All About Concrete Steps | What Paint to Use on Concrete Steps | The Best Outdoor Paint | Application & Care Of Concrete Paint

All About Concrete Steps

What Paint to Use on Concrete Steps?

What Paint to Use on Concrete Steps

Steps made of concrete are very different from those made of wood, plastic, plasterboard, or metal when it comes to painting. Water may be soaked up by it like a sponge thanks to its porous nature. For the paint to last, it must be designed to let moisture evaporate.

This means that the paint will need to be adaptable so that it can follow the concrete as it shifts. You’ll need paint with a high pigment concentration to adequately cover the porous and textured surface of the concrete.

A paint intended for masonry is the best choice for sealing and coloring concrete steps. Elastomeric describes this type of material. When purchasing paint, check that it is elastomeric and indicates that it can be used on concrete. This will guarantee adequate cooling, coverage, and adaptability.

Once you have the correct color for your concrete steps chosen, you’ll need to conduct some prep work. Preparing a concrete surface for paint is a very crucial element of the work. Concrete steps must be very clean, and devoid of debris, filth, mold, mildew, and grease.

Additionally, old sealants must be eliminated. Old paint may also need removing but it depends on the sort of paint you used. Before you start painting, make any necessary fixes and plug any holes or cracks with cement or masonry caulk.

Priming the concrete before painting is a fantastic idea. It simplifies the painting process by providing a more stable base for the paint to adhere to. You should get an elastomeric concrete primer.

Also Read: Painted Brick Vs. Limewash | What Is Painted Brick | What Is Limewash | Is It Cheaper to Limewash or Paint Brick

The Best Outdoor Paint

The Best Outdoor Paint

Concrete stairs will deteriorate quickly with normal use. Especially if you reside in a frosty area where the ground frequently freezes and thaws. A new layer of paint can prevent the concrete from deteriorating due to weather and improve its aesthetics.

Sealing the concrete surface is accomplished by applying paint or primer on top. When water is unable to soak into the concrete, it cannot freeze and expand, preventing fissures.

The best primer and paint combination for concrete steps is also good at hiding stains and other imperfections. They can do wonders for the house’s aesthetic by hiding tough-to-remove stains.

If you want to paint your concrete stairs, you need to be careful about the sort of paint you use. Paints designed specifically for concrete have binder flexibility.

They undergo the same expansion and contraction as concrete does when it is cooled and heated. In addition to preventing peeling, they allow moisture to escape from within the concrete.

Step paints for concrete are often low-gloss acrylic latex paints used to hide flaws and wear and tear from the sun. These work wonderfully on the front and sides of a set of stairs.

The floor or step section of the stairs would benefit greatly from being painted with epoxy-based paint due to the paint’s increased durability and stain resistance.

Although masonry paints are primarily intended for use on brick and other masonry surfaces, they can make for good coatings when applied to the concrete.

Concrete steps should not be painted with external house paint or any paint that is not designed for concrete. It will probably split, chip, and peel.

Concrete paint and primer can produce particularly potent fumes, but this is an issue with any kind of painting. Always ensure your safety by taking precautions when working with them.

Also Read: All About Sealing Concrete | Does Concrete Need to Be Sealed | Pros and Cons of Sealing Concrete Patio | Why Do You Need to Seal Concrete

What Paint To Use On Different Parts Of The Steps?

What Paint To Use On Different Parts Of The Steps

Consider the amount of foot traffic that will be put on the steps when making your decision regarding the sort of concrete paint to employ.

Since the top of the stairs is what gets trodden on, rained on, and snowed on, it wears down much more quickly than the sides and the front.

As the top surface is where planters are placed, it also receives the greatest UV radiation. It makes sense to use tougher paint here whereas the sides and front can get away with a more generic concrete finish.

General Masonry Paints

General Masonry Paints

Most masonry paints are also suitable for use on concrete, despite their name suggesting otherwise. Look for the following qualities or a label stating that the product is elastomeric. They can withstand the effects of time and weather without breaking down or changing color.

Masonry paints contain binders and epoxies that adhere effectively to concrete’s pores and texture. Concrete stairways may be painted with masonry paints designed to repel water.

They need to be flexible to allow for expansion and contraction. Breathable coatings on concrete allow moisture to escape while still looking great. Many types of whitewash paint perform admirably when applied to the concrete.

Side And Front of The Steps

Side And Front of The Steps

When compared to regular latex paint for masonry, acrylic latex paints offer a minor improvement. That’s why people normally use two types of colors for my steps. They normally utilize two sorts of colors and finishes too.

The best concrete paint for steps will have an enamel finish that resists mold and mildew growth. It should maintain a great appearance despite rainy or humid conditions.

Top Of The Concrete Steps

Top Of The Concrete Steps

We use high-performance, epoxy-based floor paint on the stairwell’s uppermost surface to protect it against filth, grime, ice, and foot traffic. They can withstand more wear and tear than normal concrete paints and last longer.

And if you want to display pots, they’re fantastic because they’re stain-resistant and easy to clean. The best paints for concrete steps will have a finish that is impervious to wear and tear scuffs, fades, grime, mold, mildew, stains, and other frequent problems in high-traffic areas.

They may lessen the frequency with which you have to do maintenance due to normal use. Epoxy paint is great for use on stairs because of how resistant its finish is to scuffing, fading, cracking, peeling, and chipping.

When compared to other types of concrete paint, epoxy-based floor paint might be more expensive and come in fewer color selections. But

since most floors are painted a neutral grey or earth tone, this is rarely an issue. Epoxy floor paint will typically cover between 300 and 500 square feet per gallon.

Application & Care Of Concrete Paint

Application & Care Of Concrete Paint

  • Preparation and concrete repair prior to painting are essential for the finest results.
  • Scrub the concrete floor clean and sand down any bumps. It might be necessary to scrape off a hardened residue.
  • Cleaning the concrete steps of any grime or oil requires a de-greasing solution, a scrub brush, and water.
  • Once the concrete is dry, you can vacuum up any dust or residue that may have accumulated.
  • Use cement or masonry caulk to fill in all the crannies and crevices.
  • It may be necessary to demolish and rebuild significant portions of the affected region.
  • Let the patches dry for a full day.
  • Using a paintbrush, start adding concrete primer. The concrete steps should be cleaned beginning at the edges and corners and working inward.
  • For big, flat areas, a paint roller is the tool of choice when applying primer. Applying two coats of priming is suggested for optimal results.
  • It’s recommended to wait two hours between coats of primer.
  • The concrete steps can be painted in the same way.
  • Sealer should be applied to freshly painted concrete in the same manner as primer and paint. You need to let it dry in between coats.
  • Soap and water should be used when the surface first shows signs of wear. After 20 to 30 minutes, rinse with water to remove the soap. If the soap doesn’t get the job done, then try something stronger.
  • Wearing a paint respirator mask is a must whether sanding or painting concrete.

How To Paint Concrete Steps Step By Step

How To Paint Concrete Steps Step By Step

Here’s a quick step-by-step explanation of how you should paint your concrete steps. Keep in mind that the secret to success is proper planning and the application of high-quality paint.

The first thing you need to do is repair the steps. If you detect medium to large cracks they all need to be patched. Primers and concrete paint are effective at filling tiny hairline gaps.

To repair the fractures, apply cement or masonry caulk. In my opinion, cement looks best and works well with the concrete surface of the stairs. Unlike caulk, cement won’t stand out too much, whereas concrete would.

It is also possible to use cement caulk. This is essentially ready-to-use cement that comes in a tube. Even though you can’t control the consistency, it nonetheless does the job of cement.

If the paint and prime are over the repairs, nobody will know they were ever there.

Clean the Concrete

Clean the Concrete

Since concrete is porous, it will absorb and hold onto a lot of filth, grease, grime, mold, mildew, etc., making cleaning the concrete steps an essential task. Very permeable, it readily absorbs both dirt and water. Painting a dirty surface will only serve to seal the dirt and grime inside.

Use different amounts of force depending on the state of your feet. Old concrete is vulnerable to the effects of excessive power.

Try using a cleanser like trisodium phosphate if it doesn’t do the trick. There are several all-natural cleansers available if you share my preference. They are not particularly potent, but they do remove most stains. After I’ve exhausted all other options, we might resort to chemicals.

Pull out vines and moss growing on the foundation. Use a pressure washer or knife to aid. Could you not just take them off forcefully because they have worked their way into the concrete? It’s possible that you’ll accomplish a chuck of steps.

Effluents must be eliminated. It’s the fine white powder that develops on brick, stone, and concrete surfaces.

In spite of how new your concrete stairs are, you should always wash them down before painting. There could be dust, filth, or pollen on the surface which you’ll want to remove. Otherwise, it will all end up muddled in the paint.

Strip Old Paint

Strip Old Paint

Strip as much of the old paint as you can. It may not be necessary to completely remove all of the previous paint, as some of it can be painted over. But whatever you notice, it’s chipped, peeling, cracked, etc.

You shouldn’t repaint over peeling or chipped paint since the flaws will show through. It’s just like painting a car. If the old paint is still good you can sand off the clear coat and re-paint.

Usually, you won’t need to take everything out of the vehicle. But if there is damage to the paint, it must be repaired before repainting.

Prime the Concrete

Prime the Concrete

Block primer, a type of concrete primer, is used to seal pores and smooth the surface. New paint will stick better to the smooth surface it creates. It also fills in lots of minor gaps and textured surfaces.

Priming before painting improves the final product significantly. As an added bonus, primers are more effective at masking stains. This is especially handy if you’re painting those old concrete steps white.

In most cases, the cost of a concrete primer will be less than that of high-quality masonry paint. Use the inexpensive primer first to cover up stains and the good stuff later. Taking this extra step can save you money.

Paint the Concrete

Paint the Concrete

Concrete steps benefit from masonry paint, also known as elastomeric paint, due to the paint’s binders’ ability to expand and contract with the concrete. Other types of paint can crack and peel on concrete.

Make sure the concrete is very dry before you paint. Even though masonry paint may breathe you don’t want to overdo it by locking in loads of moisture. It’s ideal to paint concrete steps on a very dry day.

Keep the surface temperature between 55 and 80 degrees, as concrete is excellent at absorbing heat. Not too hot or too cold. Unless you have a heat gun just give it a touch test.

If it’s too hot or too cold to press your hand on comfortably then it’s probably not ready to paint. The edges and corners should be painted first using a brush.

Then use a roller for the larger areas. You may also want to mask off places you don’t want to paint with some painter’s tape. If you wish to use a sprayer, ensure the material isn’t too thick for the nozzle.

The concrete paint should be applied in as few layers as possible, with ample drying time in between each application. You’ll probably need two to four coats of paint and primer so check the weather forecast before you start painting.

The Finish Coat

The Finish Coat

Not all concrete paint jobs need a finish coat. However, if you insist on using one, wait until the very end, when the paint is completely dry, to apply it.

It’s fairly typical to utilize a finish coat on top of colors or stamped concrete. The sheen can be adjusted to achieve various degrees of wetness.

People propose adjusting the sheen exactly like you would the steps in your house. It is common practice to apply a glossier coat to a wooden stair than the paint itself. This does more than only improve the step’s aesthetics; it also adds visual contrast.

The eye is pulled to the step because of the slight eggshell gloss. In my opinion, glossy is too much. But a semi-gloss or eggshell looks excellent on a concrete step.

On the sides and front of the steps, people only use a flat or very slight sheen. A final coat provides an extra barrier for the paint, making it more durable and simpler to maintain.

For those who have experienced the dreaded “flat wall paint,” you understand what we are talking about. Everything seems to stain them and they’re hard to wash clean due to the fact that you are scrubbing at bare paint.

Invest in a coating that can withstand the harsh conditions of concrete and masonry. Once again, the ending should be malleable and airy. Textured or UV-resistant paint treatments are options when painting concrete. The roughness gives concrete a gritty sensation.

Also Read: All About Modern Staircase Design | Modern Staircase Styles

Does The Type Of Concrete Matter?

Does The Type Of Concrete Matter

Both, actually. Manufacturers do not produce concrete paints that are specifically formulated for use with varying types of concrete. One may say that this painting is universal in its applicability.

So long as the concrete is extremely flat, solid, and seems brand new. Using a heavy coat of concrete paint is unnecessary. Concrete repair is probably unnecessary since restorative paints have been discontinued.

A thicker concrete paint may be necessary for older, more porous, cracked, or textured concrete. You can see the rocks in some concrete.

If the texture is what you’re after, though, a small layer of concrete can do the trick. Everything must be completed before painting can begin.

Your concrete’s psi shouldn’t have any effect on the paint job. However, you must exercise caution when cleaning and repairing brittle, ancient concrete.

Match the psi of your new work to the old. It is possible to exacerbate the damage already present in the structure by using concrete or cement that is too thick for the existing repairs.

What About Painting Concrete Steps With Other Materials?

What About Painting Concrete Steps With Other Materials

Unfortunately, this is a typical issue. Blends of concrete and other materials, such as stone, limestone, pavers, cultured stone, stucco, or brick, make for attractive stairways.

Fortuitously, the fundamentals of painting concrete are transferable to various masonry materials. The colors are also similar between cans of paint. If you’re going to paint over the second material, I think it’d be a good idea to do some further research on it first.

Everything we’ve spoken about here, though, is applicable to other types of masonry as well. One potential stumbling block is wood, so keep that in mind. Stairs that are mostly concrete but have some wood in them will require two coats of paint.

Paints designed for different surfaces serve their intended purposes well; concrete paint on concrete, wood paint on wood. You shouldn’t pair them together randomly.


When compared to painting on wood, plastic, drywall, or metal, concrete steps provide unique challenges. It’s porous, so it can soak up liquids like a sponge. In order to prevent peeling, paint must be made to allow moisture to evaporate.

Therefore, the paint must be adaptable enough to follow the concrete as it shifts. Once you have the correct color for your concrete steps chosen, you’ll need to conduct some prep work. If there are any cracks or holes, fix them with cement or masonry caulk before you paint.

We think priming the concrete before painting it is a fantastic idea. It simplifies the painting process by providing a more uniform and sturdy base for the paint to adhere to. Simply acquire an elastomeric concrete primer.

Frequently Asked Question(FAQ):

Are Precast Concrete Steps Good?

Precast concrete steps are more durable and consistent in appearance because they have been cast and cured under controlled indoor conditions. As for their ecological footprint, these steps are greener because they use less material overall and frequently incorporate recycled content, such as fly ash, slag and cement.

What Are the Disadvantages of Precast Concrete?

  • Higher Upfront Costs.
  • Transportation Can Be an Issue.
  • You Have to Take Care When Handling Precast Concrete.
  • Precast Concrete Can Be Hard to Modify Once Built.
  • Improper Installation Could Cause Issues.

Do Concrete Steps Need Rebar?

As mentioned above, concrete steps must have rebar installed to reinforce the structure. As you can see here, these steps are reinforced with a lattice of rebar that also ties into the concrete sidewalk at the top of the steps, helping to hold all of it together.

What Is the Best Material for Front Steps?

  • Wood: The best choices are ipe (also called Brazilian walnut), redwood, or Alaskan yellow cedar.
  • Stone: Bluestone, limestone, granite, and slate are good stoop materials, though they’re pricier than brick, wood, or concrete.

Are Precast Concrete Steps Hollow?

Pre-cast concrete stairs are not a solid piece of concrete like poured-in-place stairs; rather, they’re hollow. A footing is still required for the stairs to rest on, but instead of the time-consuming task of forming up and pouring concrete steps, precast stairs just set in place and you’re done.

How Much Does It Cost to Redo Front Steps?

Most homeowners pay between $250 and $750 to repair concrete steps. A quick DIY fix can cost as little as $20. More extensive repairs can cost up to $800. Labor runs between $30 and $75 per hour for a contractor or mason.

Paint for Outdoor Concrete Steps

The best types of paint for concrete are high-quality low-luster oil-based or latex porch and floor enamel, acrylic latex paints, epoxy-based paints, and masonry paints.

Paint Concrete Steps to Look Like Stone

  1. Prep the Space. Clear away all patio furniture, potters, and other objects sitting on the concrete.
  2. Clean the Concrete. Photo: welcomia / iStock / Getty Images.
  3. Apply Your Primer.
  4. Add The Background Stain.
  5. Create and Paint Your Stone Outlines.
  6. Dry and Seal.

Best Exterior Paint for Hot Climate

Extreme temperature fluctuations can have a devastating effect on exterior paint jobs. Constant temperature fluctuations can cause peeling, chipping, and fading. Acrylic paint will be the best choice in these situations. Acrylic paint made from 100% acrylic is strong and adheres well to your home’s surface.

Best Outdoor Paint for Wood

  • Best Exterior Wood Paints – My Top Picks.
  • Valspar 1533 Porch and Floor Latex Satin Enamel.
  • BEHR Premium 1 Gal.
  • KILZ Exterior Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint.
  • KILZ Interior/Exterior Enamel Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint.
  • Rust-Oleum 1990730 Painter’s Touch Latex Paint.
  • Diamond Brite Paint 31150 Oil-Base Enamel Paint.

Exterior Paint That Lasts 20 Years

“Acrylic paint lasts the longest and is also known for resisting all sorts of damage caused by weather and other natural variables. Acrylic paint is also excellent for resisting fading or damage caused by exposure to the sun, making it perfect for homes located in hot regions or climates.”

Best Exterior Paint Brands 2022

  • 1 PRESTIGE Paints E100-N-SW6991 Exterior Paint.
  • 2 KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Exterior Latex Paint.
  • 3 Rust-Oleum 1986502 Painter’s Touch Latex Paint.
  • 4 Diamond Brite Paint 1-Gallon Latex Gloss Enamel.
  • 5 Montage Signature Interior and Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint.

Best Exterior Paint for Sun Exposure

Acrylic paints are a go-to for local house painters when it comes to resisting fading or damage caused by exposure to the sun, making them perfect for Roseville, CA homes. Another excellent choice when it comes to exterior painting for UV resistance is elastomeric paint.

What Is the Best Paint to Use on Indoor Stairs?

Semi-gloss or satin paints are typically preferred for risers but can prove dangerous when used on the stair treads. Always opt for floor paints when you can, as they’re designed to be non-slip and more durable than other kinds of paints.

High Traffic Paint for Wood Stairs

EnamelEnamel paint is the best use for the exterior if you need high traffic but works just as well for interiors. It has a finish that lasts longer than most other paints, especially in areas that are exposed to lots of rain or snow.

Best Paint for Interior Wood Stairs

Latex and acrylic paint is probably the most used paint for stairs. It is easy to work with and easy to clean. There are many advantages of using latex paint for painting your wooden stairs. One of the most common problems of wooden stairs is moisture penetrating them due to the weather changes.

Paint Concrete

  1. Patch gouged or otherwise damaged areas with concrete filler.
  2. Clean the concrete surface with TSP.
  3. Let the surface dry thoroughly before you begin to paint the concrete.
  4. Brush paint onto the perimeter of the concrete.
  5. Roll on more paint to cover the interior.

Painting Concrete Walls

  1. Clean the Area.
  2. Apply an Etching Solution.
  3. Fill All Cracks.
  4. Apply Concrete Sealer if You Don’t Want a Painted Surface.
  5. Thorough Wash and Moisture Test.
  6. Purchase the Right Paint.
  7. Apply Two Coats.

Best Paint for Concrete Foundation

Masonry paint (also called elastomeric paint or elastomeric wall coating) is a good choice for concrete painting because it contains binders that contract and expand with the concrete. Exterior house paint can crack and peel on concrete.

Concrete Primer Before Painting

Primer is an essential first step when painting concrete or any masonry product. It gives the paint a surface to adhere to and an even color to paint over. This allows your paint to last longer, look better and become chip resistant. It’s also a lot cheaper if you use primer because less coats of paint are required.

Painting Concrete Floor


  • Step 1: Tear out carpet & carpet pad.
  • Step 2: Remove tack strips.
  • Step 3: Clean off paint and adhesive.
  • Step 4: Fill holes & cracks with concrete filler.
  • Step 5: Sand down or scrape high spots & Leftover paint/glue.
  • Step 6: Analyze trim (Remove and lower or keep and caulk?)

Painting Concrete Stairs Outside

  1. Clean the steps really well.
  2. Make sure the steps are completely dry before painting them.
  3. Prime the steps before painting them with a cement primer (this will prevent chipping).
  4. Paint with a cement paint.
  5. Apply paint with a synthetic roller that has some texture to speed the process up.

What Are the 5 Types of Concrete?

  • Reinforced Concrete.
  • Lightweight Concrete.
  • High-Strength Concrete.
  • High-Performance Concrete.
  • Precast Concrete.

Best Paint for Concrete Steps

The best types of paint for concrete are high-quality low-luster oil-based or latex porch and floor enamel, acrylic latex paints, epoxy-based paints, and masonry paints.

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