Tips for Painting Concrete Steps

Painting concrete steps is not much different than painting any other surfaces, but there are a few precautions and steps you should take to ensure a safe and effective project.

Preparing the Surface

In order for concrete and paint to have adhesion with one another, the concrete must be clean of dirt and previous paint. Give the concrete a good scrubbing, and use either a hand sander or wire brush to remove loose paint.

Purchase some Muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) available at paint and home supply centers. Follow the directions for dilution and application of the acid for etching the surface of the cement. Allow it to completely dry before painting.


Smooth finished concrete can be slippery when wet or soiled, so consider the texture of the finish when painting. If the concrete step is smooth, you may want to apply an adhesive textural tape. Textural tape comes in various widths, and is available at hardware and home centers

When applying the paint you can also add a small amount of fine sand to the paint which will create a textural surface without affecting the look or color of the steps.

Material Selection

Concrete specific latex exterior paint and primer has better adhesion properties than standard house paint. For ease in application, apply with a firm bristle brush, or sponge roller.