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How to Prime Concrete for Painting

By Laura Heilman ; Updated September 21, 2017

Concrete, both indoors and out, is a durable and economical material that is not only environmentally sustainable but has the potential of adding beauty to a space. One of the more popular ways to beautify concrete is through paint. Painting concrete requires a bit of prep work that is essential to long-term use. As with all home projects, the preparation is often one of the most important steps in achieving the desired effect. Priming concrete for painting is no different.

Clean concrete surface with a broom or vacuum. Remove all debris and mop if necessary.

Remove all grease stains or other spills on the concrete. Scrub with a brush and degreaser if the grease stains are particularly stubborn. Use a scraper to remove any other materials that have adhered to the concrete.

Patch and repair all cracks with a concrete patch product. Follow the manufacturer's instructions paying particularly close attention to recommended drying time.

If the concrete has been sealed, you are ready to start the primer process. To test for sealant, tape a piece of plastic wrap onto the concrete. If after 24 hours there is condensed water on the wrap, the concrete will need to be sealed with a masonry sealer.

Apply the primer using the roller pan and brush. Let it dry thoroughly, then apply another coat. Once the second coat of primer has completely dried, you are ready to start painting.


Things You Will Need

  • Broom or vacuum Scrub brush Degreaser Scraper Concrete patch Primer Roller pan Roller brush with long handle


  • Check to be sure that the concrete is completely dry before attempting to primer or paint. If necessary hire a professional to inspect the concrete and make repairs.


  • The paint will need to be stripped and removed if you ever decide to tile the concrete. Paint on concrete in high traffic areas might peel and will need to be touched up every so often.