Standard concrete has been used for driveways, sidewalks, and patios for well over a century.
However, stamped concrete while essentially made from the same materials has different shapes, designs, and etchings that make it different.
What is stamped concrete?
Sometimes called patterned or imprinted concrete, stamped concrete is the result of rubber stamps that imprint the material with designs or patterns that resemble slate, tile, natural brick, and even planks of wood.
This form of concrete can be imprinted after it is poured over the ground or an existing concrete slab.
The stamping process allows the concrete to mimic other popular materials or have new, original patterns.
It is more expensive compared to standard concrete, but it is also more attractive and is quite popular for driveways, patios, pool sides, and even interior spaces where concrete is used.
Painting these stamped concrete driveways make them even more attractive.
Plus, the paint also provides protection towards the everyday foot traffic it has to deal with.
How to Paint Over Stamped Concrete?
Because concrete has a porous surface, it can hold paint easily as long as it has been prepared.
The differences between standard and stamped versions of concrete are minor at best.
The only notable one is that stamped concrete has grooves, pocks, and lines whereas standard concrete is smooth.
This difference means that if you are going to paint over stamped concrete, it is best to use a brush compared to a roller or spraying device that may not create an even layer of paint.
Step. 1 Cure
If you decide to paint your stamped concrete patio, driveway, or flooring, then you will need to let it properly cure first.
It takes from one to two years to allow the stamped concrete to cure.
During this process, the moisture, salts, and minerals present in the concrete tends to seep out.
This will cause the paint to loosen from the surface until the concrete is fully cured.
You may be able to hasten the curing process if the material is Portland cement stamped concrete which can cure in just 30 days.
Step. 2 Prep
The first step is to repair any damage to the surface areas.
This means addressing all cracks with mortar or acrylic caulk so that the moisture from the ground does not seep through.
If the concrete has water issues, then you should install gutters or in some circumstances a sump well to help keep the surface as dry as possible.
Once you have repaired the surface, the alkalies inside the concrete that must be neutralized.
This means scrubbing the surface with a mixture of 3% phosphoric acid and 2% zinc chloride.
Do not rinse away the solution.
If the surface has been previously painted, then you will need to remove all the old paint first.
You can use a wire-bristle brush which can take away the old paint without damaging the surface.
If there is motor oil stains, then you must use a degreaser that will remove them. When the surface is clean, you are ready for the next step.
One-part muriatic acid mixed with 10 parts water should be poured over the surface and scrubbed using a push-broom made with bristles of nylon.
Once you have thoroughly brushed the surface, rinse it completely so that all of the solution is removed.
When the surface is dry, you are ready to pain.
Step. 3 Painting the Surface
As with painting any surface, it is best to use a high-quality primer first. Once it dries, you are ready for the paint.
There are a number of paints which are specially formulated to stick to a concrete surface, even a stamped one.
Because stamped concrete has lines, etchings, and pocks, you will need to use a masonry epoxy paint that fills the porous areas while spreading evenly across the surface.
An oil-based paint is generally preferred over latex versions because they are far more durable and will bind to the surface quickly.
However, they are also somewhat more difficult to paint and will take longer to dry.
Important Considerations while Painting the Surface
With both the primer and the paint, you will need to apply several thin coats to keep them from pooling in the grooves or indentations.
You will need a brush to paint the grooves by hand and a paint roller to fill in the smoother areas.
Once you have applied several thin layers, allow the surface five to seven days to fully dry.
Do not allow for vehicle or foot traffic during that time.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls. He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.