How To Paint An Exterior Concrete Wall

Concrete patio flooring is easily customized with stain products that let the natural concrete texture show through. But when you're painting an exterior concrete wall, you might want something a bit more full coverage. With a little bit of prep work and the right products, you can have an attractive wall with relatively little effort.

Note that light patching and painting aren't sufficient fixes for a concrete wall with large, structural cracks. You want to hire a concrete repair company to make sure the wall is safe before making any cosmetic changes. And if you're at all nervous about painting the wall yourself, call a painting contractor. It's well worth the price to have a quick, professional-quality painted wall:

Things You Need:

  • Pressure washer
  • Masonry conditioner
  • Paint roller
  • Concrete patch product
  • Trowel
  • Satin finish acrylic exterior paint
  • Paint brushes

Step 1: Prep the Wall

You want the wall to have a clean, smooth surface before painting. Start by using a pressure washer to deep clean the surface of the wall until all debris and dirt is removed. Allow the wall to dry for a couple of days before continuing.

Read the directions on a masonry conditioner. Use a paint roller to apply the conditioner across the entire wall. This step prevents the porous concrete from sucking up most of the paint once it's applied. Allow the conditioner to dry according to package directions.

Next, use a concrete patch product and a trowel to seal up any large cracks or holes in the concrete. Don't waste your time covering every tiny crack as most of those will be sufficiently covered by the paint.  But make sure you adequately cover the larger cracks with a careful hand. Allow the patch to dry according to package directions.

Step 2: Paint the Wall

The most important part of this project is selecting the right kind of paint. You want a 100% acrylic exterior paint that already has a primer built into the paint. Make sure it has a satin finish as a flat or matte finish will draw more attention to any flaws in the wall's concrete. Likewise, darker or deeper tones will look better over the concrete than lighter shades.

Use a combination of paint roller and paintbrushes to fully paint the wall. Work in small sections if it's a large wall as its more important to get the job done correctly than quickly. Allow the paint to dry for a few days before applying a weatherproof sealant.

Put in a week or two of hard work and don't like the results? Call a concrete contractor in your area and have a professional come out and design the wall of your dreams.