You may not find spray paint specifically designed for concrete, but you can definitely use spray paint on concrete.
Pretty much every outdoor rated spray paint can be used on concrete. It doesn’t matter whether you’re spraying concrete walls, floors, or statues.
For best results stick to acrylic paints that have an outdoor rating. Acrylic paints are chemical based paints that have a lot of desirable qualities.
First and foremost, acrylic paints adhere to lots of different surfaces. This is why you’ll notice a lot of acrylic spray paints marketed for general outdoor use. These paints work well on metals, woods, wicker, plastic, and masonry.
The only surface that acrylic spray paint will have difficulty with is surfaces that have previously been painted with oil-based paints.
Another great thing about acrylic paint is that it has quite a lot of elastic capabilities. This means that it can expand and contract with the weather conditions. This is important because concrete, despite its dense appearance, does expand slightly when warm. Because the acrylic can match this movement, the paint is less likely to crack.
If you can’t find acrylic spray paint, all purpose exterior paint will usually suffice. Just make sure it is rated for outdoor use and that it is fully waterproof.
If you don’t want to use spray paint, you can use a concrete stain spray. These are not designed to mimic the appearance of concrete, instead they aim to add color to otherwise dull, drab, concrete flooring.
Concrete stain is harder to come by in spray paint form, but it’s out there. Rust-oleum, for example, has a few different stain sprays.
More often than not, stain is sold as a liquid that can be sprayed onto concrete using a chemical sprayer.
How Long Does Spray Paint Last on Concrete?
If applied properly, spray paint has a similar life span to other paints which is a number of years. It depends on the kind of weather and use the area is exposed to and also how well the paint was applied.
Let’s look at the application first.
Before you apply spray paint to concrete, you need to make sure it is clean, dry, and free from particulates. If you don’t thoroughly clean and dry your concrete before painting, the spray paint won’t be able to adhere to the surface of the concrete. This is because it will end up sticking to the particulates hanging around on the surface.
A power washer is one of the best and easiest ways to clean up your concrete. If it’s particularly dirty or oily, like a garage floor, use some concrete cleaner too.
If the concrete has been previously painted, you will need to remove any loose or flaky paint. Again, this is just to make sure that the new paint goes on smooth and adheres to the concrete.
If you want the concrete to have a smooth and even surface, you should use a primer. This stuff fills pores and creates an even surface for the paint. If you don’t mind the porous concrete look then you can skip the primer step.
You can now apply the spray paint. It might help to do a base coat, especially if you haven’t used primer. A base coat can be in the color you’re going to use for the rest of the wall or a neutral white color.
Make sure to let the paint dry between coats. This will help your paint job last longer as the paint is creating cured and adhered layers. It is particularly important to let the base coat fully dry and cure as this coat is the one that actually has to stick to the concrete.
Once you’ve finished, you can add a clear enamel or gloss coating if you want a shiny look. If you don’t then just leave it as is.
Provided you follow these steps, you can expect to see your paint last 3 – 5 years.
High traffic areas like garage floors or driveways will not last quite as long. If they see lots of action you can find yourself repainting after a year or so.
If you’re painting something that spends a lot of time outdoors like a wall or plant pot, make sure the paint is outdoor rated. This ensures that it is waterproof and has some level of UV protection.
Is There a Spray Paint that Looks Like Concrete?
Yes, there is!
There are lots of spray paints out there that are designed to look like concrete. In fact, you can get spray paints that mimic many different kinds of stone and building materials including terracotta and brick.
There are two different ways of creating a concrete effect.
Some paints use mixed colors to create the depth and dimension that you get with concrete. These paints often contain glitter like particles that reflect light to create highlights and shadowed areas.
Other paints are called textured paints. These often have small sand or silicone particles inside the can. These particles are expelled with the paint and create a bumpy, stone like texture.
Textured paints don’t keep well as the sand has a habit of clogging up the tubes and holes. If you are going to use this paint, it is best to use the whole can in one go.
The other thing you need to be aware of is the fact that you’ll need more textured paint than if you were using non-textured paint. Not only does the sand take up room in the can, therefore reducing the space for paint, but it also doesn’t cover as well as normal paint.
Most people find that they need to buy double the number of textured spray paint cans compared to normal spray paint cans.
As with any other paint, if you’re using it on concrete outside or concrete that gets wet, make sure it’s waterproof and rated for outdoor use.
If you use indoor paint on external concrete, you’ll find that it washes away with the first decent rainstorm. This is obviously not ideal, so try to get it right the first time around.