Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2004

Painting Concrete Porch

Q. Every time I paint my concrete front porch, it begins to bubble and start to peel off. I don't know what the problem is, I have let the porch dry for days, but I still seem to have the same result. Any advice you have to offer would be of great help.

To ensure that you will have a good sound paint job on concrete, you need to be certain that the surface is very clean and free of any type of contamination such as dirt, oil, dust, and grease. You must remove all old loose paint by scraping with a putty knife and using a wire brush. Clean the surface well using a strong detergent solution and a pressure washer, use a "push broom" that has good, stiff bristles to help loosen any stubborn dirt or grease. Follow up with a high pressure, clean water rinse and allow the surface ample time to dry.

You might consider using a mild muriatic acid solution prior to the final high pressure water rinse to help clean and neutralize the concrete and mildly etch the surface. Be certain to thoroughly and completely rinse away the acid with the use of the pressure washer.

After the surface has been allowed to completely dry, apply a high quality concrete coating product for your specific application. Visit your local paint center, explain that you have previously coated the porch with little success, they will be able to provide you with coating product and application recommendations to fit your requirements.

Please be aware that paints, coatings and solvents are chemicals and therefore you should always pay close 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, breathing protection, and the proper clothing so that you don't injure yourself. Be certain to provide plenty of fresh air ventilation! For similar reasons, please insure that you keep others away from this process.


Jim Burke

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