Preventing Peeling Paint on Concrete

Painting a porch can allow an unfinished concrete porch to turn into a refreshing patio. With paint on concrete, there is the potential for paint to flake or bubble. While there are repair options available, remember that the repairs or renovations are time consuming and must not be rushed. To get the best and longest lasting outcome, preparation will be key.

The Cause

The most common cause of flaking paint on a concrete patio is lack of proper cleaning inhibiting the bonding process. Excessive moisture can also cause flaking to occur, especially in those concrete slabs that are installed at ground level without a proper moisture barrier.

To test for moisture barrier, put a 2 foot square of plastic down overnight. Tape or weight it down. In the morning, look for water droplets or discoloration on the current paint noting water. If you find either droplets or discoloration, you’re going to need to apply a moisture barrier before proceeding.

Another cause of flaking on older concrete patios can be due to the nature of the paint used. Some homeowners put oil-based paints on unfinished, unetched or uncured concrete. When the concrete is not properly prepared for paint, the concrete alkaloids react to the oil-based components of the floor. This process is called saponification. It creates a soapy film that prevents oil-based paint from adhering to the flooring. After time, this leads to flaking.

Repairing the Concrete

The first step to a great looking repair is to remove the flaking paint. Use a wire brush to remove the previous paint from the surface. You must remove all traces of the previous paint, especially if it’s oil-based paint. For a quicker (but far messier) removal, use a sandblaster.

Once the paint is removed, clean the surface with a trisodium phosphate to remove any remaining residue, grease or dirt. Removing these is crucial to get good adhesion and prevent future peeling.

Next, use an acid etching compound to rough up the finish and create a porous surface for your new paint to bond to. Follow the directions on the etching compound precisely to avoid damaging the surface. Once you’re done with the etching, use a vacuum to remove dust and chemicals that remain.

Refinishing the Concrete

To begin with, use a quality concrete sealer to hold out moisture from under the new paint coating you’re putting down. Apply it as directed on the manufacturer’s label. Allow the sealer to dry fully and apply a second coat if necessary.

Once the sealer is dry, add two coats of masonry primer. After the dry time, it’s time to paint. When purchasing your paints, be sure that the ones you choose are made for outdoor masonry floors. Add at least two coats of paint with full dry time between the coats. For best results, apply thin, even coats. This ensures even dry time and a finished hard, durable surface.

Consider Additives

When putting masonry paint down, the finish can be somewhat slick, especially when wet. Additives allow you to create a texture on top of your paint. This means a slip resistant surface on top of the paint.

Schedule with Us

If you’re ready to update the paint on a concrete porch but not up to the task, we’re here to help. Our crews are experts at updating patios and porches with new paint. The crew can get your job done quickly and beautifully. Schedule a free, no-obligation estimate appointment today to get started.

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