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The patio on our house wasn’t looking especially welcoming with its sad, dirty concrete. With a little patching and painting we took it from drab to fab (sorry, I want to punch myself for saying that). What a difference a little paint makes!
porch1You may have also noticed I have an addiction to the yellow/teal combination as also seen here. I’m working through it but will say as a disclaimer that I choose the house colors well before I used them for the bench. I’ve got to be stopped.

Back to the patio! When we bought the house there was evidence that the patio may have somehow been enclosed by plexiglass by the previous owner? Presumably that included some sort of floor covering because it’s always had grid marks that were not a good look.

porch3There had also been some patching done to cover up cracks around the patio. Because the patio is attached to the foundation, we had someone take a look which meant them chipping away all the patch work to expose the rebar. The good news: The rebar hasn’t disintegrated. The bad news: We had big gashes that needed to be patched up. If you have cracks that need patching in your patio I would recommend Sakrete’s Top’n Bond patch which was easy to use. This was not a structural issue, if you have cracks affecting your structure consult a pro.

porch2After patching as needed I somehow convinced my husband to powerwash. We are lucky to own a powerwasher that connects to a hose but you can also rent one from your local home improvement store. Once you get that bad boy hooked up, you’ll start looking for anything you can possibly wash with it because it makes such a difference!

porch4Once the surface was clean I had to prepare for an important step: ETCHING. Do not skip etching! We almost did because we’re lazy, but it’s necessary to prep the surface for paint. This stuff will damage plants and other surfaces so they need to be protected from the spray when you etch and then rinse with water. We used plastic to protect the plants and I used foil and painters tape to protected the painted parts of railing. We used the Behr brand etcher since it was the same brand as our paint but there were multiple kinds. Read the labels and ask a pro.

porch5With a prepared surface we could have started the painting process but decided to take one more step to make the patio last a little longer. You see, this concrete is over 65-years-old and so the cement (concrete= cement + gravel) seemed to be suffering some wear on the steps. We spoke with the paint pro and he recommended an epoxy product before painting. I don’t remember what brand we used but wished we had chosen one with more product or bought two… it didn’t spread very far. But it did get the job done and evened out these rocky steps a little and made them look better once the paint was on.

porch6Everything was cured and well dried by the time we started painting. They make a special bonding primer for concrete that is the consistency of milk and dries a little tacky. This stuff is easily poured on the surface and can be brushed around quickly. It also dries relatively fast because it’s so thin.

porch7For our two paints we had the store match the existing paint colors of our house in the porch and patio floor paint. Note: There is also “concrete and garage floor” paint but our neighbor who had it used on her patio said it started to chip and flake. I can only guess that the porch and patio stuff is better outdoors while the garage and concrete stuff is meant to be more indoors. Choose wisely.

porch9Then it was as easy as painting. My husband rolled and I used a brush to get in the smaller spots. We painting right over the primed epoxy and primed concrete. Just two coats did the job.

porch8With some painting and patching the front of our house is finally looking complete after 65 years! You can see that while our main focus was the patio we also painted the front of the house’s foundation. We decided not to go around the whole house for now because we didn’t have time but there was plenty of paint leftover if it needs to be done at a later time.

porch10Did you also notice that our hydrangea bloomed in between the two weekends we spent on this project? Makes for a better “after” picture if you ask me!

This project had a lot of steps but was worth the time spent for a long-lasting finished product. It’s been a few weeks since we completed this and so far so good. The paint is standing up to everyday wear and tear so far and it makes our little home so much more welcoming!