A full step-by-step tutorial to paint a concrete pool deck and patio to make it last and save thousands by doing it yourself.
Mistakes are proof you’re trying, right? Welllllllll… we tried REALLY hard at our concrete patio / pool deck about a year ago. And not only was it a mistake, but it was a gigantically bad fail.
I mean… so bad.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: 2 years later, this pool deck and patio paint is still holding up perfectly despite corrosive salt water from the pool always splashing on it! No scuffs or signs of peeling at all. Score!
Costly Outdoor Concrete Painting Mistakes You Should Know Before Starting
A word of caution: Do NOT use bright white concrete paint. It will basically burn your retinas in the bright sun.
And do not skip the ever-so-important prep work and priming before jumping into the patio painting part. That thirsty concrete will gulp that paint right up resulting in an even more time-consuming, costly project.
After we gave our pool a major overhaul and spruced up our pool shed, we thought a concrete refresh would be a great idea. And then after choosing an absolutely wrong, completely blinding paint color and barely making a dent in the paint job after applying an entire 5 gallon bucket, we saved the project for another day.
To be fair, we were in the depths of wrangling an ear-infection/colic-prone baby not sleeping through the night back when we made that mistake and that didn’t help our willingness to fix our mistake right away.
And now we finally decided it was time to remedy this for good!
How Much Professional Concrete Pool Deck Painting Costs
We got a quote from a paint company first just to see if it would be better to hire a pro for this big job, and it was estimated to cost $3,000 by a contractor.
We figured we’d give it the ol’ college try again and attempt to keep it under $1,000. And guess what?! We did it!!!
It really wasn’t a difficult project at all. Hot and time-consuming, yes, but not difficult. If possible, I’d make this a spring or fall project (though we managed in July in South Carolina).
DIY Painted Concrete Pool Deck and Patio Instructions
- Leaf Blower
- Pressure Washer
- Push Broom
- Plastic Watering Can
- Putty Knife
- Extra Large Paint Roller Frame
- Extra Large Paint Roller Tray
- Power Drill with Mixing Paddle Attachment
- Valspar Fast Prep Concrete Cleaner (We used 4 gallons)
- DAP Liquid Cement Crack Filler
- KILZ General Purpose Exterior Primer (We used 13 gallons)
- Rustoleum Anti-Skid Additive (We used 10 packs)
- KILZ 1-Part Epoxy Concrete & Garage Floor Paint – Slate Gray (We used 10 gallons)
- Extra Large Rough Paint Roller Covers
- 3″ Angled Paint Brush
OUR TOTAL COST: $904.22 (not including our tools)
Ideal Outdoor Concrete Paint Weather
Be sure to check the weather forecast and plan to do this project in 4 consecutive warm, dry-weather days. This project takes 3 work days + 24 hours after work is finished for paint drying.
Our large concrete pool deck and patio required about 12 hours of total labor time.
Step 1 – Blow Off Debris
We used a leaf blower to remove any leaves and debris from the concrete first.
Step 2 – Clean and Etch the Surface
Work in 10 sq ft sections for this step: Use a garden hose to dampen a section of concrete. Fill a plastic watering can (do not use metal) with the concrete cleaner & etcher and pour it evenly on the damp concrete.
Step 3 – Scrub Away
Let the concrete cleaner sit for 2-3 minutes. You should hear it fizz and bubble as it cleans. Scrub with the push broom in 2 perpendicular directions.
Step 4 – Rinse With a Pressure Washer
Use a pressure washer to rinse away the concrete cleaner and remove any excess dirt and grime. (We love this pressure washer.) Let the concrete fully dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 5 – Fill Cracks and Holes
Fill any cracks and holes in the concrete with Liquid Cement Crack Filler. Spread the crack filler with a putty knife until smooth and let dry completely.
Step 6 – Apply Exterior Primer
Apply 1 coat of the KILZ General Purpose Exterior Primer with an extra large roller for large areas and angled paint brush for edges, cracks, and hard to reach places.
Step 7 – Let Primer Dry
Let the primer coat dry completely up to 24 hours, depending on weather conditions.
Step 8 – Mix Paint and Anti-Skid Additive
Step 9 – Roll On Paint
Apply the anti-skid mixed paint. We were very happy with the coverage of this paint as we only needed 1 coat! Woot!
So much better already!!!
Step 10 – Paint Into Cracks and Edges
After allowing the paint to dry 24 hours, we painted cracks, edges, and details with angled paint brushes, but you could do that before rolling the paint actually.
We are SO pleased with how this turned out! The color looks just like freshly poured concrete!
It did feel a little slippery the first few times it got wet, but as the paint cures, the grip improves. So be mindful the first few days the concrete gets wet while you’re walking on it. And for any concrete surface around the pool, always caution swimmers that they should never run in case of falling.
Can you believe the difference in this painted concrete patio and pool deck over the last two years?!
If you missed any of our previous posts about our home’s exterior, you can see our journey below