Can you Use Acrylic Paint on Concrete? 5 Best Paints, Primer and Sealers For Concrete

Repainting or restaining your concrete floors? Planning a mural? Acrylic paint is a great choice for concrete. It doesn’t need to be sanded or primed, and it dries quickly. Acrylic paint will also last longer than any other type of paint on concrete and if you are looking to change the color of your concrete driveway, you can do it easily with acrylic paint. 

While you can use acrylic and latex paint on concrete floors, walls, and decor, it is not the most durable option for floors. Acrylic paint on concrete also requires priming and sealing to become waterproof and durable. Acrylic paint has good adhesion to concrete, it also has better resistance to scratches, fading, and chipping. 

Let’s better understand its great diversity.

Can you Use Acrylic Paint on Concrete

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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Concrete?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on concrete steps, floors and walls, patios, basements, and foundations, as well as statues and concrete crafts. To ensure that your acrylic paint sticks well on concrete, the sealer is required, and you need to prepare the surface properly.

It can be used both indoors and outdoors and it is easy to apply. The paint sticks well, making it a good choice for certain projects

For outdoor concrete, it offers excellent water resistance because they contain plasticizers that act as water-resistant agents. This means that waterproofing creates a barrier, and your acrylic paint will remain intact instead of getting ruined by water damage! making it ideal for outdoor use. 

For Indoor concrete, Acrylic and latex paints tend to be non-toxic, which makes it a great choice for rooms or other areas where you might want to avoid long dry times. 


Does acrylic paint wash off concrete?

Acrylic paint is a water-based paint. Acrylic can only be washed off concrete surfaces while wet, once dry it’s water-resistant making it washable for indoor and outdoor use.

If you have used acrylic paints on concrete before and now want to remove the stains that were left behind, there are several ways in which this can be done depending on the work to do and that’s what we will discuss below.

The only time you need to be careful with this type of paint is if you apply excessive amounts it will lead to a saggy paint texture in concrete which we don’t want.

Related: Is Acrylic Paint Washable on Skin, Fabric, Clothes, Walls, Wood, etc.?


How to paint concrete with acrylic paint in 5 steps

Acrylic paints come in a variety of colors and formulas, so it’s easy to find one that works best for your project. Here are some easy tips on how to paint concrete with acrylic:

  1. Prepare and clean the concrete
  2. Fix cracks (if any)
  3. Prime the concrete
  4. Paint
  5. Seal dry painted area

Step 1 – How do you prepare concrete for acrylic painting?

Before you begin painting your concrete, it’s important to make sure that it’s properly prepared. First, sweep up any debris and dust from the floor with a broom or vacuum cleaner; then wash down the area with soap and water. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding with any other steps.

1. Do a moisture check

Check your concrete slab for moisture before painting it.

There are several ways to check for moisture, including using a moisture meter (a good one is more than 500 bucks!!) OR covering it with plastic sheeting to see condensation. If you see condensation, moisture is an issue, better not to paint your concrete using acrylics until you fix it.

Adhesion is essentially guaranteed to be an issue, so you’ll need to address the moisture before painting or looking for an alternative solution.

2. Cleanse the concrete

Remove all dirt and debris. There are safer alternatives to traditional acid etching products on the market today. 

3. Use an absorbent dry-cleaning cloth or sponge 

You must clean the surface using an absorbent dry-cleaning cloth or sponge with water mixed with a mild detergent solution (1/2 cup of white vinegar to 2 cups of water). This should remove any remaining dirt and oils on the surface as well as any residue left by previous sealers or other types of paints that have been used on this area before and let it dry.

4. Allow your concrete to completely dry

You may need to wait 24 hours or 48 hours after you have finished cleaning to ensure that everything is dry. Any moisture can damage paint adhesion, leading to cracking and flaking.


Step 2* (Optional) Use epoxy putty to patch up cracks

To make your concrete floors even more durable, you can patch some cracks with an epoxy putty. Sand the cracks, chip off all the loose concrete on the edges and clean them up using a stiff brush. Make sure the putty is good to use with concrete.

Fill in the putty and let it dry overnight. Make sure to work in a mask as epoxy is toxic. Check how the cracks are doing in the morning, if the putty penetrated deep enough you may sometimes notice that you need to add more epoxy. Do it and let it dry again.

Once the cracks are filled and the floors are smooth and even, sand it lightly again so there are no bumps and lumps. Clean off the dust before priming. 


Step 3 – Use a primer

Primer can be used to improve adhesion and prolong the life of your paint. Primer can increase moisture resistance and reduce the likelihood of mildew and mold. It can also be a smart decision to use more than one coat of varnish for different colors or finishes.

Does concrete need primer before painting?

You should always seal concrete with primer before painting it. Primer acts as a bond between the concrete surface and the paint, making sure it sticks properly. 

DIYers use watered-down glue to prime concrete crafts and statues. The best commercial primers for concrete are Behr’s Concrete and Masonry Bonding Primer, Zinsser universal primer, or INSL-X bonding primer.

What Happens If You Paint Concrete Without a Primer?

Primer evens out blemishes and fills cracks, and can help a poor surface become the perfect base for the paint.

If you don’t use primer, the paint won’t look as good, and probably won’t last very long it will peel off. If floors – fade and lose durability. You will also waste more paint, as concrete will keep soaking it and you will need more paint to evenly cover the area.


Step 4 – Apply the paint

Use a large brush to apply a thin layer of acrylic paint over an entire section of concrete it’s helpful to use masking tape if you want to apply just one color).

Do not paint the whole wall or floor in one go. First, test the paint on a small area (the one that doesn’t pop as soon as you walk into the room). 

  1. Dry off the first coat

Acrylics can dry to the touch in as little as 20 minutes, though it may take several hours. If your project was handled with a single coat, you may be finished at this point. If you need to apply a second coat or want to enhance durability, continue to the next step.

2. Put the Second Coat on (Optional)

You’ll need to let the second coat dry completely before you move on. You should cut in the walls and floors before you start and wait for 24 hours. If you live in a humid area, you might need to leave it for 48 hours.

If you are working on a mural use painter’s tape to mark edges, charcoal or chalk sticks to make a simple sketch, or even DIY stencils to just paint the area within (you can even spray it with appropriate paint).

5 Best acrylic paint for concrete

Available in a few main colors, this paint for concrete is good for stairs, floors, and patios. It said to fill in cracks as well!

  • Craft acrylic paints for painting concrete decor and statues

The outdoors Arteza acrylics, outdoor Folk Art paints, and Winsor and Newton paint can work on concrete.

Read also: Best Acrylic Paint: 21 Brands Reviewed for Beginners [From Cheap to Pro]

This paint will work on stone, masonry, concrete, brick and stucco walls, even in basements as it is waterproof and has High alkali resistance.

  • Majic Paints 8-1500-4 Diamond Hard Acrylic Enamel High Gloss Paint, Half Pint/8-Ounce, Gloss White are highly pigmented and have a glossy finish. Add your personal touch to statues projects for a handmade, contemporary look with this durable and scratch-resistant acrylic paint.
  • KILZ Epoxy Acrylic Concrete and Garage Floor Paint is a one-part epoxy that applies as easily as latex paint. A single gallon will cover up to 500 square feet of smooth concrete or as little as 300 square feet on rougher surfaces. KILZ specifically states that this product is not for vertical surfaces. It dries to the touch in two hours, and you can apply a second coat after four.

How long does it take acrylic paint to dry on concrete?

The acrylic paint may take anywhere from 2-3 days to dry, depending on the weather and temperature. You can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer or damp cloth. If you want to speed up the process and make sure that the paint is completely dry, you can use a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will help remove moisture from the air and increase the drying time of your project.


Step 5 – Seal acrylic paint on concrete

Acrylic paint on concrete doesn’t have a lot of durability so you need to seal it. There are two types of sheens: glossy and matte. You may find some in different shine levels.

Apply two coats of a sealer using a roller and let it dry completely.

How do you seal acrylic paint on concrete?

Use a transparent water-based binding sealer if you wish to seal acrylic paint on concrete, I recommend following below simple steps.

  1. Make sure the concrete is clean and the paint has dried.
  2. Use a roller or sprayer to apply a thin layer of sealant. What I do sometimes is I first apply the sealer with a sponge brush to let it soak in and then I go over with a roller to smooth the paint and make sure it’s evenly distributed.
  3. Wait for the first layer of sealer to dry.
  4. A second coat should be applied in the other direction.
  5. Allow the sealer to fully dry on your concrete.

Best Concrete sealer for acrylic paint

Concrete need to be sealed because water can easily infiltrate through porous concrete, encouraging the growth of mold, to avoid that you can use the below product, but make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

THis water-based sealer is super durable, easy to apply as it doesn’t require mixing, and non-toxic. It will work indoors and outdoors, even on concrete foundation walls and basements.

Helps make your concrete or stone surface resistant to water, mold, stains, and chemicals, but it allows the surface to “breathe”. Dries to a clear finish.

If you are renovating your kitchen it is important to use a safe sealer for countertops, food-safe is the best choice. It also comes in smaller volumes which is cost-efficient.

If you feel like the painted floors are too slippery, you can apply anti-slip sealer for concrete and masonry.


How to paint a statue with acrylic?

Painting a concrete statue? Here are some tips for you to follow. The concrete statue is porous so it is important that you clean, seal, paint, and apply a base coat to protect it. Concrete statuary can look unique and eye-catching if it is well taken care of. 

  1. Place the statue in a bucket with plain water.

Do not use soap in the water as it can cause damage to the concrete statue and make it difficult to paint. You should scrub the entire statue until the largest areas are clean. You can scrub the statue with a toothbrush until you get the large areas as clean as possible. 

  1. Let the statue dry in the sun

It should take 30 minutes to dry, depending on how warm the air is

  1. Using epoxy putty, to patch up cracks.

Epoxy putty can be used to swap out missing toes from a concrete statue. Once the putty has cured, it becomes as solid as a rock, making it impossible to detect the absence of a toe.

  1. Apply the base coat

To ensure that your acrylic base coat absorbs well, you should mix water into the paint to help it soak into the concrete. Concrete absorbs water better when it is diluted with a base coat, then let dry.

  1. Painting the statue

Acrylic latex paint can be used on concrete statues Water-based acrylic latex paints for concrete are best because they can penetrate concrete and stain it beyond the surface. Acrylic latex paints don’t crack or dry like a shell, as oil-based paints do.

In fact, I know some crafters used Winsor & Newton acrylic paint to paint outdoor statues and it worked out fine. I’m sure you can use outdoor Arteza acrylics or outdoor Folk Art paints as well for painting small concrete statues.

This guy seems to know everything about painting statues:


How to remove acrylic paint from concrete

Depending upon whether it is wet or dry, two basic procedures can accomplish this task. Wet acrylic paint is far easier to remove than the dried-on version, and in many cases, the wet paint can just be soaked up. Dried paint will take a little more muscle, but either type of paint can be removed.

  1. Mix a soapy water solution in a bucket, dip it in a scrub brush, and scrub it down. Soak up as much as you can in a sponge, then rinse the entire area with a hose and water. Repeat if there is any paint left on the concrete.
  1. Remove dried paint by lifting off as much of the paint as you can with a scraper. Scrub the area with a soapy water solution and rinse thoroughly. Pour on either an acrylic paint remover or some paint stripper designed for furniture. By then the paint will have softened
  1. Power-wash the concrete first to remove as much of the dried paint as possible. For trouble spots, apply a paint stripper with a paintbrush and allow it to sit as it softens up the surface.

FAQs

Can you mix acrylic paint into cement?

Yes, you can mix acrylic paint into cement to add color to it, using 1 part of cement to 3 parts of paint.

It is possible the cement will dry out and become fragile.  Another problem is that cement may dissolve the acrylic paint. Make sure to mix cement and acrylic paint properly if you wish to. Never mix acrylic paint with damp cement.

Note that colors will change as cement has its own color as well.

It is better to use special concrete dye powders that come in different colors.

What kind of paint can you use on concrete?

You can use acrylic, epoxy, and regular latex paint to paint concrete floors, walls, statuary, patios, steps, or blocks. Masonry paint is another popular and durable solution for painting concrete.

While epoxy paint is the most durable solution for concrete floors, you can use acrylic paint, like Winsor and Newton, on statues and decor. Not only is it water-based, which will not damage the concrete, but it’s also easy to clean up and won’t be affected by moisture or rain.

  1. Concrete Wall

For Interior concrete walls latex paint are a good fit, select stain-resistant semi-gloss latex paint. For Exterior concrete walls use acrylic paint that can withstand UV rays and inclement weather.

  1. Concrete floor

Concrete floors need a particularly durable finish since they see heavy traffic and strain. Concrete floors indoors are best painted with acrylic floor paint or acrylic porch paint, but the most durable choice is to use epoxy paint.

Special enamel porch paint is also great for patios and concrete floors. 

  1. Concrete Statue

On concrete statues, use Acrylic latex paint or acrylic enamel paint. Whereas acrylic enamel can be used on both interior and exterior statuary, it has a glossy finish that lasts for years retaining a high-quality appearance.

Can you use acrylic latex paint on concrete?

You can paint concrete with acrylic latex paints as they are intended to withstand UV damage, peeling, fading, and scuffing. They may be used on indoor concrete floors. Ideally,  you would want to apply a coat of primer before using the latex paint.

If you don’t want to go through all of that work, we recommend just using satin or semi-gloss finish liners instead of full-coverage paints. This way your concrete floor won’t look too glossy but will still be protected from dirt buildup.

Can I use wall paint on the concrete floor?

You can use acrylic and latex wall paint on concrete floors however not in the rooms with “high traffic” like the kitchen and living room.

While wall paint is quite durable, water-resistant, and easy to apply, it was made for different surface use. Epoxy paint can only be used on floors as it is not good for vertical application. Acrylic and latex wall paint can be applied both on walls and floors. 

Can I use metal paint on concrete?

Metal paints work best for metal, not for the concrete. They are made to withstand rust and corrosion and to adhere to a non-porous surface like metal. Concrete, on the other hand, is porous and soaks in paint very well. 

Choose concrete paints instead!

Read also: Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Metal?

Conclusion

Acrylic paint is a great way to get creative and add some color to your concrete. It’s easy to use, dries quickly so you don’t have to wait long between coats, and can be removed if you change your mind about what color you want.

Curious about working on different surfaces with acrylics? Check my comprehensive guides: