Cristina is a Florida native and Realtor by trade. She enjoys writing about travel, real estate, and several other interesting topics.
The other day I pulled into my driveway and thought, “YUCK!” The house is freshly painted but the concrete foundation just looks... well, “YUCK!” I don’t think it’s ever been painted; it has years of dirt kicked up on the concrete blocks giving the foundation a dingy look. There are little weeds growing around it. I looked around the neighborhood and noticed some painted foundations, others not painted but landscaped. It seems I had one of those two choices to give my home a little more curb appeal. So, I’m going to do both.
If you’ve had those thoughts about your own concrete foundation, here are the easy steps to take to paint yours and give your home a partial face lift. If you haven’t painted the entire house yet, now might be a great time to tackle that project, too.
Steps to Painting Your Home's Foundation
1. Pull the weeds that are growing around the foundation. Weeds restrict your access to all parts of the foundation and get stuck in the paint.
2. Clean the concrete using a pressure washer. You want to be sure to clean away any dirt, mold or mildew. These affect how well the paint sticks to the concrete. If you don’t take care of this cleaning now, you may discover peeling paint in a few months and have to repaint again.
3. At this point when painting concrete, you would normally repair any cracks or other defects in the concrete. However, because you are painting the foundation of your house, hopefully you won’t find any defects to repair. Hairline cracks are not usually anything to worry about but if in doubt, call in a contractor to make sure your foundation does not need any major repairs before embarking on the painting project.
If you have a small crack or chip in the concrete that you would like to repair, use a concrete patch. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying and to determine how long the patch should dry before being painted.
4. Use a shovel to dig back the dirt around the foundation. You don’t want your roller brush to get any dirt on it so give yourself lots of room to paint and keep your brush clean.
5. Seal and prime the foundation before painting. Sealing and priming will insure you have a water-resistant base for your paint. The primer will also work like a first coat of paint, absorbing into the concrete so that your first coat of actual paint coats better and absorbs less. Use a high quality sealer made for concrete. When the sealer is dry, follow it with a good quality concrete primer.
6. With the prep work complete, it is time to paint. First, choose a high quality exterior paint made for concrete. Though it will cost more, a good paint will coat better and last longer saving you money in the long run.
The foundation is most likely constructed of concrete block. If so, use a paintbrush first to paint the grooves of the blocks. Paint everything else with the roller. Finish the first coat by painting the edges and corners with the paintbrush. Let this first coat dry completely. Apply a second coat in the same manner you applied the first.
Once the paint is completely dry, you can push the dirt you shoveled away back into place. You may even feel motivated by your freshly painted foundation. Add landscaping if time and your budget allows. You will be pleasantly surprised at how lovely your home looks and how much curb appeal a simple paint job can give it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Cristina Vanthul
Goldmouth on January 10, 2015:
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Jim on December 28, 2014:
Hi Irene!When you seal your wood canvas with Gesso you have to allow it to dry celemotply. I usually do multiple ones that way they are ready to go when I'm ready to paint on them.I usually do at least 2 layers of Gesso on all sides including the back (3 layers is ideal) for longevity.Once the Gesso is dry, then you can sketch on on it.I sketch on Vellum or Tracing paper first so all the erasing and corrections are done on that and not on the wood. Once I'm happy with the drawing then I transfer it using another piece of Velum that I have rubbed celemotply with a 4B pencil, you can purchase transfer paper, but I just make it my self.By transferring the drawing, you keep the Gesso clean and then begin to paint.If you do not want to deal with transferring, you can always add a layer of clear coat to the pencil sketch that is on the wood, let it dry and then start painting. The lead will be sealed and will not mix with your colors.I hope that helps.You've given me a nice idea for a blog post and I'll be explaining it using pictures.Take careMaggie