I’ve received a lot of questions about the color on our concrete patio, so I thought it was about time I finally do a post to answer questions and give you some details on how to do it yourself!
A few years back when we started this whole side yard project, we decided we wanted a dark color on our concrete. We were painting our brick house white, so we thought the deep gray would offer a nice contrast.
Now, if you are pouring brand new concrete, you are able to order it stained from the start in a variety of colors so that’s definitely the way to go if you have that option. That is actually what we did originally, but through a series of unfortunate events we ended up with half of the patio white and half gray. :) Fancy, yes? It’s a long story, but the bright side of this situation was that even though it was a bit of a disaster, we were able to solve it in the end.
If you simply want to refresh your old concrete, it’s pretty easy. I remember painting concrete porch and steps years ago in one of our old houses and being so shocked by how simple it was! We were about to put our home up for sale and wanted our front doorway area to feel fresh and clean. What a difference the dark gray paint made! It made me wish we had done it sooner so we could have enjoyed it longer.
It’s so simple that it’s a project you can totally do at the beginning of the season every year or two to refresh it, especially if you don’t have a huge porch or patio.
You may prefer a concrete stain over paint. While I called this post ‘How to Paint Your Concrete” ours is actually a stain! Stain will look a little different and will wear a little different than paint. The stain fades over time but doesn’t chip, so that’s a plus in my mind. It goes on like a thinner paint. I have noticed that if we drag furniture across the patio, it can leave some lighter colored streaks…so we try to lift instead of dragging!
I’m assuming that if you already have painted concrete you will probably need to refresh it with more paint. I’m not an expert on which product would be best for you, though, so definitely consult the professionals. :).
We tracked down the product our contractor used so we could use the same one to refresh some of our concrete. We did not restain our porch this year (just the patio), so while it’s faded to be lighter than it was originally it’s still fine for another year.
We also stained a small part of the old patio that still existed between our new concrete and new deck so all the concrete would flow on through a bit more cohesively (see the two photos below for what I mean). It’s not a perfect match because we did different parts different times, but it’s a lot better than it was.
However, it was not easy to find this specific product in the Seattle area. Because there are so many products that would work just as well or maybe even better, I would recommend starting at your local Lowe’s or a paint store to see what product they recommend for your area and situation. But I’ll post the specific product we used at the bottom of this post, in case you want to know.
The steps we used were as follows:
- Clean the patio. Make sure it’s free of any chips, grime or tree sap as it won’t allow the paint or stain to cover well.
- Let the surface dry overnight.
- Ask your paint store if you’ll need a primer with the product you chose.
- Roll the paint/stain on (we used a roller for textured surfaces). Our product actually recommended that it be sprayed on, but that seemed like way too much work. We don’t even own a sprayer, so we just rolled it on and it worked fine.
- If you are rolling on a stain, don’t worry about doing it perfectly. You might see some lines where you overlap, or some parts might be a little darker or lighter, but once it dries and gets some dirt on it you’ll not likely care about the imperfections.
Better done than perfect has become our motto in cases like this :).
And lest we forget…this is what we started with.
Speaking of the makeover of our side patio, I have really really really good news…
Any guesses what it is?
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Find our Trex Deck and Railing before and after makeover post here.
Our concrete stain:
Concrete Stain, Smith’s Color Floor
CF-Gray stain concentrate (mixed with distilled water, 4 quarts distilled water with 1 quart product).