How To Paint Concrete: Patio Makeover

August 23, 2018


This summer we rejuvenated our old concrete patio with paint and now it looks amazing. We should have done it years ago. 
Painted Concrete DIY
When we first moved into our sweet beach cottage, the backyard was a blank slate, filled with trees and grass. While it was very picturesque, there was no place for a patio set or any seating for that matter. 

We knew things had to change.

Looking to put in something that would fit with the style of the home and the time period it was constructed, we went with a simple, colored concrete patio. It was inexpensive and suited the house well.

Of course, after about a decade of heavy use, full sun summers and extreme winters, the color began to fade and our charming cocoa tinted courtyard started to look like a parking lot. 

Not good. 

That's when we decided to take a risk and stain the concrete. And it was a fabulous decision...for a while. 

The process was easy enough and the results were very nice, but after two seasons, the salt we put down to prevent slips in ice and snow began eating away at the surface and we needed to stain again. And then again. That was not ideal.

Neither was the fact that while the stain did a wonderful job of adding color, it was too transparent to hide any of the imperfections that popped up as patio aged...chips, cracks, divots. 

When my husband tried to patch them, they just became darker colored chips, cracks and divots, but we weren't fooling anyone. It wasn't a good look. 

By this spring we had had enough of staining. 

Cracked Concrete Patio

At first, we were sure that we needed to rip the whole thing up and start over. Then my husband thought about renting a machine to grind away the surface of the concrete and level it all out with a skim coat. The surface was that bad in spots. 

You can see the lighter and darker spots in the photo...darker where the stain settled into divots, lighter in the areas where the rock salt and sand had worn away the finish. 

The more defined lines are where my husband used a concrete patch to fill in the cracks and larger holes. This was done after we made the decision to try paint, as part of the prep. 

Initially, I was reluctant to use paint. I thought it would make the patio look like...well, a giant painted slab. It's why we originally went with stain all those years ago. 

How To Paint A Concrete Patio

Then someone at our local hardware store recommended Benjamin Moore Floor and Patio paint. They said it really covers well and it was so easy to apply, we should try this first before going through the hassle of grinding and ripping.

Since that option sounded like an expensive, dirty and backbreaking process, we decided to give the paint a go...and as I'm sure you've already surmised, it worked out amazingly well. We should've done this first.

Benjamin Moore Floor and Patio Enamel Paint | How To Paint Cement

The prep was pretty straightforward and the application looked fabulous after one coat. We ended up using two coats, but that was only because we had them match a custom color from Home Depot's paint brochure and it wasn't mixed right, so we needed to go back for the proper hue and apply it over the first color.

Painting Cement

How'd we do it?


Well, for starters, there was no we. I was the paint color picker and the "I need to exchange this for the right color" girl. My husband did all the heavy lifting. Big surprise.

He began by power washing the patio. 

Next, he picked up some concrete patch, followed the instructions on the package to mix it up and then filled in the deep cracks and holes. 

When it was dry, he used a dishwashing soap, bleach and water and mixture to clean the patio again, this time with a nylon bristled broom to scrub the concrete clean. Once again he let it dry.

Then he used a roller to apply the paint to the concrete patio surface. He rolled straight up the edges and right over the wood dividers. He did use a brush in a few tight spots near the house.  It went on evenly and dried quickly. 

It was super easy to work with and the difference was dramatic. 

Before And After Painted Cement Patio

The surface is durable and not slippery, which is important, especially since it's near a pool...lots of wet feet.

You also can see how well it covered all the patched areas. The coverage is full and even, but does let the texture of the concrete show, which I really like.

It honestly looks like we put in a brand new patio.

And we've been enjoying it for several months, since we completed this task way back at the beginning of the season. However, as with many other projects around here, too much summer fun has kept me from sharing it until now.

Painted Outdoor Patio DIY

This morning, as I was writing it all up, I decided to snap a more recent photo. 

Cottage Garden Style Patio Ideas


And a fifteen year old patio that looks like we installed it this year. 

That's some makeover. 

Of course, only time will tell how this paint will hold up longterm.

But for now, we're good.

Would you ever paint concrete? 

How To Stain A Concrete Patio
How To Stain A Cement Or Concrete Patio

48 comments:

  1. Wow Kim, the difference is amazing! I love it so much. You gave your patio a beautiful new look. Loving all your plants and flowers too.

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    1. Thank you so much! It really has make the place a lot cheerier! The flowers help, too!! 😉

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  2. Oops, it's Brandi(dontdisturbthisgroove)! I accidentally signed in under my daughter's account.

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    1. Thanks Brandi!! Always fun to hear from you!

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  3. Looks great, Kim and esp. the current shot with all the nature and color! Good job.

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    1. Thank you Cheryl! And yes, the color makes a huge difference doesn't it?

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  4. I painted a concrete porch once, but was lazy and didn't do the prep. Do the prep! Your patio looks marvelous, dahling!

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    1. The prep is important, Nancy! I totally agree...especially when I'm not the one who has to do it...😉

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  5. My mom has painted their small covered patio and it always looks good. Yours looks great!

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    1. Thanks so much, Deanna! I bet your mom's patio is lovely....

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  6. This looks so great Kim. Great job. We have used this stuff before on our porch and sidewalks. Love it.
    Kris

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    1. It works great, Kris. It was the right choice for sure!

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  7. Looks so nice! I have a cement front porch that I'm getting ready to tackle. Thanks for the tips on prep work!

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    1. Thanks Melanie! Good luck, I bet it'll be beautiful!

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  8. Looks great, Kim! Is it holding up where your patio chairs slide in and out for sitting at the table? That seems like a tough area.

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    1. Thanks Carol! So far so good and the kids and hubby are not good about lifting and moving...they slide...

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  9. beautiful! you guys make a great team. :D XOXO

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    1. Thanks Tammy...sometimes it all comes together!

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  10. Wow - it looks amazing! After seeing this, I would paint too.

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    1. Thanks Mari. I was so hesitant, but so far I love it!

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  11. Kim, you have no idea how much I needed this post. We have a deck that is peeling from the paint, and it looks awful. It peels every year or so, and I'm thinking it must be the paint my dad has been using. I definitely have to try the BM. I have been wanting to do this project all summer, but we've had so much rain it has been impossible.

    Kim how did you remove the old paint from your patio, did you scrape it off?

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    1. It was a beautiful product Mary and it covered so well. We actually didn't remove any of the old stain. We just washed it well with a brush and patched any chipping areas...

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  12. That looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!! What a great transformation, Kim!!

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  13. Boy, does that look great. It looks brand new. You did a great job. Kim, on your Amazon site I see one of my "cheap" pillows. Does that mean that I can order any of them and you get benefit from them. I'm glad I saw this post as I was just about ready to order a couple more..xxoJudy

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    1. Hi Judy...yup, if you order anything from Amazon after clicking over from my site I make a few pennies. Thanks for asking! If you want to read my full disclosure links are posted at the bottom of my site.

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  14. Looks great!! I just love a freshly painted anything! I hope it holds up for you. After painting vinyl flooring in the bathroom, I am not sure I would ever paint a floor again after that disaster. I will have to wait to see how well yours holds up.

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    1. I was concerned about it, too, AnnMarie. So far, so good, but it's only been a few months. The guys at the store gave it 5 stars and they had a bunch of products for us to choose from. I hope they're right, but only time will tell. I'll keep you posted!

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  15. Hi,
    I pinned this idea. WOW, it looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your tips.
    Carla

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  16. Wonderful makeover . . .
    Looks fantastic!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! We're enjoying the look!

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  17. It looks wonderful, Kim! I've got a little "unruly" concrete out back too, I think I need to show this to my husband because I'd be up for painting it.

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    1. It was easier than we thought it's be, Gina and it's holding up beautifully so far!

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  18. The patio looks absolutely awesome!!!! I would not have thought paint on concrete would be durable but evidently I was wrong! So much we can do if we just try it:)

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    1. I was shocked at how well it came out, Cheri! You're absolutely right...just try!! Thanks for the visit!

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  19. It looks really great, Kim! You know even though I swear by concrete stain for indoor flooring, I've found it doesn't wear well outdoors. I recently used porch paint to makeover my bathroom floor--I'll keep it in mind for its intended use ;)

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    1. It did not hold up as well as we had hoped, Cecilia that's for sure. We have high hopes for the paint. I'll keep you posted!

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  20. Kim,
    Looks great! Enjoy those upcoming Fall days!
    Jemma

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  21. Hi Kim, the patio looks great and I like the color you chose. Hope you’re staying cool!!

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    1. Thanks Julie! We took a long time to pick it out.

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  22. That's great that you guys (OK, mostly your hubby) did all that work yourselves! It looks really nice. Our patio on the side of our house is old, too - around 18 years old - but it still looks good. No cracks or holes. Just dirty because trees overhang it, especially my neighbor's super annoying mulberry tree!

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    1. No mulberry trees here, but it really takes a beating with the pool water and the beach sand tracking in and over it all summer long. The winters are harsh and don't help either. We're hoping it holds up!

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  23. It looks amazing!! I love how it turned out and YES, I would definitely paint concrete. I'm all about taking the easy way out to improve the look of something. I just finished painting a chair (my first fabric painting project) and I'm still asking myself "why didn't I do this sooner?" Love and hugs to you sweet friend!!

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    1. Thanks Benita!! I have to say it was a total mess before, although, I swear it didn't look that terrible until winter hit. Much happier now!! xoxo

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