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Can Sidewalks Be Painted? (And What Paint Works Best?)

Can Sidewalks Be Painted? (And What Paint Works Best?)

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Sidewalks can sometimes look dull, especially if they get ruined by natural occurrences like weathering. As such, people thought of ways to bring more life to these lifeless concrete floors, like adding color.

So, if you’re thinking: can sidewalks be painted? Yes, you can paint them whatever color you like!

With that being said, make sure it’s legal in your area first if you don’t own the sidewalk in front of your property.

Read on if you’re curious about what paint works best!

Can You Use Washable Paint on a Sidewalk?

Yes, you can use washable paint on a sidewalk.

These are typically water-based, so they come off right away once they get washed with water. So, if you ever mess up while painting, you can quickly clean it up and redo it.

You can easily create your washable paint with a few ingredients: liquid food coloring, water, and cornstarch.

Here’s how:

  1. In a bowl, mix equal parts water and cornstarch, then whisk.
  2. Divide the mixture into muffin tins or paper cups.
  3. Add a few drops of your food color of choice, depending on how vibrant you want the paint to be.

After those easy steps, you can start painting your sidewalks using foam and paintbrushes!

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on a Sidewalk?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on a sidewalk. However, there are necessary steps required to make it last, like priming and sealing the concrete.

One advantage of acrylic paint is that it contains plasticizers, which are liquid plastic. It makes the paint adhere to any surface.

Plus, once the paint dries, it becomes water-resistant. As such, you can only wash it off when it’s still drying.

Now, if you want to use acrylic paint on your sidewalk, follow these steps:

1 – Conduct a Moisture Check

No paint is waterproof. So, a moisture check is necessary to ensure that water won’t evaporate from the ground.

When that happens, it causes the paint to become runny, ruining your work.

An easy way to do this is by covering the sidewalk with a plastic sheet. You shouldn’t paint the concrete if you see condensation either, because the acrylic paint won’t adhere to the surface.

2 – Clean the Sidewalk

After conducting a moisture check, clean the sidewalk to eliminate all the debris and dirt.

You can use a simple water and vinegar solution as your cleaning agent. Use a brush to scrub the sidewalk, then let it dry.

By now, you’ve most likely eliminated all the oil and dirt on the sidewalk.

3 – Apply Epoxy to Cracks

If you’re conscious about the cracks on your sidewalk, you can fill them in using epoxy.

However, before filling them in, sand the area to remove all the loose concrete. Afterward, clean them up using a stiff brush.

Once you’ve prepared the area, fill in the putty and let it dry overnight. You’ll most likely need to add more if the crack is deep.

4 – Apply Primer

A paint primer is vital if you want to paint your sidewalk. It acts as an adhesive so the acrylic paint can stick to the concrete surface well.

Additionally, it gives the sidewalk a smooth finish, ensuring that the acrylic paint layer will be as clean as possible.

Skipping the primer means the acrylic paint will eventually fade and lose durability. On top of that, you’ll end up using more products than usual because the concrete will keep soaking all the paint.

Moreover, without paint primer, acrylic paint has a risk of peeling, especially when exposed to humid conditions.

5 – Paint the Sidewalk

Once you’ve prepped the concrete, you can now paint the sidewalk with your acrylic paint.

Apply thin layers of acrylic paint over the sidewalk using a large brush. Considering that the paint dries quickly, it’ll only take at least 20 minutes before the first coat dries.

You can stop here if you think it doesn’t need a second coat. If it does, only apply a thin layer, so it doesn’t crack.

Let the acrylic paint completely dry for a few days. You can speed up the process by using a hair dryer or a dehumidifier, though it’s not ideal.

6 – Seal the Paint

Since concrete is highly porous, it can absorb all the moisture, leading to mold and mildew growth. That said, you have to seal the paint on your sidewalk if you want to prevent this from happening.

There are a plethora of paint sealers available in the market, but the best choice is to use waterproofing sealants. These make the sidewalk water-resistant, preventing stains, chemicals, and mold growth.

What’s the Best Paint for Sidewalks?

While you can use other paints for sidewalks, the best option is masonry paint. This variant has acrylic resin content, which is resistant to weathering.

Moreover, masonry paints are crack-resistant. Plus, tons of variants contain special chemicals that prevent algae and mold growth.

As such, this is the go-to option if you don’t want to continuously repaint the sidewalk.

Final Thoughts

Well, can sidewalks be painted? Of course!

If you want the paint to come off after a few days, you should opt for washable paints. Alternatively, you can use acrylic paint or masonry paint if you want them to last.

Just ensure that you’ve properly prepped the sidewalk before painting, so you don’t face any difficulties or problems!

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