Home Decorating Tips

How to Repaint Concrete Walls and Make Them Look Brand New

Keen on repainting concrete walls? Check out this crash course on how to do it effectively!

Home Decorating Tips

How to Repaint Concrete Walls and Make Them Look Brand New

Posted on December 3, 2021

Tired of looking at boring concrete walls that have unfortunately been painted on? Don’t worry – you can always give them a makeover! If you’ve ever thought about repainting concrete walls, you’ve come to the right place. Learn about the steps and items involved in repainting a concrete wall with this quick read.

Cleaning a Concrete Wall Before Repainting

Compared to painting a brand new concrete wall, repainting an existing concrete surface can be tricky. It likely contains staining compounds, sealants, or even old paint. These substances may have already coated the surface or made their way into the material and affect the adhesion of the new coat of paint. Without good adhesion, paint problems like color discoloration, bubbles or air pockets, and others may prematurely appear.

This is why it’s important to thoroughly clean the concrete and get rid of materials that may be on the surface before repainting it. You wouldn’t want to work with a dirty surface because it can greatly affect the quality of your output. Here are the steps for preparation to know before repainting a concrete wall:

  • First, remove any plants or moss that are growing on the concrete surface. At this point, try to remove a white powder called efflorescence that appears on the concrete too. 
  • Use a long-handled brush to scrub a solution made of water and a household cleaning chemical onto the concrete. Let it dry, then use a dry mop to clean the surface.
  • If there are areas with loose or flaking paint, remove them. Make sure to scrape these areas clean with 120-grit sandpaper. You can also use this to go over already painted areas so they’ll end up with grit that’s needed for new paint.
  • Should there still be loosened paint, you can use a floor buffer to get rid of them and let the area dry after.
  • Check if the concrete surface has curing compounds, which appear as small spots below the paint. If there are spots, get ready with a solution made of denatured alcohol and hydrated lime (both in equal proportions). Use a spatula to mix these two substances until you form a paste.
  • Apply the paste on spots and provide time for the mixture to dry and harden. Once you spot a thin crust over the area, use a bristled brush to scrape or remove the dried paste. 

Sealing and Priming for Concrete Surfaces

This is an important step in preventing water from entering the concrete and causing issues like increased moisture and mold growth. Moreover, sealers help protect your concrete, prevent stains, and minimize the time (and possibly effort) needed for clean-up and maintenance. Two types of sealers you can use for concrete surfaces include:

  • Film-forming or surface-coating sealers made of acrylic, polyurethane, or epoxy
  • Penetrating sealers

If you’re unsure about the type of product to use for concrete, ask a professional for more help. Once you’ve decided on the ideal sealer, thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions on mixing, applying, curing, and/or storing the product. 

At this point, it can also be wise to consider using a primer. Much like a sealer, this product reduces air bubble formation and helps seal all “holes” in your concrete. Applying a primer can also allow the formation of a bond line that makes it easy for the coating to bond with the substrate, and improve surface durability and product adhesion.

Follow These Steps When Repainting a Concrete Wall

After you’ve prepared your concrete surfaces, ensured they’re cleaned, and are free of previous coatings or sealers, you can start repainting them. 

The key is to use paint specifically formulated for concrete surfaces. Concrete paints, which are non-reactive, come in many colors for you to choose from. These paints are also thicker in consistency, can be applied onto the surface with a paintbrush or roller, and can be easily cleaned up.

Once concrete paints are applied onto the surface, the product “fills” the pores of the concrete, helping you achieve an opaque, uniform, and consistent paint job in single or multiple coats. These paints are also good at hiding some cracks or minor flaws in concrete. However, the downside of concrete paints would be their tendency to chip as time passes, especially if they weren’t applied on a smooth surface.

Aside from paints, you also have the option of using acid-based stains that can penetrate through the concrete. When you spray the stains onto a surface, they react with salts and minerals in the surface, resulting in a surface with a rich, translucent, and long-lasting color that won’t chip or peel away. 

A drawback of using concrete stains, however, would be their unpredictability, meaning their longevity will depend on the composition of the concrete itself. You’ll also need to be careful when handling these stains by wearing protective equipment. Acid-based stains tend to be made of corrosive substances that emit strong odors and can trigger eye and skin irritation. 

Hopefully, these tips on how to repaint a concrete wall can help you achieve this task. And with Island Premium Paints, you can! As the first local brand with products that come with a Product Satisfaction Guarantee, you’re sure to find all the items you need for repainting a concrete wall.

 To discover home improvement tips for concrete surfaces and more, visit the Island Premium Paints website today for additional inspiration.


Our Products

Our line of high quality paints and products will give your home or project the vibrancy it needs.

Explore Colors

Ready to explore colorful possibiliies today? View our popular paint colo combination palettes for great color schemes and room design ideas for interior and exteriors.

Where to Buy

Get high-quality colors and finishes for your project from authorized Island paints dealers.