How to Paint a Concrete Wall

Painting a concrete wall can spruce up an area or make it blend in with the rest of the area's d├ęcor. However, there are some things to consider when painting a concrete wall. You must choose the appropriate type of concrete paint, determine if the wall is sealed from moisture and apply primer prior to painting the wall. Use these tips to paint a concrete wall.


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    Choose paint for your project.
    • Select paint appropriate for your outdoor project. You will need a paint that is resistant to moisture and sun exposure. Outdoor concrete paint is available for outdoor projects. However, an oil-based paint also may work for your needs.
    • Pick a paint for your indoor paint project. Basement concrete paint is available in many paint and home improvement stores, however you also can use an interior acrylic paint for the project.
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    Clean the concrete wall. For exterior projects, use a power washer to rid the wall of all dirt and dust. If your project is indoors, scrub the wall with soapy water and a scrub brush instead of using a power washer.
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    Repair any cracks or blemishes in your wall with concrete patch. Follow the directions to mix up the concrete patch mixture. Fill holes and use a trowel to smooth the patch to match the surface of the wall.
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    Check the wall for moisture. Paint applied to a wall that is not properly sealed will not adhere properly.
    • Tape plastic sheeting to the wall. Attempt to get the sheeting as air-tight as possible.
    • Check the plastic after 24 hours. If moisture appears within the plastic, you will need to seal the wall. If no moisture is present, the wall is already sealed.
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    Seal the concrete wall. Roll on 1 coat of concrete sealer and allow it to dry overnight. Concrete sealer is available at most hardware or home improvement stores.
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    Apply 1 coat of concrete primer. You can use rollers or brushes to apply the paint. Ensure the primer is applied evenly, whichever technique you use. Let it dry for 24 hours. If you can see the wall through the primer, apply 1 more coat.
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    Paint your wall with concrete paint. Paint should be applied in at least 3 thin layers. The paint may be sprayed on, rolled on or painted on with a brush. The paint should not be streaky or show brush strokes. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
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    Roll on concrete paint sealer. Cover with 2 coats, allowing it to dry between coats. Paint sealer helps the paint to adhere to the wall and last longer.


  • Keep pets and small children away from your painting project. The fumes can be harmful to them. Additionally, they may rub up against your wall while you are painting it.
  • Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles.
  • Make sure the area in which you are painting is well-ventilated. Concrete paint, primer and sealer have strong odors.
  • Wear old clothes to paint your concrete wall. Paint used for this project is likely to stain your clothes.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete patch
  • Trowel
  • Power washer
  • Scrub brush
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Tape
  • Concrete sealer
  • Paint rollers and brushes
  • Concrete primer
  • Concrete paint
  • Concrete paint sealer
  • Safety equipment (goggles and gloves)

Article Info

Categories: Concrete | Painting and Other Finishes