Asked on Aug 04, 2016

Can the exterior concrete foundation be painted?

by Msj5248235
We live north of Toronto, Ontario Canada and we get a lot of snow. I'm thinking of painting the exterior concrete foundation of our house. Looking for some tips on how to go do it, or is it a bad idea?
  29 answers
  • Kevin Syler Kevin Syler on Aug 04, 2016
    Once you paint, you will always have to paint. Contact a concrete finisher or a home improvement center and ask about staining.
    • Msj5248235 Msj5248235 on Aug 06, 2016
      Thank You Kevin Syler. I think there are more suggestions on staining vs painting. Contacting a conrete finisher is a good idea.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 04, 2016
    Personally I do not think it is worth the investment and it may look more obvious painted.
  • Rachel Cunningham Rachel Cunningham on Aug 04, 2016
    Check out mosaic tiles for covering up the concrete sections.
    • Msj5248235 Msj5248235 on Aug 05, 2016
      Thank You Rachel Cunningham. I wish I could do mosaic, but might not a good idea for the kind of winter we have in Canada.
  • Jane Jane on Aug 04, 2016
    I would stain also. You will be painting every couple of years.
  • Penumbra7 Penumbra7 on Aug 04, 2016
    We had a product called New Look put on our foundation, Cowboy Dust was the color. Could have done it ourselves, but it was a lot of work. Very happy with product and color after over three years. New Look products are for concrete. Bought it locally in Utah.
  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Aug 04, 2016
    You might want to contact someone about sealing your concrete. It might not have any color change and protect your foundation and home from winter weather.
  • Short answer, yes you can. Long answer, you will need to prep properly. It looks pretty clean already and appears to be in good shape, so you shouldn't have too much of an issue with this step. Then, you will need to paint with an exterior masonry paint, such as Sherwin Williams' Luxon. But, as any exterior paint, you will need to repaint from time to time. How often will depend on how well you prep and what environmental conditions it will be exposed to. But, you should expect to repaint anywhere from every 5-10 years. If you are okay with that, then you have no problem. However, you may also want to consider a few other options, such as a colored slurry finish or even a faux stone that matches the gray in your walkway.
    • Msj5248235 Msj5248235 on Aug 04, 2016
      Thanks for the tips, Rachel. Will check out the other 2 options that you've mentioned.
  • Kayestes Kayestes on Aug 04, 2016
    This is what we used and are very satisfied with the results. The BEHR Premium Basement and Masonry Waterproofer with NanoGuard Technology is an interior/exterior waterproofer with a 10 year customer satisfaction guarantee. It is designed for porous masonry surfaces and withstands up to 12 PSI of hydrostatic pressure and 98 mph wind-driven rain. This low odor, mildew resistant waterproofer provides a smooth, decorate finish that is sprayable for easy application. Ideal for use on above and below grade walls, retaining walls, garage walls, masonry walls, cinder blocks, stucco, brick, foundations and landscape walls. Ideal for interior and exterior vertical concrete and masonry walls 10 year customer satisfaction guarantee Mildew resistant finish Withstands 12 PSI of hydrostatic pressure and 98 mph wind-driven rain 100% Styrene Acrylic Available in custom colors Durable Flat finish 75 - 125 sq. ft. of coverage per-gal. Sprayable, saves application time Easy clean-up with soap and water. Hope this helps. We got ours at home depot.
    • Msj5248235 Msj5248235 on Aug 04, 2016
      Sounds good, Kayestes. Will look into that. Did you use sealant before you painted? How did you prep the surface?
  • Ben Di Gaudio Ben Di Gaudio on Aug 04, 2016
    It's definitely a very good idea because it'll keep moisture on the outside of your house rather than transmitting it inside. You need to be able to find Oil based primer and let it dry as per instructions on primer can. Then you need a good quality Oil based paint . You can also use water based paint on top of the oil based primer but, the water based paint will peel off due to the snow or rain. Oil based will last you a longer period of time. Remember to clean the surface that you are going to paint really good to get the dirt and grime off before you apply the primer.
  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Aug 04, 2016
    I used to paint mine in Austin, Texas. Took it as an opportunity to add color to my house...used a darkish navy blue.
  • Phyllis Phyllis on Aug 05, 2016
    I live in Virginia USA and I painted mine 2 years ago and it is still looking great. You must purchase cement block paint.
  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Aug 05, 2016
    You can do this of course. Just watch which colour your choose for the cement. A neighbour painted hers to match her red brick and it made the house look like it had no foundation. She has returned it to a more conventional colour and it looks fine again
  • UpState UpState on Aug 05, 2016
    Why are we doing this ? Want color ? Need protection ?
  • Susan Susan on Aug 05, 2016
    Use concrete paint. Sold in home depot and Lowe's. Easy find. Different brands.
  • JayEl JayEl on Aug 05, 2016
    I live about 150 miles north of Toronto. I'd suggest a light gray or beige concrete paint.
  • Lainey Howell Lainey Howell on Aug 05, 2016
    The trend here is to have a textured cover sprayed on. It is usually limestone, but can be custom colored and sculpted to look like brick , limestone, etc., or left as just a texture. Looks very nice.
  • Kayestes Kayestes on Aug 05, 2016
    We didnt have to use or do anything to prep foundation. Check the product to see if it has information on when rhat would be necessary and what to use if needed. Enjoy your finished project whatever you decide.
  • UpState UpState on Aug 05, 2016
    I would look for a concrete stain. I'd choose a color that would compliment the grey/tan bricks ... what color that would be ? IDK. I'd look for a design website that specializes in color matching & color complimenting. Would pass on the paint. (too many re-do's down the road)
    • See 1 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 10, 2016
      I agree...avoid "traditional" grey concrete paint, it looks bad and so 60/70's and you need to redo it often. There are nice and clean looking homes in my area that did it, and it really ruined the look. They also seem to sell much slower too. If you must change your foundation, I would use stain in a warm colour or faux stone.
  • Alan Alan on Aug 05, 2016
    Any water based paint will be fine, first of all make sure there is no Mold or Mildew growing on the Concrete, if there is you will have to treat it with the appropriate product, and be warned it could grow back from moisture feeding it from the inside, put your first coat of paint on quite thinly so as it soaks into the Concrete and acts like a primer and then follow that up with 2 nice unthined coats of the selected colour. In a couple of years time Oil based Paints will no longer be made, the modern Water based Acrylic Paints are fantastic!
  • Jan Loehr Jan Loehr on Aug 05, 2016
    If you decide to paint, there is a Mildew additive sold by Home Depot that comes in a very small packet, which they say will take care of several gallons of paint, very between the correct paint and the additive there should be no mildew or mold for a long time....
  • Jhunt10 Jhunt10 on Aug 05, 2016
    I agree with Upstate, I would have foundation pressure washed & any mold/algae areas treated. Allow to throughly dry. Then choose a concrete stain and apply 2 coats allowing the first application to soak in and dry. I recommend staining / versus paint, stain will not flake off, paint will flake! with concrete stain you will not get a smooth finish that in my opinion still wins because I hate removing flaking paint with a wire brush!
  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 05, 2016
    Yes it can be painted with concrete exterior paint or concrete stain. I have a home that I bought and the bottom half is concrete it is painted dark blue, house is white wth blue shutters
  • C C on Aug 06, 2016
    Just remember that PAINT peels with time while STAIN simply fades.
  • Kat964884 Kat964884 on Aug 06, 2016
    I would stain it the same color as the downpipe so there's no peeling but it Blends in to the downpipe..
    • Msj5248235 Msj5248235 on Aug 06, 2016
      I was initially thinking of charcoal black but I think you sold me on your suggested colour. Thank yoy, Kathyneil1960.
  • JayEl JayEl on Aug 07, 2016
    Having second thoughts. I think stain would look better than paint! 😃
  • Recreate Recreate on Aug 09, 2016
    I live in Eastern Canada where we get a lot of snow too, I painted my foundation 4 yrs ago and there is no peeling or flaking. It is all in the prep work. But just to let you know that stain can peel and flake. Go to a paint specialist first and get all you questions answered for your climate. It will make an instant difference to your home. I love the charcoal black idea! If you can buy small paint samples try that first.
  • Msj5248235 Msj5248235 on Aug 14, 2016
    We were able to decide on how to go about it, based on the comments gathered. Great website.
  • Msj5248235 Msj5248235 on Aug 14, 2016
    We were able to decide on how to go about it, based on the comments gathered. Great website.
  • UpState UpState on Sep 05, 2016
    ...and your final decision was ........ ???