An easy way to brighten up concrete steps is to refinish them with garage flooring paint. This sort of paint is amongst the most durable on the market, so it will withstand muddy boots or high traffic and still give you a washable surface.
Step One–Test Concrete Steps for Moisture and Vapors
If you are considering painting relatively new concrete steps, it’s advisable to test the area first to ensure that it will take the paint. Concrete that is under a year old can still leak vapors and moisture even though the concrete itself might have cured fairly quickly. If this is the case, paint will have trouble adhering to the surface. Use a vapor transfer test to reassure yourself that your steps are ready to paint.
Step Two–Prepare the Concrete Steps for Painting
If there are layers of old paint on the steps, use a heavy duty stripper to remove the top layers. Always wear gloves when using paint stripper. Scrape away methodically using a paint scraper, discarding the scraped off paint layers safely into a metal container that can be appropriately discarded after use.
Due to the porous nature of concrete, it may prove difficult to remove all of the layers. Don’t worry too much about the final layers as you can leave them in place as long as you prepare them properly. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to rub down any uneven areas and to key up the surface of the steps before painting. Sweep away dust using a soft broom, paying particular attention to corners, where dust has a tendency to gather.
Step Three–Protect Surrounding Areas
Use masking tape to cover doors, floors or surrounding wall areas that you don’t want marked by paint. Pay particular attention to the sides of the steps to ensure a sharp, neat finish.
Step Four–Priming the Steps
Using a paint brush, apply one liberal coat of concrete or masonry primer. It pays to be generous with this application, as the concrete is porous and will suck in paint. You will need to allow this primer to dry thoroughly before applying the top coat. Many garage floor paints are oil-based and take around six to eight hours to be touch-dry.
Step Five–Painting the Steps with Garage Floor Paint
In the same way as you painted the steps with the primer, follow that procedure with the top coat of concrete or masonry garage floor paint. You may need to apply two coats of this paint, and if you do, make sure the first coat is dry before you add the second application. Drying time is around eight to ten hours. When you are satisfied that you have applied enough coats, remove the masking tape. It’s best to remove masking tape when the paint is still tacky and flexible. If you leave it until it is very dry, areas of paint on the steps may crack when you remove it.