Print Friendly and PDF

Paint a Concrete Slab to Make it Look Pretty

A concrete slab is an affordable way to add flooring for a patio or outdoor entertainment area, and there are ways to make it look pretty and not just like a slab of concrete!


Today's acrylic paints are fairly durable and you can use them almost anywhere if you take the time to prep the project being painted. We thought it might be nice to feature an article that looks at different designs that can be painted onto a concrete slab to make it look pretty, add a bit of style, and ultimately make your outdoor area look good.


If you're interested to see how Rhoda from southern hospitality blog painted the concrete slabs around her home, as shown in the images on this page, click here.


Painting a concrete slab

In most instances, a failed paint job can be blamed on two things:

1. Lack of attention to the proper preparation required to ensure a lasting paint job.

2. Incorrect application of paint product

If you attend to these two items, you should have a professional paint job that will last a while and ensure your patio or outdoor entertainment area looks good for longer. so let's take a look at these two points.







Prepping the concrete slab for painting

The first thing you need to do before painting is to make sure the concrete is free from dirt, grime, mould and grease or oil. Any of these can spoil the finished look of your paint project and you are just wasting time and paint if you don't bother to do any prepping beforehand.

While you don't have to have a high-pressure washer, this type of cleaner does make the job a lot easier. Plus, there are many other projects you can do where a high-pressure washer will come in handy. If you don't have a high-pressure washer, you can use a sweeping brush and hose pipe with spray attachment.








Heavy-duty degreaser

Scrubbing brush

High-pressure washer or sweeping brush and hose pipe with spray attachment



1. Clean down the concrete slab with hose and brush to remove any loose dirt and to wash away mould. A good scrubbing with water will generally remove these. The next step is to get rid of any grease or oil stains and you can do this with a heavy-duty degreaser that you can buy at any Builders or hardware store and a sweeping and scrubbing brush. Follow the instructions for proper use of the degreaser and repeat the cleaning if necessary until oil or grease stains are gone.

2. Allow plenty of time for the concrete slab to dry thoroughly. Painting while it is still wet could result in the paint coats peeling or bubbling later on, so be patient and let the slab dry.


Painting the concrete slab

Painting the concrete slab can be done in several different ways. You can simply roll on a single colour, as I do when painting the concrete paving in my garden. You can paint freehand designs, you can use painter's tape to mask off shapes or stripes, or you can apply a stencil design.








Exterior acrylic, paving or concrete paint*

Paint tray

Paint roller

Assorted paintbrushes

Painter's tape or stencil

Sponges and rags for paint effects

*it is essential that you only use a paint suitable for exterior use.


1. Make sure that the concrete slab is thoroughly dry. The paint won't bond properly with the surface if there is still moisture. If you're not sure, leave it another day before you start painting.

2. Don't apply too much paint in one go. It doesn't matter if you are painting a design, applying a stencil design, or using a paint technique, applying too much paint will only result in the paint not bonding and drying properly and possibly peeling away later on. It is always better to apply 2 lighter coats than a single thick coat.

3. Follow the instructions on the can for the paint you are using. Different paints have different drying times, so be sure to read what's on the can before you start.

4. Allow the specified drying time between coats. You will probably need to apply two light coats of paint for a decent finish, even more if you are doing a paint technique.



back to top