Refinishing a Concrete Patio

Our front steps were in need of some love.  They were stained with what was probably mildew and rust, and neither bleach nor pressure washing made an impact.  After my third attempt this summer at cleaning the stains, I gave up and headed over to my local Benjamin Moore store.

I like to go to a Benjamin Moore Retailer (in Annapolis, Regal Paint Center) rather than Ace Hardware (who also stocks their paint) when I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, because the employees are usually well versed in their products and have great recommendations.  Andy told me to use the Porch and Floor Paint, after making sure I wasn’t painting a garage floor, saying this paint would not hold up to the heat of tires driving on it.

I wanted a warm and welcoming color, so I chose from the yellow/taupe tones.  Bennington Gray fit perfectly.

When we got home I scrubbed the porch with Oxy-Clean and let it dry.  The instructions said to add a little clean sand to the paint if you were concerned about people slipping, and several of the reviews online said the paint needed an additive or else it was too slick.  I didn’t happen to have any clean sand, so Grant and I walked down to the beach in our neighborhood and filled a plastic bag with sand, which I poured through a sieve before adding it to my paint.
It didn’t say how much to add, so I used about 1/3 cup to 1/8 gallon of paint.  I couldn’t tell anything had been added after I stirred the sand in, but I could see some grit once I started painting.

I used an older paintbrush for the edges, not wanting to mess up any of my good brushes on concrete.  Then a 1/2″ nap roller for the center, which is pretty thick, and necessary to saturate the cement:

You can see how thick it is on the right side of the picture above.  I then went over it with my paintbrush, to get a smooth texture:

This is what it looked like after one coat:

You could still see some of the darker stains, but the coverage was great considering how bad the cement looked before.  Per the directions, I let it dry for one hour, then went back over with a second coat.
Tip:  Put your paint in the refrigerator while you wait, then you don’t have to clean your brushes twice.  Paint takes forever to dry when it’s cold, that’s why the instructions always say to paint when it is between 50 and 90 degrees.

Big improvement after two coats of paint:

It still has to dry overnight before we can put our furniture back.  Tomorrow I’m planning on doing the side patio, so hopefully the weather is as perfect as it was today.

Happy painting!  Please feel free to ask questions if there is anything I can clear up.

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