and some other factors. Not quite the straightforward answer you were seeking, but stick with us as we help you make your decision!
Concrete stains come in two forms: water or acid staining and will add color to your concrete, but they are not without complications. Water concrete stainers are easy to use and can be applied once you clean the concrete but require sealants to prevent fading. You often need more than one application too for a deeper color.
Acid stainers, on the other hand, are more complicated to use. These can be incredibly dangerous and require protective equipment to avoid irritating your skin, lungs, and eyes. While these stainers will offer color to your concrete, there is no protection offered to the concrete, which often puts users off.
Concrete paint will cover your concrete surface and protect it, but they require a great deal of prep work beforehand. You will need to clean your concrete to remove any oil and grease and use muriatic acid to remove chemicals on your concrete surface. Muriatic acid is hazardous if inhaled, and you must be extremely careful when using it.
You then follow with a concrete primer before applying concrete paint and allowing it to dry. You need to ensure that you use the correct sealer to avoid moisture entering the concrete to impact its structural integrity.
It’s worth weighing these factors up when deciding whether to use paint or stainer. Both can be used indoors or outdoors and will offer color to your concrete, although be mindful it might need to be topped up.
Consider which steps sound better to you and the price of the stainer or paint when making your decision, and remember your protective clothing and equipment at all times to ensure your safety.
Can I stain concrete that has been painted?
Generally, no, you will not be able to stain concrete that has been painted. Once the surface of the concrete has been painted or sealed, staining treatments will not be able to penetrate the concrete. Usually, they would enter the concrete and react with the lime to stain the concrete, but thanks to the paint, it cannot.
If the concrete has been sealed after painting, too, then you are unable to stain the concrete and change the color. You can attempt to remove the sealer or paint using a caustic concrete stripper, which will remove the dirt, oil, and acrylic residue before you follow on with your stainer.
You will need to be incredibly careful when using the caustic concrete sealer, as caustic soda can be dangerous. You will need to use protective gear and clothing to avoid any skin irritations. You will need to be mindful when using these strippers, as although they will remove the acrylic sealant, you still might not be able to stain the painted concrete successfully.
The stripper might remove some of the paint colors, but not all, impacting the stain result. You might have a slightly different effect than anticipated, and it is best to be prepared for this before you begin the stripping and staining process.
Generally speaking, the risk of different effects and the stain not working properly, staining over painted concrete is something that we don’t recommend.
Can you color cement with paint?
Yes, you can color cement with paint! Acrylic paint works best when coloring your cement, and you are likely to see great results! It is worth noting that while mixing color with the cement can leave you with colored concrete, it can fade over time depending on the color and ingredients used.
For best results, you will want to use a bright color to ensure its longevity, even when it starts to fade slightly. You can use acrylic paint or a concrete coloring pigment, whichever you have available that will change the color of your concrete. The more pigment or paint you add, the stronger your color will be, so those after a bright and vibrant color go wild!
To combine the cement with your paint, mix the paint or concrete coloring pigment with water and add it to your concrete as the instructions say. Ensure that the color and cement are mixed well to avoid any patchy paint colors when you lay your concrete. It’s worth adding a little warm water, as this can make it easier to handle.
Once these have been mixed, pour or use your concrete as intended and allow it to set and cure. You might need to allow longer for your concrete to set thanks to the addition of paint, although this is unlikely.
Remember to wear protective clothing and gear when mixing your concrete and seek help from a professional if you require it! Following this method will allow you to mix paint with cement for colored concrete, but remember that it can fade over time, especially lighter colors!