Paint is the ultimate designer's medium. For only a few dollars, paint transforms nearly anything into something fresh, dazzling and new. Discover the materials that accept paint and those that you should avoid.
By John RihaMore in Painting
Learn how to give your stuff new life with a few good strokes. Note: Many manufacturers make specialty paints for specific applications; ask your paint dealer.
Set-up and Prep: Clean brick with a wire brush to remove dirt and grime; be careful not to dig out any mortar. Scrub the masonry with soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Let dry for 48 hours.
Painting: Use a first coat of quality latex primer. When the primer is dry, apply top-quality latex paint that's formulated for use on masonry. Use a long-nap roller to cover most of the surface, and a brush to get into grout lines and crevices. Watch for drips – there's a lot of texture to a brick surface, so keep an eye out for runs. A second coat is recommended.
Heads-up: Don't use a pressure-washer to clean your brick; the risk of gouging out mortar is too great. Note that painting brick is a one-way decision — it's almost impossible to remove paint from brick surfaces.
Set up and Prep: Sand with 150-grit sandpaper to improve adhesion. Clean the tile surfaces with TSP or other non-residue cleaner.
Painting: Use a top-quality acrylic primer. Finish with semi-gloss acrylic interior paint. If you want, paint the grout a contrasting color — but you'll need patience and a steady hand.
Heads up: For best adhesion, allow the paint to cure for 10 days to two weeks before using the surfaces. Don't paint tile floors; there's just too much traffic and abrasion.
Set up and Prep: Wash the slab with TSP or other non-residue cleaner. Remove any old, flaking paint. Treat oily spots with a degreaser. Let everything dry for 48 hours. Etch the surface of the concrete with a mild (10 percent) solution of muriatic acid (make sure you have plenty of ventilation).
Painting: Use a primer and paint specifically formulated for concrete floors. Apply the paint according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Heads up: Make sure your concrete isn't wicking moisture up from underneath. Tape a 2x2-foot piece of plastic to the floor (tape all edges) and wait a couple of days. Check underneath the plastic to make sure no moisture has formed on the underside of the plastic. If it has, your slab isn't a good candidate for paint.
Set up and Prep: Remove any loose particles and mortar, using a wire brush. Remove efflorescence with a bleach solution made from 1 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water. Clean the entire surface with TSP or other non-residue cleaner. Let everything dry 48 hours before painting.
Painting: Prepare raw block with a masonry sealer. Let dry thoroughly, then apply a high-quality acrylic latex primer. Finish with acrylic latex paint.
Heads up: For new concrete and block installations: Wait 90 days before applying paint.