Reader Question: Exterior Concrete

Written by on December 8, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 3 Comments

Question: Hi.  I often read your articles in APC magazine and enjoy your simple, down to earth explanation of things.  I often feel as confused today about which product to use as I did many years ago as a helper.

My question is: I am re-painting an exterior concrete patio and am not sure how to prep it.  It is basically an extension of the sidewalk that lays in front of an apartment.  There is patio furniture on it which will remain after the new coating.  I don’t know the current coating on there but it is peeling bad with the concrete substrate exposed.  Obviously I am going to scrape loose paint but not sure what else to prep with.  Primer?  This is not new concrete.   I have a one part urethane based top coat for ext. Concrete.  Thanks for your help.
Tim.

Hi Tim

Thanks for your comments and question.

I know the condition you are describing. And often, customers are not ready for a full on strip and refinish. It is more of a maintenance situation until the point of catastrophic failure.

Usually, if the existing finish isn’t obnoxiously peeling and failing, it is possible to scrape the loose stuff, then use a wire brush or even a wire wheel attachment on a dril (or a grinder) to get the stuff that hasn’t started peeling yet. Vacuum thoroughly, the dust is fine and the surface is rough, a bad combo. Depending on the amount of bare surface exposed, you might consider doing a concrete cleaner or a quick etch. Every situation is different, but these are some practical and effective options. Also, consider using one of those sand texture additives for traction.

Good luck with the project, let us know if you have other questions and keep us posted on your experience.

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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3 Reader Comments

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  1. Deanna says:

    Scott, I forgot to add in my email that we strain the paint every time as well as throughly clean the spray gun every time. I look forward to hearing from you. sincerley , Deanna

  2. Deanna says:

    Hi Scott, my husband and I are remodeling our “new to us” home we bought this past September. We have removed all of the old cabinets out of the kitchen as we changed the floor plan. Our prep for the cabinets consisted of cleaning , sanding and filling in the hole where the knob was as we are changing were the new knobs will be. We used the air compressor to remove sanding debris , wiped down with water and dried with a lint free tac free cheese cloth. From there we used zinsior “bin” in the spray cans and primed all of the doors and bases. We did two coats of that to insure “no wood grain bleed thru” down the road. I’m hoping this was the correct thing to do. This was the recommendation of two different Ben dealers in my area.Also ,they both agreed using another primer over the bin was not nended. We choose Ben advanced simply white satin finish. My husband bought a conversation sprayer as that was recommended for cabinets, we are having a VERY VERY hard time! We have the compressor set between15 to 20 psi and have used two different caps on the sprayer. A 3 hole cap then tried a 6 hole cap to see if that would solve our problem.what seems to be happing time after time is the second the product is sprayed it immediately starts to form almost an “air pockted like ” tiny buble that randomly scatter thru out the cabinet doors and bases. We have changed the cap sizes, adjusted the air pressure, lightened up on how many strokes of paint we are applying etc… And yet,, this is still happing !!! Every time this happens the finial result is a sand like pitted feel Is felt and seen randomly scattered through out .Almost as if I’m feeling sand that got stuck in the paint. After a few days to a week later we then have to sand the paint down witch as you know scratches the surface and pulls off the finish. Reclean and start all over again. We don’t know what else to do. This has happened 4 or 5 times now. We are unsure if it’s the the temp of the room as we are doing this in an unheated basement and it’s pretty cold at least in the 50’s or is it the type of sprayer, ( is it possible we should use an airless sprayer instead)? Or is it the paint ?? Any info on this would be extremely appreciated! I apologize greatly for this very long email.

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