How Do You Paint Concrete Steps?

Concrete is a great material to use for outdoor steps because they are sturdy and fairly easy to install. The concrete also lasts a lot longer than wood steps. However, the look of concrete leaves something to be desired. Luckily, it is possible to paint the concrete nearly any color you like to keep them looking brand new, and to add a bit of color to your yard:

What You Need

Before you begin any project, you should start by collecting the items you will need. To paint concrete steps, you need:

  • Heavy-duty stripper
  • Slip-proof masonry paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Masking tape
  • Concrete vapor transfer test kit (optional)

Prep the Steps

You will need to prepare the concrete steps before you can dive into the painting process. If you have newer concrete steps, they will first need to have the vapor transfer test kit applied to see if it will hold paint.

If you attempt to paint steps less than a year old without testing them, the paint might not hold and it will be a wasted effort. If the steps pass the test, you can start stripping the paint. You need a heavy-duty stripper because regular paint strippers don't work on concrete or masonry paint.

Once the paint is stripped, clean the steps thoroughly to remove dust, dirt build-up, rust, and grease. When they are clean, you can start taping them off. Tape any wall areas that the steps are connected to, as well as any railings, porch or patio surfaces that will not be painted. Masking tape works well for taping these things off.

Apply the First Coat

If you are using a primer, apply that first. The primer should be specifically for masonry or concrete materials. Traditional interior paint is not going to work properly on the concrete steps. The paint roller should only be used for surface area of the steps; use a small paintbrush to get the edges and corners evenly. The first coat of primer should be allowed to dry completely before you add a coat of paint. Read the instructions on the type of primer you are using for the drying time.

Paint the Steps

Once you are sure the primer is dry and have waited the recommended amount of time, you can paint the steps with your slip-proof masonry or concrete paint. Make sure the label states that it is slip-proof, since concrete itself can get slippery even before adding paint to it. You don't want to risk yourself or others getting injured while walking up and down them, especially after it rains.

Like with the primer, use the roller only for the large surface areas, and the paintbrush for all corners and edges. This gives you the clean lines you're going for. Wait for the paint to dry, then decide if it needs an additional coat.

The ideal day to paint concrete steps is when it is sunny with no rain or heavy winds on the forecast. To learn more, contact a company like Mylroie Painting Inc. with any questions you have.


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