Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2004

Painting Exterior Concrete Walls

Q. I live in the Florida Keys. I'm repainting my house, and there are 3 layers of paint and some is chipping. How do I prepare the walls for paint? The walls are concrete and not smooth. What type of products should I use?

You must remove all of the loose peeling paint from the surface of a block, sand the surface of the remaining paint and feather out the edges. Consider acid etching the surface with a mild acid solution prior to the application of any new coating, allow the surface plenty of time to dry. If you wait overnight after the acid etch, be certain to allow the concrete plenty of time to dry from the morning dew.

Consult with your local paint supplier and explain your situation, ask for specific product recommendations for a block filler sealer, a product that will create a moisture barrier, one that you can apply a paint top coat over. Be certain to follow all the manufacturer¹s recommendations for dry times, application equipment, and procedures. Be sure to apply enough paint to cover the surface well, and provide the recommended dry film thickness in order for coating system to perform as required.

Please be aware that paints, coatings and solvents are chemicals and therefore you should always pay attention to proper handling procedures and be prepared to wear protective clothing, such as respirators, gloves, coveralls, etc. For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings and solvents you wish to use we strongly advised you to contact your local coating supplier. If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.

Acid etching: You MUST insure that you are properly protected with goggles, acid-resistant gloves and proper clothing so that you don't injure yourself. For similar reasons, please insure that you keep others away from this process.


Jim Burke

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