Brighten Up The Exterior Of Your Home
If you have a cement foundation and want to get rid of that drab, gray color, some paint will liven it up and make it more appealing. Depending on what type of siding you have, you can create an attractive accent for the rest of the house by adding some color to your foundation.
There are some factors to consider before you start, though. If the concrete has cracks or divots, you need to do some repair work. You can purchase fillers that will fix the blemishes.
Fixing the Imperfections
Repairing crevices not only makes it look better but also helps preserve the structural integrity. After all, your foundation literally supports your entire home.
After inspecting the foundation and doing some investigating as to why there are cracks in the first place, you can do some prep work to mend the concrete, as outlined below:
For cracks wider than a hairline, clear out any loose material, such as broken or cracked bits of concrete, dust and debris, using an old flat head screwdriver and a stiff wire brush. To facilitate patch adhesion, use a hammer and chisel to slightly widen the crack and undercut the crack edges. This will give the patch more area to adhere to and keep it from slipping out of the crack. Simply hold the chisel at an angle and chip away. Clear out bits of debris and dust with the wire brush and then rinse the crack with water from a garden hose. Pat the area dry with an old towel.
Thin hairline cracks can usually be repaired with a vinyl concrete patching compound. If recommended by the manufacturer, apply a concrete bonding adhesive or primer/additive to create the best bond possible between the old surface and the patching material. Use an old or inexpensive paintbrush to work the liquid into the crack and around the crack edges. Wash the brush immediately after use with soap and water or discard it.
Cracks wider than a hairline can be filled with Polyurethane, silicone, or latex concrete caulk. Use a caulking gun to force the caulk into the crack along its entire length. This type of caulk is effective because it fills the entire crack space and allows for the expansion and contraction of the foundation during extreme changes in weather. After application, let it dry. Apply again if it contracts inside the crack and doesn’t fill the entire depth of the crack.
Read more on repairing your foundation here: Patch Foundation Cracks
If it looks like there are issues with cracks in the walls or ceiling due to major shifting, you may need to call in a professional inspector for an evaluation.
Time To Clean and Prep
Once you have repaired any imperfections, the next step is cleaning the cement. Pull off any vines and remove moss or stains with cleaner and a wire brush. Next, use a putty knife to scrape any build up or loose paint.
Use a shovel to pull the dirt away from the base of the foundation so you don’t leave any unpainted areas visible. Pull weeds that are growing too close to the foundation and cover any plants that you need to protect.
Because the porous surface can trap dirt and oil, you want to start with a cleaner like Krud Kutter’s pre-paint cleaner. If you can rent a power washer, you will have a better chance of deep cleaning.
You would be wise to prime the concrete with a concrete and masonry bonding primer so you are sure the paint will adhere. Once you are ready, you can roll on the final coat or use a paint sprayer, such as the person in the following video:
Even though he didn’t prime the foundation before painting the concrete, the finish turned out nicely. Priming it might help it last longer, but it depends on your situation.
What Type Of Paint For Cement?
Using masonry paint on concrete is essential because it contains binders that contract and expand with the concrete. It is much thicker than regular exterior paint, so if you plan to use a paint gun, be sure and ask at your local paint store for a type of paint that works well in a sprayer.
Rolling it on is usually your best bet, but you need to have a thick nap for rough surfaces. If the project requires a second coat, let the first coat dry for at least 16 hours.
If you are a do-it-yourself type and need more instruction on how to paint cement, you can check out a post like this one. If you want to let someone else manage painting your cement foundation, you can contact a painter in Denver to get a free quote and then kick back, relax, and let them do the work for you.