The Definitive Guide To Painting Patio Slabs | Checkatrade
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The definitive guide to painting patio slabs

Painting patio slabs is a great way to refresh your outdoor space quickly and relatively cheaply. In this post, we explain how to get the best finish for this easy, but effective, garden update.

Is painting patio slabs a good idea?

Painting patio slabs has the potential to divide a crowd (or perhaps a household), so should you go ahead and get creative with the paint, or not?

Painting patio slabs is a quick, cost-effective way to breathe new life into tired paving, easily transforming your outdoor space.

It’s a home improvement job you could do yourself with a few basic tools and supplies, some spare hours in the diary, and a promising weather forecast.

If done well, a painted patio will last between 3-5 years before it needs redoing, so if you’re up for the challenge, keep scrolling to read our 6-step guide to painting your patio.

Want to know how much a new patio might cost?

A new patio has the potential to last decades. Getting a professional to complete this lasting home improvement is a sound investment in your property.

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How to paint patio slabs in 6 steps

Don your overalls, eye protection, and gloves. Here’s how to paint paving slabs for a long-lasting result:

1. Check the weather forecast

Dry and warm conditions are essential for this type of job, so be sure to plan ahead.

2. Clean and prep the patio slabs

  • First, use a stiff brush to remove any dirt, dust, or debris
  • Then, clean your patio using a jet wash
  • Remove moss or mould by applying a patio cleaner solution, following the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Finally, fill any cracks in your paving slabs with a concrete caulk

3. Etch the concrete

You will need to apply an etching formula to open up the surface of the paving.

Typically, this is mixed with water and applied evenly over the patio surface, before scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly with clean water.

Allow to dry completely.

4. Apply primer

Mask off any areas you want to protect from paint.

Not all paints require primer. Check the manufacturer’s instructions, and if you do need to apply a primer, aim for a thin layer and leave to dry.

5. Apply your base colour paint

  • Stir the paint thoroughly
  • Apply the paint with a brush or roller making sure the coverage is not too thick
  • Work from the corner to the outer edge
  • Two to three coats are normally required, allowing sufficient drying time between coats

Patio paint is normally touch-dry in four hours.

6. Apply any finishing touches

Getting creative? Now’s the time to apply your design (using a stencil).

If your paint requires a sealant, remember to apply this once your paintwork is complete.

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The best paint for patio slabs

Going to the trouble of preparing and painting your patio slabs, the last thing you want is for the paint to crack, peel, and chip away.

To ensure a good finish that’ll last, make sure you select masonry paint rather than exterior house paint. You’ll find a good selection of masonry paint colours in most DIY stores.

Masonry paint has an acrylic-based formula, which helps it to adhere easily, contract and expand with the surface material to avoid cracking, with greater resistance to weathering.

Alternatively, look for a specialist floor or concrete paint for a more hard-wearing finish.

How to get paint off patio slabs

Inadvertently got paint on an area you didn’t intend to paint? Panic not, we have a solution.

  • Use a stiff, wire brush to help loosen the paint. For oil-based paint, a paint scraper might be more effective
  • A jet wash can be useful to dislodge any residing paint
  • Oil-based paints can be tackled with a paint stripper. Always wear eye protection, gloves, and overalls before using formulas such as this

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