Here is everything you need to know about walkable exterior concrete paints: the different types on the market, the characteristics, the application methods and the prices.
The resin varnish is the ideal solution for coating the floors without having to spend large sums; this particular type of paint , in fact, is specifically designed to cover walkable surfaces and consequently is structured in such a way as to last a long time and withstand rain and atmospheric agents. With the exception of epoxy enamels, moreover, acrylic-based floor paints and polyurethane-based paints for concrete do not require special skills for installation, on the contrary they can be easily applied with a brush or a paint roller .
Although it was originally created for industrial and commercial applications, the use of walkable paint for floors soon spread to the home as well, thanks to its characteristics; its ease of application is especially appreciated by DIY enthusiasts and by the users who are more attentive to savings, because it allows you to easily do without the intervention of a professional.
Before hurrying to buy it, however, it is good to know that there are different types of resin paints on the market , each with its specific characteristics, so let’s go into the topic further.
Characteristics and types
The premise from which to start is that regardless of their type, all floor paints are resin based, but not all are suitable for concrete; some are good for marble, for example, while others are specially made for painting tiles.
The resin for paints is a vital component that gives these paints the right degree of resistance in fact, but it also determines the type of material on which they can be applied, so a clear distinction must be made between resins for acrylic paints , epoxy ones and those polyurethane.
The epoxy enamel for floors , for example, is a particular type of paint mainly endeavored indoors and requires a more complex preparation compared to paints with acrylic resin; epoxy enamel, in fact, must be diluted with chemical solvents and needs a catalyst to harden. Furthermore, once the catalyst has been added, the drying time is very fast, which is why this type of paint is not suitable for DIY, especially for those who are beginners.
Paints based on acrylic resin, on the other hand, are diluted in water, have slower drying times and do not require special techniques or experience for installation; the same goes for polyurethane-based paints which are mainly used for concrete floors.
As mentioned in the introduction, the main feature of these paints, in general, is that they have a remarkable resistance to scratches and impacts, but only polyurethane paints are able to withstand direct exposure to the sun without discolouring over time.
Epoxy enamels and other acrylic resin-based floor paints, on the other hand, while maintaining their primary resistance characteristics, are unable to withstand UV rays and tend to discolour over time.
The paint for walkable exterior concrete
The ideal paint to use to paint the garage floor , the concrete sidewalk in front of the property or the external pavements is commonly known as concrete paint , and is composed of polyurethane resins dissolved in a water base.
This type of paint is non-flammable, completely odorless, diluted in water and therefore extremely easy to use, even for DIY enthusiasts without any experience.
The price of polyurethane paint for concrete can range from about 15 to 35 euros, depending on the manufacturer, the quantity of paint and any additional features. Usually the average price for a four-liter jar is around 25-28 euros, but on the market you can also easily find paints for concrete with special characteristics whose cost can even reach 90 euros per jar; this type of paints, however, are intended for specific applications and also require the intervention of a professional to be applied correctly.
How to apply concrete paint
Before applying the paint for concrete, the surface must be properly prepared; if the concrete has been poured recently, it is advisable to wait two or three weeks first and then apply the paint when the concrete is completely dry.
On the other hand, if the flooring is old, then it is necessary to start by eliminating any cracks that have formed over time, grouting them with the quick-setting cement mortar; the next step is to clean the surface in order to remove any traces of grease. To do this, just use acetone or cement shampoo, taking care to scrub the areas soaked in grease well with a hard bristle brush; after having cleaned and rinsed thoroughly, then, you have to wait for the concrete to dry completely before applying the paint. In addition, any demarcation areas, such as pavement edges or parking strips, can be demarcated using adhesive tape.
For the first coat it is advisable to prepare the paint by diluting it with 5-10% of water, in order to make it more liquid and facilitate penetration into the concrete; the more watery consistency will also allow it to be spread more easily. For subsequent coats, however, it is preferable to use pure paint, in order to preserve its resistance and durability properties intact.
To facilitate the work as much as possible, it is advisable to spread the paint with the roller and limit the use of the brush only in the corner areas, to perform finishes and to paint any parking strips.