Why Can't I Just Use Standard Paint On Concrete?

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Painted concrete? These days, it's not as silly it sounds. Previously, paint on concrete was synonymous with tacky, chipped designs, failed applications, and DIY disasters. However, most failures to paint concrete result from improper priming, application, or paint choice. With the right approach and chemical mix, great painted concrete floors, walls, and features can be added to any home or business with ease. However, there are a lot of pitfalls to avoid when picking out your paint. The wrong choices, even if they stick, can result in chipped, scratched, and flaking concrete surfaces that won't stand the test of time. Standard, off-the-shelf paint often produces disappointing results when used on concrete features. Here's our guide to making sure that your painted concrete ends up looking as good as it should.

Why Doesn't Standard Paint Work?

Standard acrylic paints have a very short shelf-life when it comes to concrete. Paint formulated to attach to wood, metal, and plaster won't attach itself well to the microporous surface of a concrete slab. Attempts to use interior household paint with concrete usually end in a bare or half-flaked wall in less than a year if special measures aren't applied. Concrete tends to retain and absorb more ambient moisture than other building materials and always contains microscopic pores, dents, and fault lines. This means that the surface resin coat that forms through paint drying out can't solidify properly, and the paint itself will find it harder to stick in place. The paint fails through detaching slowly over time. In UK industrial, catering, and domestic spaces, this flaking effect will mean that the inadequate coat breaks multiple health and safety regulations. A lack of solid protection leaves acrylic polymers extremely vulnerable to scratching, chipping, and dents, even with a finishing coat for protection. Surfaces that see heavy foot traffic or exposure to the elements, such as exterior platforms or driveways, are at particular risk of excessive wear.

How Can I Successfully Paint On To Concrete?

Whether the paint is suitable for concrete comes down to how it's composed. The problem of acrylic flaking can often be solved with a quality sealant used in a traditional two-layer solution, particularly if applied to interior concrete wall surfaces. This will trap the paint against the concrete, causing it to behave as if attached to plasterwork. Cleansing the surface beforehand with an acid etch solution and sealing any cracks, holes, or fault lines will improve the chance that your paint will stay put. You wont need a concrete primer as when applying your first coat if you thin this it will act as your primer / sealer. Always check recommened thinning ratios. For surfaces placed under stress or exposed to wet weather, tougher solutions are needed. Specialised, durable floor paint is recommended for concrete walkways. Epoxy resin concrete floor paint is an ideal choice for an easy to apply, long-lasting matt finish. Niche acrylic mixes can also be purchased from major manufacturers, formulated exactly to stick to horizontal concrete.

Concrete Paint From TA Paints

At TA Industrial Paints, we make and stock all types of specialised paint for concrete. Floor, ceiling, or wall, we'll help you to pick the right paint that will last for years to come. Call or email us today.
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