Monday, July 23, 2012
How to Paint a Concrete Retaining Wall
Painting a concrete retaining wall is not difficult, but it can have its challenges. It doesn’t matter how long and tall the wall is, and it doesn’t matter if the wall is poured concrete or concrete block, there are a variety of reasons why the wall needs to, has to or should be painted.
The wall needs to be free of dirt, grime or grease for the paint to stick. It might be as easy as taking a broom and sweeping the dirt off, or it might require a wash down with a garden hose. For stubborn dirt, grime or grease, it might take a power washer to do the job. If detergent is used to clean the wall, make sure the residue is completely washed off.
The wall will need some drying time which could take up to several days. Once the wall is declared fit for painting, consider using a primer on the wall. Concrete is a porous material and the primer will seal the pin holes and make it easier to paint. If no primer is used, the concrete will suck up the paint, and it might take two or more coats of paint to do the job.
Concrete can be painted any color, but it is important to use outdoor latex paint. Latex paint will stand up to the weather, especially if the weather is subject to multiple seasons. There is paint made specifically for concrete but is usually available in white, black or gray. If one of those is the color of choice, opt for the concrete paint. Some brands of concrete specific paint can be tinted a different color.
The best painting day will be seasonable temperatures and not raining or windy. Rain will hamper the paint job the same way a just washed wall will and a windy day will blow the paint every which way not to mention kick up dirt, grit and sand into the paint.
Painting can be accomplished with paint brushes, rollers or a paint sprayer. Put down drop clothes in front of the wall to prevent the ground from becoming paint spattered. Paint with even strokes and apply the paint in one direction. If painting with a roller or paint sprayer, it might be necessary to paint the edges of the wall with a paint brush. If there are scores in the concrete, it might be necessary to fill those in with a brush, as well.
After the painting is complete, rinse the brushes and rollers with water before putting them away or rinse out the sprayer and let it dry.