Are your concrete fence posts looking quite dull and boring? Or are there any cracks, chips, or dents visible? Do not fret too much! Paint can solve the problem. We have researched every aspect you need to know about painting this structure.
Yes, you should paint your concrete fence posts. Painting does not only add to its visual appeal, but also protects the material against chips and cracks caused by exposure to wind, sunlight, rain, and moisture.
Painting any fencing material is important to ensure its longevity. There are several factors you have to consider before actually starting this project. In this article, we aim to identify the type of paint, when and how to do it, and the factors that may affect the overall process. If you wish to find out more, continue reading!
What is the Purpose of Painting Fence Posts?
Paint is always added to any structures and fencing materials because it performs as a protective layer. It acts as a cover that masks surface discoloration, at the same time, it prolongs the lifespan of the concrete because moisture or any liquid would not seep through the surface.
Most paints have specialized functions. It protects the concrete against UV rays and extreme conditions because it has weatherproofing quality. Painted concrete is also easier to clean and maintain since some specific kinds of paint can prevent mold growth, especially if the structure is newly-coated.
Factors to Consider Before Painting Your Concrete Posts
Curing period is the time span in which moisture will fully dissipate on freshly-structured concrete. It usually takes 30 days for the fence post to dry and another 30 days before moisture is dried-off.
If the concrete is newly-built, the overall structure is still wet and porous. Since this is the case, you cannot paint over this material. You should let the fence posts dry entirely because wet concrete will only seep the paint.
Climate is one factor that may affect the curing period and the time process. You should consider the weather. Since coatings of primer and paint need to be dry before re-applying, it is best to do this project in the summer or when there is no chance of rain or snow.
The entire undertaking may last for a week - this includes the cleaning of the concrete fence posts and the drying time of the applied primer and paint.
Masonry paint, Cuprinol, latex, and epoxy-based paints are the best for your concrete fence posts because they fully adhere to this kind of surface. If you wish to save more time, you can use a one-step sealing and priming.
You should avoid using acrylic and oil-based paints because they are more prone to cracks, especially if applied on concrete structures that are always exposed to the elements.
How To Paint Concrete Fence Posts
1. Ensure the Concrete is Fully Dry
Wet concrete will only absorb the liquid. Bubbles may also form because water vapor cannot escape when there is a layer of paint covering the surface. It will be twice the work because you will have to repaint the entire fence posts.
For details on how to know if the concrete is fully dry, scroll down.
2. Clean Your Fence Posts
Paint will not adhere well to dirty and moldy exteriors. This proves to be true as well with concrete. Whether you are preparing old or new posts for painting, you will have to clean the fence first to get rid of any debris or old paint that may hinder the process.
Vacuum or sweep up the surface to remove dirt and debris. If the area is greasy enough, you can use a mixture of heavy-duty detergent and water to remove the stains. You may also utilize a pressure washer to clean the area the best possible way as long as you do not exceed 1750 PSI.
If white particles are visible on your fence posts' exterior, apply an etching solution to remove efflorescence - salt deposits that form on concrete surfaces.
After cleaning, allow a significant amount of time for the concrete to dry.
3. Repair the Surface
For old concrete or fence posts that have linings and dents, fill the cracks using a cement filler or epoxy and latex patching products. Different mixtures do not have the same curing period so you will have to read the label for instructions and information.
4. Apply a Primer
Before painting, you should always apply a primer. This chemical substance bonds the paint onto the surface. It also acts as a protective layer that ensures moisture will not seep through the concrete, and it helps in keeping the exterior smooth.
If you will not apply a primer, the paint would not last long. This lessens your property's visual appeal, protection, and longevity.
Latex primer and block primer fill out the porous surface and smoothen the area. One application will suffice, however, if you are painting over old paint, apply two coatings. It usually dries off in two to eight hours.
5. Paint Your Concrete Fence Posts
After drying time is over, you can now apply paint onto the surfaces. Remember to use masonry paint because it adheres well to the concrete, and it contracts, expands, and adapts well to the changes that are undergone by the material.
As an alternative, you can also use Cuprinol's garden shades, various paint ranges because it adheres to all surfaces including weathered concrete, brick walls, and stone.
Latex paint is also an option because it can resist fading or discoloration, cracking and peeling, and damage due to sunlight exposure. Painting materials in general serve as a film that protects the concrete against harsh weather conditions.
It is best to use a paint roller or brush rather than a sprayer because some painting substances are thicker and may clog the container.
6. Apply a Sealant
After the paint has dried off (which usually takes 24 to 72 hours), seal your concrete fence posts using a paint sealer because it protects the new layer of paint against moisture damage. Masonry sealants can also be applied because it serves as a barrier film against harsh weather conditions.
How To Check If Concrete is Fully Dry?
To check if the concrete is fully dry, you can simply splash water onto the surface. If the liquid is absorbed, this is an indication that your fence posts are not yet fully cured. You will have to wait for another month considering that the first 30-day curing period is over.
Use Plastic Wrap or Aluminum Foil
Paint will not adhere well to wet concrete. To test for moisture, tape a small size of plastic wrap or aluminum foil onto the surface. Let it stay there for at least 24 hours. If condensation occurs, then your fence posts are not fully dry.
As we know by now, paint ensures the longevity and durability of your concrete fence posts. And as a bonus, it also enhances its visual appearance and aesthetic. For most people, it serves as a stress reliever. We hope this article proved to be helpful.