Common Mistakes: Don’t Paint that Concrete!

A continuing entry in our Common Landscape Mistakes series:

It might seem like a good idea, but painting concrete rarely turns out well. From time to time I see concrete walkways or driveways that have been painted over. Painting can make an old outdoor concrete surface look new for a while, but the drawbacks are numerous. Painted concrete chips and fades considerably, almost guaranteeing that in a couple of years that nice consistent looking surface is going to be faded, stained, and flaking. Painting concrete also usually reduces the roughness of the surface, making it more likely someone will slip on the smooth surface when wet. In addition to these draw backs, because it’s not done very often, painted concrete often looks strange in the landscape. Unless an earth-tone is selected, the color often stands looking strange in the context of the neighborhood.

Alternatives to painting are replacing the existing concrete with new colored concrete. Or, if the concrete is in good shape, there are specialized concrete stains available that can add color while not flaking or reducing traction on the material.

For More:
Article on Acid Concrete Staining
Scofield– Stains, Dust-on and Integral Concrete Colors