• DIY

    A quick guide to paving paint

    Different kinds of paints have been designed to fulfil vastly different requirements. There are paints specifically designed for wood, metal, plastic and beyond. You’ve probably also encountered terms like acrylics, oils, indoor paint, and outdoor paint, but did you know that there’s a special type for paint for concrete? Welcome to the semi-colourful world of paving paint. Here’s what you need to know about it.

    What is paving paint?

    As the term suggests, paving paint is a specific type of paint that is used on outdoor concrete surfaces like driveways, basements, decks, pavement, porches, and sidewalks. Because of this, paving paint is generally more resilient than ordinary paint; it’s made to withstand heavy foot traffic, harsh weather conditions and the constant flow of motor vehicles.

    There are generally two types of paving paint: water-based and oil-based. Like regular paint, there is no type that is definitively better than the other – your choice depends primarily on a number of factors, such as the surface to be painted, as well as your personal preferences. If the surface has never been painted on, you can use either type. However, if there is existing paint on the surface, your choice would depend on what’s already there.

    In other words, the new coat should go well with the old one. To test for compatibility, you can paint over a small area to see how the two coats interact. Better yet, consult a professional.

    How to choose the right paving paint

    Here are a few tips on how to pick the right kind of paving paint for the job:

    • Paving paint is available in semi-gloss and low-gloss finish. If you want something durable and easy to clean, go for semi-gloss. Low gloss isn’t as shiny, but it’s also durable, convenient to clean, and easy to retouch.
    • Choosing the paving paint’s colour, particularly for indoors, would depend on where you use it. Consider the accompanying architectural details like columns and trims. Similar to other regular indoor paint, paving paint can also be used to conceal or emphasise certain features.
    • Water-based paving paint has a milder odour than oil-based variants. They’re also easier to clean up. Take this into consideration especially when painting an indoor area where fumes wouldn’t as easily dissipate.
    • If you’re going for longevity, buy high-quality paint. Yes, it’s more expensive but it lasts much longer, is smoother and easier to apply, and more convenient to clean.

    How to use paving paint

    Paving paint is quite similar to regular paint, but there are some base rules you should follow before applying it as well as options on how and where to apply it. Here are several suggestions how:

    • To apply paving paint outdoors, use a wide paintbrush or roller as these tools cover more ground. If you have a bad back, go for the roller, so that you won’t have to bend over when painting the floor.
    • Wait at least two hours before applying a second coat of paving paint. We also recommend that surfaces coated with paving paint aren’t subjected to heavy traffic for about five days to a week to make the most of the application.
    • To clean surfaces coated with paving paint, soap it with a gentle detergent and then use a garden hose for rinsing.
    • We recommend applying two to three coats of paving paint on all surfaces you plan to use it on.
    • Always prepare the surface that will be coated with paving paint. If you’re painting over new concrete, make sure it’s already cured before you apply the paint. This means the concrete should first be allowed to dry for at least four weeks.
    • If you’re painting over old concrete, clean it beforehand by using a degreaser and then rinsing it thoroughly after with a pressure washer.
    • Working on a previously painted surface? Clean it with a degreaser, rinse it with a pressure washer (as above), and then remove any peeling and loose paint before applying a new coat.
    • For painting smooth surfaces, consider etching it with an acid mixture (made of one part acid solvent and three parts water) in advance to make the area rougher. This will help the paving paint adhere more easily to the surface. Remember to rinse the etched surface and allow it to dry beforehand.