Can You Paint Patio Slabs? The Steps To Do It Like A Pro

When the sun comes out, it’s the perfect time to spend an afternoon in the garden, having a barbecue, sunbathing, drinking a refreshing cocktail, or jumping in the pool. To achieve this dream scenario, you’ll need a patio area in good condition! Having a patio that combines with the exterior cladding and style of your home adds to your decor. You will never hesitate to invite your friends over to enjoy the brilliant weather.

And maybe you already know how to clean your decking and patio slabs using patio cleaners, but what else can you do about it? How about some paint? These durable beauties seduce the eye with their splendid textures, and their superior quality assures you that they will be there for many years to come. From the sand-style finish that will transform the edge of your pool into a beach to the wood-like textures worthy of seaside walks. Check our step-by-step guide and give yours a splash of colour!

Which is the best time to paint your concrete patio?

Before applying the exterior coating, check the weather forecast. Unless your terrace is in the shade, choose a cloudy day. Never use paint under direct sunlight; this affects the product’s adhesion and colour consistency. The ambient temperature and surface temperature should remain between 10 and 32 degrees Celsius for 24 hours

Also, patio paint should be applied when the relative humidity is between 40-70%. Too high a rate may change the gloss and drying time. Indicated by the manufacturer, the latter corresponds to the expected time frame under normal conditions, such as a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 40%. It may therefore vary if these conditions change. Also, refrain from getting to work if rain, dew, or frost are in the forecast for the next three days. 

What kind of paint should you use?

Since you paint concrete on the outside, it’s not just any paint that will do. Ordinary exterior colours may crack on a concrete surface and flake shortly after application. Acrylic patio paint provides a sealed surface until it dries.

Several types of paint will work for your outdoor patio made of concrete, and these include:

  1. Concrete paints

Manufacturers are producing nowadays a great variety of paints, not all of which contain the same ingredients. Compounds in those protect terraces from stains caused by water, salt, oil, and grease. These paints are created and tested specifically to conform to concrete and withstand temperature changes, humidity, and acid attacks.

  1. Latex paints

When it comes to using latex paints for your concrete slabs, you should know that their main benefit is being abrasion-resistant.

  1. Epoxy paints

Other paints, such as epoxy paint, adheres well but degrades over time in case of exposure to rain or frost.

DIY: How to paint your paving slabs step-by-step

If you want to add colour and life to a dull grey concrete, paint is what you need. You can match the patio colour to your home decor or create an attractive contrast that helps distinguish your patio.

Repainting an already painted patio made of concrete can present a bit of a challenge if the area you want to work on is exposed to water or heavy traffic. If you don’t paint properly, the result might not be up to the expectations. First, you must remove all of the existing paint before moving forward with your DIY project. Then prepare the concrete itself for its new coat. If you do just right, you will have a lovely, neat, painted patio with a new surface to last for years.

Things you need for this tutorial:

  • A high-pressure washer
  • A scraper
  • A paintbrush
  • A paint roller
  • A paint tray
  • Roller sleeves
  • Rags
  • Sodium phosphate
  • Repair cement
  • Waterproofing
  • A primer for concrete
  • Paint for concrete
  1. Clean the concrete slabs

    Thoroughly clean your concrete floor to remove dirt and debris. You don’t want anything to interfere with the paint and the surface, or worse, to mix with the new paint. 
    For optimal cleaning, mix water and some mild detergent and rub the concrete with a broom or long-handled brush. Be sure to rinse all the soap and let the patio dry. After drying, use a good quality broom or vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust that may have remained on site.

    Woman cleans stone slabs with a pressure washer

  2. Apply patio paint

    As long as you choose high-quality concrete exterior paint, you will have no problem adequately covering the patio area. Paint products usually specify whether they are suitable for outdoor use and on which surfaces they will perform best.
    To start your project, mix your paint well and pour it into the tray. Use a long-handled roller to get the best results. Don’t be afraid to apply a couple of coats of paint. Several thin layers are better and more substantial than a few thick layers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the paintbox for drying time before adding a second coat. Although you can get away with a single layer, applying more layers will make the paint more resistant to flaking or peeling in the future.
    Allow the paint to dry completely before continuing. Depending on the type of paint you use, it can take 24 to 72 hours. If you plan to apply a second-colour paint as a border or decoration, you should apply it after the first colour has completely dried. Once the concrete masonry paint is dry, it’s time for stencilling the patio paving slabs using a dizzy duck design stencil.

  3. Clean the patio again

    Wipe the patio again with a slightly damp cloth or mop. It will help you remove dust or debris that has been deposited since the paint dried. Allow the surface of the concrete patio for two to three hours just to be sure it’s completely dry. Only then should you start applying your transparent sealant.

  4. Apply transparent sealer

    Pour the transparent sealant into a clean paint tray and roll it over the deck with your paint roller. Allow an hour or two for the sealer to dry between layers. 
    Unlike paint, there is never too much sealant. Apply as many layers as possible. The more layers of transparent sealant you apply, the more robust and durable the finish will be. Allow the surface to dry completely before stepping on it.
    Someone applying varnish on concrete floor
    During the process, you might need to use a plastic sheet to cover the patio to make sure it won’t get wet from the rain, but make sure the tarp doesn’t touch the concrete.

What kind of colour is best for your concrete paving slabs?

To help you decide what colour to paint your patio, consider what is the exterior of your home and what colour is your patio furniture. Bring samples with you to the paint store to compare your existing decor with your paint choices. Don’t hesitate to ask the specialist for help and advice!

The browns

Browns bring a warm feeling to the terraces and blend perfectly into a natural environment. The richness of a darker brown, like mahogany, adds elegance to the result. A lighter brown like cedar is perfect for casual areas, as it adds light and life. Some browns can be almost black, like ebony, and provide a modern ambience adapted to townhouses’ terraces.

The Reds

Red has always been popular and probably will be in high demand for a long time to come. Reds bring an inviting feeling that other colours can’t replicate. Red is also an excellent colour for entertainment, as it creates a festive atmosphere.

The greys

Contrary to what one might think, grey is not a dull colour when used well. And it can add character! There are many variations of grey paints, ranging from light grey to dark tones. The trend is to use this beautiful neutral colour to bring out bright colours like reds and yellows. Grey can also work with contrasting colours, such as black and white, to create a modern palette.

The blues

Blue belongs to a range of coastal colours that dominate trends each year. They come in many shades, but one of the most popular is a more discreet tone that is almost a “grey-blue.” This almost neutral blue lays the foundation for a subtle, calm, and soothing coastal theme. Another popular blue is a brighter and richer tone that is perfect for a Mediterranean theme. This kind of blue has a vibrant energy and gives the impression of being on a beach.

Painting a concrete floor allows you to customize the decoration of your outdoor space without major work. Simple and quick to do, painting concrete patio slabs is an outdoor space makeover that has the advantage of being accessible to everyone.

If your concrete patio is looking a bit roughed up, then you can upgrade it with some paint and give it a whole new look. Now, you can get a kind of new patio with just a little bit of effort! Concrete paint is much cheaper than replacing the concrete, and you can choose a colour to match your home decor. Keep in mind that concrete exterior paint can be a tedious task, so allow at least a week for the project to be completed.

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