Does painting a concrete walkway make sense?

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Old 02-14-17, 11:20 AM
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Does painting a concrete walkway make sense?

Our home has a flat concrete pathway with about 4 steps in the back yard of our home (like a sidewalk leading down to our backyard). We can see that it had been painted a light grey at one time but has since worn off and exposed the natural concrete. My wife wants to repaint it and I think it's a waste of time and will look tacky when it's finished. My wife seems to think it will help the concrete last longer and additionally wants to paint it "because it was painted before".
Do you think we should paint it or not? Will it add any benefit? The concrete is in excellent condition fyi.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 11:30 AM
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It's really a personal decision.

If the concrete is in good shape it doesn't add any benefit.
It could actually become slippery unless a sand additive was put in the paint.

Paint will not last on concrete. It has a finite lifetime and will need to be renewed.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 11:35 AM
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Let her repaint it - she wants it done, she can do it and maintain it.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 11:49 AM
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Haha...I want to show her this thread so she stops asking to repaint it. She thinks I'm just being lazy but we have other projects that we should be worried about like painting the house and staining the decks.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 03:00 PM
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I wouldn't paint it for the above mentioned reasons. If I had to color it with something I'd use a concrete stain, it will wear away but won't peel making recoating an easier job.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 03:09 PM
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I second the concrete stain idea.
 
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Old 02-19-17, 01:30 AM
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Panting exterior concrete is a total waste of time and money. But if the Boss insists, turn her loose on it. As long as she agrees to maintain the painted surfaces.
 
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Old 02-21-17, 05:36 PM
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If you can strip/sand the rest of the existing paint away and get it all down to clean concrete, I would go with a stain or a concrete resurfacer instead of paint.

You can add powder color (any variation of gray, red, or brown usually) to the resurfacer for a small cost. The resurfacer itself isn't too cheap.

Then trowel or squeegee the resurfacer on as per the instructions, but I found that it has to be soup'ier than it recommends in order to be squeegee'd properly. It recommends not to add too much water (makes it weak) but I found it won't squeegee smoothly or thinly if mixed with the amount of water the bag instructs. I had to add maybe %15 more water.

It has to be 3,000+ PSI pressure washed first (after removing paint). You might have to use a ~$25 diamond grinding wheel to remove the paint, or a special disc on a rented buffing machine if it's a lot of sq ft.

In other words, if you can get all the paint off easily with a stripper and thus not rough up the concrete, you can just stain then. But if you can't get all the paint off, you might have to mechanically remove it which might rough up the concrete but won't be noticeable after it's refurfaced.

I see videos where people apply a gel stripper and it removed the old paint easy and clean but there are just as many other videos where it's mechanically removed. I think mechanically would actually be less of a PITA. Strippers these days aren't as strong ('dirty') as they used to be, so you may be looking at multiple applications plus a lot of scrubbing and scraping vs a diamond disc.


Possibly a bonding agent will be ok in areas that stubborn won't come off of, so maybe shoot the refurfacer manufacturers an email and ask if it would be okay to use a bonding agent and put the refurfacer right over the old paint (I doubt it, but worth a shot).
 
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Old 02-22-17, 03:34 AM
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I've had good luck using paint and varnish remover along with a pressure washer to remove paint from concrete. Removing multiple layers of paint that way can result in a good bit of clean up [raking up debris] but that doesn't sound like the case with your sidewalk. The more caustic the stripper is the better it will work.
 
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