Help! The paint is peeling off of our porch, what do we do?

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I asked a while back what to do with our porch and everyone suggested painting. My husband bought a concrete stain and it looked great until our first rain and the stain (three coats) is peeling right off. We weren't able to get all of the three layer of previous paint after power washing and scrubbing.

Any suggestions on what to do now will be appreciated. Should we put poly on top of the stain?
q front porch painting
  14 answers
  • Cass Cass on Dec 01, 2016
    Was it thoroughly dry, concrete? Takes forever. I know. Painted paving blocks. Days to dry. Remove / scrape loose paint. Sand remaining. Without removing all paint you may have ridges. Big job.

    • Mary Mary on Dec 07, 2016
      What ever you decide you probably need to clean it with muriatic acid. not like sulfuric whicj is dangerous but this does have to be respected Call a concrete company and ask what they think best to clean with most are very helpful.

  • William William on Dec 01, 2016
    Typically failures like these are caused by a combination of factors, not just one. It sounds like the stain never really penetrated into the concrete and is acting like a bond breaker to the sealer. Water-based stains are nonreactive and rely solely on the porosity of the concrete to penetrate and hold the color. If the concrete is not porous, the stain will simply lay on the surface. The other more likely possibility is overapplication of the stain. If a water-based stain is overapplied, the surface tension of the water tends to keep the stain on the surface. When the water evaporates, it leaves a high concentration of stain residue, which acts like a bond breaker when the sealer is applied. If the coating is peeling, I would have to guess that the concrete was not properly cleaned or etched. Any oils, dust, moisture or dense troweled areas will be difficult to get proper adhesion to the substrate without proper surface prep. Check the back of a peeling sample of the coating for any contamination such as dust or dirt. If the back of the sample looks clean, try a few drops of water on the area where the coating failed. If the water absorbs into the concrete and does not bead then you may be able to abraid the surface with a concrete rubbing stone to add a profile for bonding. if water beading does occur, then the areas of the failure should be degreased and rinsed with clean water and allowed to dry before trying to recoat. Before trying to recoat any of these areas, you should pressure wash and scrape the entire surface to look for more areas of loose stain that have not lifted yet. The one thing in preparation of concrete is the use of the bonding primer. The Bonding agent is a milky liquid that is rolled on and allowed to dry for at least 4 hours before applying the stain.It feels a little tacky when dry. The bonding agent is used only on previously unpainted concrete The finish should be removed before any further treatment, either by chemical strippers or use of a grinding machine to abraid the surface clean. This essential step opens the pores of the cement and prepares it to absorb stain. Penetrating sealers, like concrete stain, must absorb to ensure both their color and waterproofing protects the new surface from damage. Sorry for the bad news but I hope this info helps.

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    • Tessa Tessa on Apr 28, 2021

      William, does this also apply to paint? I can't keep paint on some areas of my concrete porch & need to touch up every season. Some areas're large. Thank you!

  • Susan Susan on Dec 02, 2016
    Call someone who specializes in this. It doesn't pay to be cheap.

    • Yvonne Yvonne on Dec 02, 2016
      Very difficult to find someone to do this, no one wants to touch it. We are dealing with this no way with paint, we are slowly taking it down to bare with a heat gun!

  • Linda Linda on Dec 03, 2016
    Glue outdoor carpet on it, works great and looks nice.

    • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Dec 04, 2016
      May I kindly disagree? It looks fantastic at the onset but after a few years, the edges wear and it looks awful. My daughter had such an issue and taking the old carpet off wasn't easy. Ripping it up is a breeze but then comes the task of the residual glue.

  • Ros8225889 Ros8225889 on Dec 03, 2016
    I painted with concrete paint on a fountain, in a year, it was coming off. I don't know the answer. But I do know of you use a strong TSP solution, let it sit; it WILL get all paint off. TSP can be purchased from Home Depot or any Do-It store; it is cheap, and a powder, you use a few teasp. per gallon. I used it to get off old glued linoleum from my heart pine wood floor.
    Good Luck,
Rosie from Alabama

  • Pam Fannin Pam Fannin on Dec 04, 2016
    I had the same problem with my porch after I removed outdoor carpet from a previously painted porch. Once I sanded all the adhesive off the porch I rolled on a light coat of Restore 10X- found at my local Lowes. Restore 10X is a paint with sand in it to add slip resistance to painted concrete. After that had dried for a day I rolled on another coat. Three years and one additional coat later, the porch still looks good.

  • Joh11253077 Joh11253077 on Dec 05, 2016
    the main thing is to scrape, scrape, scrape!! you also need to make sure you are using a good primer before the painting. it's not an easy job, but take your time and do it right. like some other comments have said make sure you have plenty of days of dry weather to out concrete.

  • Terri Farina Terri Farina on Dec 05, 2016
    We have the same problem. No idea what the previous owners spilled or used on concrete porch. I cleaned with dawn, rinsed with vinegar and power washed. Dried for days and used back door to keep concrete clean. Stain still bubbled and pealed off. Our solution to build a floating deck and stars over the old with modern style deck boards. We will get the color we want and will never have to stain or paint again.

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    • Waldschmj Waldschmj on Dec 06, 2016
      I live in PA and everyone around me had outdoor carpeting, mine did to and took it off 4 layers of paint under the rug. I just used paint stripper and scraper and it worked great. Repainted so far so good. Just used concreat paint.

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Dec 06, 2016
    Rather than staining the concrete perhaps you should consider painting it instead. I would clean it well and allow it to dry for several days. Then apply a primer specifically for concrete ie: for garage floors, 2 coats and allow to dry according to directions on the label. Then paint with a good quality garage floor paint. At least 2-3 coats.I'm not sure about the need for a top coat..

  • Sus4499217 Sus4499217 on Dec 06, 2016
    Our back porch had carpet on it when we bought our house. We had that taken up and the glue cleaned off and then had outdoor tile put on. It turned out great! We won't ever have to do anything to it again. It's been there for 4 years now. No cracks or chips due to cold,snow and freezing weather.

  • Mary Mary on Dec 06, 2016
    od to go Concrete stain that I have seen used relied on an acid etch first. Not sure what you would have to do with yours since not all the paint is off. You may be getting moisture coming up through the bottom of the steps. If you were able to get under there and seal them with concrete ealer, you would have a better result with paint or stain - paint at this point. Once sealed from the bottom, you will need some days of drying out, and then attempt your paint again. One other idea is to seal the top and sides of the concrete really well, and then tile the whole thing. Seal the tile and you will be go.

  • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Dec 07, 2016
    Let us all know what you decided to do?

  • Paula Paula on Dec 07, 2016
    treat it like a garage floor. there are products for garage floor painting and directions are not only what you did, scrape, power wash but also acid etch with a chemical that usually comes in a kit for painting garage floor or it can be bought separately. also i would have suggested using the garage floor paint and clear coat not a stain unless it was new/bare concrete.

    • Ros8225889 Ros8225889 on Dec 07, 2016
      New ideas and tile are good, but more expensive and time-consuming than painting. I agree that concrete is difficult as it retains moisture; and those products that promise to do well on concrete, just don't. Maybe garage floor paint, and/or sealing with marine-grade gloss would be the thing to try. I know so much work each time you put a new product on and have to remove it..... Good Luck to you. from, Rosie of Nixburg, Alabama...we have lots of moisture down here, and I came from damp England!

  • Kaye Hawthorne Kaye Hawthorne on Dec 13, 2016
    first remove peeling paint as much as possible, next using a pressure washer clean the concrete well. The pressure washing will also remove peeling paint in pitted areas in the concrete.
    next use an oil-based concrete primer and apply 2-3 coats letting dry in between coats for bonding purposes, once dried completely apply 2 coats of Concrete paint/epoxy making sure to get into the crevices well. this should prevent any future problems with the paint peeling. Although it takes time in the long run it is worth the trouble.
    if you are unsure of using a type of epoxy, make sure to go Or call your local paint supplier ( such as Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore etc) as they recommend and sale various paint products that will do your renovations and provide you with great results once completed!