Concrete Canvas: Your Ultimate Guide to How To Paint Concrete Surfaces Like a Pro

concrete painting newcastle

Concrete Painting for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Table of Contents


Is your concrete looking a bit tired? Whether it’s a driveway stained with oil, a patio weathered by countless barbecues, or a garage floor that’s seen better days, there’s a simple solution: a fresh coat of paint. But before you grab that paintbrush, there’s more to painting concrete than meets the eye.

This comprehensive guide will take you through the entire process, step by step. From prepping your concrete canvas to choosing the perfect paint to the final brushstroke, we’ll share the secrets to a flawless, long-lasting finish. We’ll even delve into the common pitfalls to avoid, ensuring your DIY project is a resounding success.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or considering hiring professional painters in Newcastle, we’ve got you covered. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your work gloves, and transform your drab concrete into a masterpiece that enhances your home’s beauty and value.

1. Prepping Your Concrete Canvas: The Foundation of a Flawless Finish

The secret to a beautiful, long-lasting paint job on concrete lies in meticulous preparation. Skipping this crucial step can lead to peeling, chipping, or fading paint – a DIY disaster you’ll want to avoid! Here’s your step-by-step guide to preparing your concrete canvas for a flawless finish:


  1. Clear the Area: Remove all debris, furniture, and plants from the area.
  2. Sweep Thoroughly: Use a broom or leaf blower to remove loose dirt, dust, and leaves.
    • Tackle Stains & Grime: Use a stiff-bristled brush and a concrete cleaner like Selleys White Knight Sugar Soap for general dirt and grime. Scrub the surface thoroughly, then rinse with a hose or pressure washer.
    • For oil or grease stains: Use a degreaser like Diggers Degreaser. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and rinsing.
    • For rust stains: Apply a rust remover like White Knight Rust Guard to the affected areas. Let it sit for the recommended time, then scrub and rinse.
  3. Remove Old Paint (if needed): If the concrete has been previously painted, use a paint scraper and wire brush to remove any loose or flaking paint. For tougher areas, you may need a paint stripper.


  1. Inspect for Damage: Carefully check the concrete for cracks, holes, or uneven surfaces.
  2. Fill Cracks: Use a concrete crack filler like Selleys No More Cracks to fill in any cracks and allow it to dry completely.
  3. Patch Holes: Use a concrete patching compound like Selleys Rapid Patch for bigger holes or damaged areas. Follow the product directions for mixing and application, and allow ample drying time.
  4. Smooth the Surface: Once the repairs have dried, smooth out rough spots using medium-grit sandpaper (80-120 grit).


  1. Why Etch?: Etching is crucial for ensuring good paint adhesion to the concrete. It creates a lightly roughened surface that allows the paint to grip better.
  2. Choose Your Method: You can etch concrete using a chemical etcher or a muriatic acid solution (diluted according to instructions). Both options are effective, but chemical etchers are generally easier to use and less hazardous.
  3. Safety First: If using muriatic acid, always wear protective gear, including gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator mask. Work in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Apply the Etcher: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and rinsing. Once the etching process is complete, allow the concrete to dry thoroughly before priming.

2. Priming: The Bridge Between Concrete and Paint

Think of primer as the foundation of a house. Without a solid base, your walls are prone to cracks and instability. The same goes for painting concrete. Primer creates a crucial bond between the concrete and your topcoat, ensuring better adhesion, a more even finish, and a longer-lasting paint job.

Choosing the Right Primer for Your Project:

  • Acrylic Blocker Primer: This water-based primer is ideal for most interior concrete walls and ceilings. It helps to seal porous surfaces, block stains, and create a uniform base for your topcoat.
  • Epoxy Primer: If you’re painting a garage floor or another high-traffic area, consider an epoxy primer. It’s incredibly durable and resistant to chemicals, oil stains, and abrasion.
  • Moisture-Resistant Primer: If your concrete is prone to dampness or has a history of moisture damage, use a moisture-resistant primer to prevent future issues.

Pro Tip: Some popular brands of concrete primers in Australia include Dulux Concrete, Paving Bare Concrete Primer, and Resene Concrete Primer.

Applying Primer Like a Pro:

  1. Choose Your Tools: Use a 1/2″ nap roller for smooth surfaces or a 3/4″ nap roller for textured concrete. A synthetic bristle brush is ideal for cutting around edges and corners.
  2. Cut In: Use the brush to paint a 2-3 inch strip around the edges of the surface and any corners or obstacles.
  3. Roll It On: Using the roller, apply the primer evenly to the larger areas, working in small areas and maintaining a “wet edge” to avoid lap marks.
  4. Dry Thoroughly: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time before applying your topcoat of paint.

3. Choosing the Right Paint: A Spectrum of Possibilities

The paint you choose will significantly impact your concrete surfaces’ final look and longevity. Consider these factors when making your selection:

Types of Paint:

  • Masonry Paint (Latex or Acrylic): Designed specifically for concrete surfaces.
    • Latex Masonry Paint: This paint offers good breathability, allowing moisture to escape from the concrete and preventing peeling. It’s a lot easier to clean and comes in various finishes.
    • Acrylic Masonry Paint: Known for its superior durability and colour retention, acrylic masonry paint is ideal for high-traffic areas and surfaces exposed to sunlight.
  • Epoxy Paint: This two-part coating is highly durable and resistant to chemicals, oil stains, and abrasion. It’s an excellent choice for garage floors, driveways, and other high-traffic areas. However, it requires careful preparation and application.
  • Concrete Stain: Unlike paint, concrete stain penetrates the concrete, creating a unique, mottled look. It’s available in various colours and is ideal for decorative purposes.
  • Elastomeric Paint: This flexible paint is designed for surfaces prone to cracking, such as concrete walls. It can bridge small cracks and prevent future damage.


  • Matte: It hides imperfections but can be more challenging to clean.
  • Low Sheen: A good compromise between matte and satin, offering some sheen and better washability.
  • Satin: Offers a smooth, velvety finish with good durability and washability.
  • Semi-Gloss: A shiny finish that’s easy to clean and resists moisture, making it suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.


Choose a colour that goes well with your home’s style and surroundings. Lighter colours can make small spaces feel more open and airy.

Pro Tip: When choosing paint for outdoor concrete surfaces in Newcastle, look for products that offer excellent UV resistance and mould/mildew protection to withstand the harsh Australian climate.


  • Driveways: Acrylic masonry paint with a satin or semi-gloss finish.
  • Patios: Masonry paint or concrete stain, depending on your desired look.
  • Pool Decks: Epoxy paint or textured acrylic paint for slip resistance.
  • Garage Floors: Epoxy paint for maximum durability and stain resistance.

Remember: Invest in high-quality paint from reputable brands like Dulux, Taubmans, or Haymes for the best results.

Concrete Floor Paint Types and Their Uses

Concrete Floor Paint Types and Their Uses

Paint Type Best For Durability Finish Options Additional Notes
Masonry Paint Patios, outdoor concrete floors High Matte, Satin Good breathability, prevents peeling
Epoxy Paint Garage floors, driveways Very High High Gloss, Satin Highly durable, resistant to chemicals and stains
Concrete Stain Decorative concrete floors Moderate Various Colours Penetrates concrete, unique mottled look
Elastomeric Paint Concrete floors prone to cracking High Matte, Satin Flexible, bridges small cracks
Acrylic Masonry Paint High-traffic concrete areas High Satin, Semi-Gloss Superior durability, colour retention

4. Painting Your Concrete Surfaces: Bringing Your Vision to Life

Now comes the fun part! With your concrete prepped and primed, you’re ready to add colour and personality to your space. Grab your brushes and rollers, and let’s dive into the techniques that will give your concrete a flawless finish.

Tools of the Trade:

  • Paint Brushes: Use a high-quality synthetic brush (like a Monarch or Purdy) to cut around edges, corners, and obstacles.
  • Paint Roller: Choose a roller with the right nap for your surface (1/2″ for smooth, 3/4″ for textured). An extension pole can help you reach greater areas.
  • Paint Tray: Essential for loading your roller and organising your paint supply.
  • Drop Cloths: Protect your floors and surrounding areas from spills and splatters.


Painting Techniques:

  1. Cutting In:
    • Use your brush to paint a 2-3 inch strip around the edges of the surface, where it meets other walls, ceilings, or trim.
    • Apply the paint in smooth, even strokes, feathering the edges to create a seamless transition with the rolled area.
  2. Rolling:
    • Loading: Dip your roller into the paint tray, then roll it back and forth on its ribbed surface to distribute the paint evenly. Avoid overloading the roller.
    • Application: Paint your concrete floor in the farthest corner from the exit. Use a brush to “cut in” a 2-3 inch border around the edges. Pour paint into a roller tray, load your roller evenly, and begin rolling in sections. Use a “W” or “M” pattern, then fill gaps with straight strokes. Maintain a “wet edge” to eliminate roller edge lines.


Additional Tips:

  • Check the Weather: Avoid painting in extreme heat, cold, or humidity. Ideal painting temperatures are between 15°C and 25°C.
  • Multiple Coats: Apply two or three light coats of paint and let each coat dry properly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Don’t Rush: Take your time and focus on applying the paint evenly and smoothly.

5. Maintaining Your Painted Concrete: Keeping It Looking Its Best

Your newly painted concrete surfaces will continue to look great for years with a bit of care and maintenance. Here’s how to keep them in top condition:


  • Outdoor Surfaces (Driveways, Patios):
    • Regular Sweeping: Sweep away dirt and debris regularly to prevent buildup.
    • Occasional Cleaning: Clean the surface with a mild detergent and water solution using a stiff-bristled brush or a pressure washer.
    • Stain Removal: Use a degreaser per the manufacturer’s instructions for oil or grease stains.
  • Indoor Floors:
    • Daily Maintenance: Sweep or vacuum often to remove dust and dirt.
    • Weekly Cleaning: Mop with a mild detergent solution.


  • Prompt Action: Address chips or scratches immediately to prevent further damage and rusting.
  • Colour Matching: Use leftover paint or visit your local paint shop to find a matching colour.
  • Feathering: Apply the touch-up paint in thin layers, blending the edges for a seamless look.


  • When to Reseal: The resealing frequency depends on the paint type and the amount of wear and tear the surface receives. Resolving every 2-3 years is generally recommended for exterior surfaces.
  • Choosing a Sealer: Select a sealer compatible with your paint type. Acrylic sealers are a good option for most concrete surfaces.
  • Professional Help: Consider hiring a professional painter to reseal large areas or complex projects.

Pro Tip: Apply a UV-resistant sealer to outdoor surfaces to protect them from fading and sun damage.

Pro Tip: For large or complex projects, or if you want a hassle-free experience, consider hiring professional painters in Newcastle. Their expertise and experience can save you time and ensure a flawless finish.


Painting your concrete surfaces is a fantastic way to revitalise your home’s exterior and add a touch of personality. With the proper preparation, tools, and creativity, you can achieve a beautiful, durable finish that enhances curb appeal and protects your concrete for years.

If you’re ready to take on this rewarding DIY project, grab your paintbrush and let’s get started! But if you’d prefer to leave it to the experts, our team at Procover Painting is here to help. We specialise in concrete painting for residential and commercial properties in Newcastle, ensuring a flawless finish that exceeds your expectations.

Ready to give your concrete surfaces a stunning makeover? Contact the experts at Procover Painting, your trusted painters in Newcastle. We offer a comprehensive selection of painting services for residential and commercial properties, and we’ll work with you to tailor a custom solution that fits your needs and budget. Call us today for a free quote and special offer!

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