If you're looking to paint any of your home's concrete surfaces or protect any outdoor concrete furniture from the elements, you will need to apply a concrete sealer. In just a few easy steps, your concrete surfaces can be protected and ready to paint.
Step 1 - Prep Your Concrete Surface
Before applying your concrete sealer, you will need to administer a thorough cleaning to the surface you wish to seal. Begin the cleaning process by running a vacuum cleaner across the surface, paying special attention to any exceptionally dusty areas. Use your vacuum cleaner's brush attachments or a feather duster to purge dust from any difficult-to-reach areas. Next, produce a homemade cleaning solution of mild liquid soap and warm water, then use a hard-bristled scrub brush to apply it to the surface and proceed to clean off any caked-on stains and dirt deposits. Should you encounter any exceptionally stubborn stains, try using a wire brush in lieu of a scrub brush.
Once the concrete surface has been thoroughly cleaned, rinse off any lingering traces of cleaning solution with a garden hose and make sure that the surface has fully dried before proceeding any further. Alternatively, if you don't feel like waiting for the surface to air dry, you can suck up any remaining moisture with a wet/dry vac.
Step 2 - Protect Yourself
Now that you've vigorously cleaned your concrete surface, you're almost ready to begin the sealer application. But first, you'll need to don some protective gear. When working with sealer, you'll need to wear a pair of rubber gloves and a paper breathing mask to protect yourself from skin irritation and powerful fumes. Additionally, put on a pair of protective goggles to shield your eyes from any airborne sealer splash or drips.
Step 3 - Apply Your Concrete Sealer
Having taken all the necessary precautions, you're ready to begin applying your concrete sealer. Start this step by pouring your sealer into a paint tray. Next, dip your paintbrush or paint roller in the tray, then proceed to apply the sealer to your concrete surface in broad, even strokes. If you are working with a fairly large surface, it is recommended that you use a paint roller for this task, as the job will take a very long time to complete with a regular paintbrush. Should you choose to go with a roller, keep in mind that you will still need to use a small paintbrush to apply your sealer to crevices and other difficult-to-reach spots. Alternatively, you can skip the paintbrush and paint roller applications by using a spray-on concrete sealer.
When sealing concrete, it is generally recommended that you apply 2 or 3 coats of sealer for maximum protection. So, after applying your initial coat, allow the sealer to dry for the amount of time specified on the product's packaging before adding any additional coats. While drying time will vary between brands, you can typically expect to wait between 6 and 8 hours.