Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Concrete

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Concrete

Acrylic paint, vibrant and versatile, is a go-to medium for many. Its compatibility with various surfaces makes it a popular choice.

Artists and decorators praise its vivid colors and ease of use. However, one question remains unexplored: Can you use acrylic paint on concrete?

This robust, hard-wearing surface poses unique challenges. It’s time to investigate if acrylic paint can successfully meet these challenges.

Can it adhere to and embellish concrete? Can it withstand the test of time? Let’s explore these questions, uncovering the art of using acrylic paint on concrete.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Concrete?

Yes, acrylic paint suits concrete. Its flexibility and durability stand out. It adheres well to concrete’s rough texture. It brings dull surfaces to life. Though promising, successful application needs caution. Proper preparation is essential. Skillful paint application is equally critical. These steps ensure vibrant, lasting results.

The Science of Acrylic Paint: Composition and Key Properties

Acrylic paint is a modern marvel. It’s a water-based paint composed primarily of pigment and acrylic polymer emulsion.

This composition gives acrylic paint its distinct characteristics. It’s flexible, durable, and easy to work with.

The pigment provides the color. It’s the soul of the paint. A variety of pigments exist, each offering a unique color. These pigments suspend in the acrylic polymer emulsion.

The acrylic polymer emulsion is the binder. It holds the pigment particles together. When the paint dries, the water evaporates.

The polymer particles then coalesce into a flexible, solid film. This film binds the pigment to the surface.

The result? A colorfast, resilient layer of paint. Acrylic paint resists yellowing and hardening with age. It doesn’t crack or flake off easily.

It withstands various weather conditions, making it suitable for outdoor use. Additionally, acrylic paint dries quickly. It allows for swift layering of colors.

It’s also easily manipulated with water or acrylic mediums. This versatility makes acrylic paint a favored choice among artists and decorators.

Understanding the composition and properties of acrylic paint is crucial. It helps in making the most out of its application on concrete.

Let’s explore how to paint concrete with acrylics in the next section.

How to Paint Concrete with Acrylics

Preparing for the Paint Job: A Crucial First Step

Before you embark on painting, preparation is key. It’s a step you can’t afford to overlook. Why? It directly affects the outcome.

Good preparation ensures strong paint adhesion. It maximizes the longevity of your acrylic painting job.

  • First, clean the concrete surface thoroughly. Remove any dirt, grease, or existing loose paint. A power washer can be useful here. A thorough cleaning provides a clean slate for the new paint. It aids in better adhesion.
  • Second, repair any cracks or chips in the concrete. You can use a concrete repair mix. A smooth, uniform surface is ideal for painting. It enhances the final appearance.
  • Lastly, consider applying a primer. A concrete primer can further improve paint adhesion. It provides a suitable surface for the acrylic paint. It can also help to block out any existing stains.

Gathering Your Tools: Equipped for Success

The right tools make the painting process smoother. They can also affect the final result. Here’s a list of essential tools and materials:

  • Acrylic Paint: Ensure you have enough to cover your concrete surface.
  • Brushes and Rollers: Different sizes can be helpful for different areas.
  • Primer: This prepares the surface for painting.
  • Concrete Repair Mix: For patching any cracks or chips.
  • Power Washer or Scrub Brush: For cleaning the concrete.
  • Paint Tray: To hold and distribute your paint.
  • Painter’s Tape: To protect areas you don’t want to paint.
  • Protective Gear: Gloves, masks, and safety glasses for personal safety.

Remember, good preparation leads to a great finish. In the next step, we will delve into the step-by-step painting process.

Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Surface Cleaning and Preparation

Thoroughly clean the concrete surface before painting. Start by removing any loose debris, dirt, or grease using a stiff bristle brush or a power washer.

For stubborn stains, you may need to use a mild detergent or specialized concrete cleaner. Rinse the surface thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.

A clean surface ensures proper paint adhesion and a smooth finish.

Step 2: Repairing Any Cracks or Chips

Carefully inspect the concrete for any cracks, chips, or uneven areas. Use a concrete repair mix to patch and repair these imperfections.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the repair product and apply it with a trowel or putty knife.

Smooth out the surface and let it cure according to the product’s recommendations.

Related Read: How to Fix Cracked Acrylic Painting

Step 3: Applying a Primer (If Desired)

Consider applying a primer designed for concrete surfaces. A primer can improve paint adhesion, enhance color coverage, and provide a more uniform finish.

Choose a primer suitable for acrylic paint and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Use a brush or roller to apply the primer evenly and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 4: Mixing and Preparing the Acrylic Paint

Thoroughly mix the acrylic paint using a stir stick or paint mixer to ensure an even consistency.

If the paint appears too thick, you can add a small amount of water to achieve the desired consistency.

Avoid adding too much water, as it can affect the paint’s adhesion and coverage. Read the paint label for specific instructions on mixing and preparation.

Step 5: Starting with the Edges and Corners

Begin by painting the edges and corners of the concrete surface using a brush. This allows for better control and precision, ensuring a clean and neat edge.

Apply acrylic paint in smooth, even strokes, following the natural lines of the concrete. Feather out the paint along the edges to blend it with the rest of the surface.

Step 6: Applying the Base Coat

Using a brush or roller, apply the base coat of acrylic paint to the rest of the concrete surface.

Work in manageable sections, starting from one side and moving systematically to avoid drying lines or visible seams.

Use long, overlapping strokes to ensure even coverage. Maintain a consistent thickness of paint throughout the surface.

Step 7: Allowing the Base Coat to Dry

Once the base coat is applied, allow it to dry completely according to the paint manufacturer’s instructions. Drying times may vary depending on factors such as temperature and humidity.

Avoid any contact or exposure to moisture during the drying process, as it can affect the paint’s adhesion and finish.

Step 8: Adding Additional Coats (If Needed)

Inspect the painted surface after the base coat has dried. If necessary, apply additional coats of acrylic paint to achieve the desired color intensity and coverage. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next.

Before adding subsequent coats, lightly sand the previous coat with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface for better paint adhesion.

Step 9: Letting the Final Coat Dry Thoroughly

Once all coats have been applied, allow the final coat of paint to dry thoroughly. This ensures a durable and long-lasting finish.

Follow the paint manufacturer’s recommended drying time before subjecting the surface to heavy use or exposure.

Keep in mind that drying times may be longer in humid or cooler conditions.

Step 10: Optional: Applying a Sealer for Added Protection

Consider applying a concrete sealer to provide additional protection and enhance the longevity of the paint job.

Choose a sealer specifically designed for use with acrylic paint. Apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions using a brush or roller.

Interesting Question: Why is My Acrylic Paint Chunky? Find out.

Does Acrylic Paint Stay on Concrete?

Yes, acrylic paint exhibits good adhesion to concrete surfaces. But, several factors can affect its longevity and durability.

Acrylic paint forms a strong bond with properly prepared concrete. The key to ensuring it stays on the surface lies in effective surface preparation.

Clean the concrete, removing any dirt, grease, or loose materials. Repair any cracks or chips, creating a smooth and stable base for the paint.

Another factor to consider is the porosity of the concrete. A porous surface requires additional coats of paint to achieve better coverage and adhesion.

Applying a primer formulated for concrete surfaces can enhance adhesion and improve longevity.

The quality of the acrylic paint itself plays a crucial role in its ability to stay on concrete. Opt for high-quality acrylic paint designed for exterior or masonry applications.

They offer improved durability, resistance to weathering, and better adhesion to concrete surfaces.

Environmental conditions during and after painting can also impact the paint’s staying power.

Ensure optimal application and curing conditions as recommended by the paint manufacturer.

Follow suitable temperature and humidity ranges to allow for proper adhesion and drying.

Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof on Concrete?

Acrylic paint offers water resistance on concrete, but it’s not 100% waterproof. The paint forms a protective film, but water can still penetrate under certain conditions.

The polymer emulsion in acrylic paint creates a solid film when dried. This film provides some protection against light water exposure like splashes or light rain.

However, prolonged water exposure, heavy rain, or submersion can compromise water resistance.

Water can seep through cracks, joints, or porous areas in the paint film and reach the concrete.

To enhance water resistance, applying a concrete sealer is recommended. The sealer creates an additional barrier, improving water resistance and preventing water penetration.

Ensure the acrylic paint is well cured before applying the sealer. Clean the surface and follow the sealer manufacturer’s instructions for application.

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Cement

To seal acrylic paint on concrete effectively, follow these steps:

Importance of Sealing

Sealing the acrylic paint on concrete provides crucial benefits, including:

  • Protection: The sealer acts as a protective barrier against moisture, stains, and UV rays.
  • Longevity: Sealing extends the life of the paint job, keeping it vibrant for a longer period.
  • Easy Maintenance: A sealed surface is easier to clean and maintain, preventing dirt, grime, and stains.

Best Practices for Sealing

Here is a step-by-step process for sealing acrylic paint on concrete:

Step 1: Wait for Full Cure. Ensure the acrylic paint has fully cured before sealing. Refer to the paint manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended curing time.

Step 2: Clean the Surface. Thoroughly clean the painted surface to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Use a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush or mop. Rinse the surface and let it dry completely.

Step 3: Choose the Right Sealer. Select a concrete sealer specifically designed for use with acrylic paint. Consider factors such as desired gloss, durability, and compatibility with the paint. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Step 4: Apply the Sealer. Using a brush or roller, apply the sealer evenly to the painted surface. Work in small sections for proper coverage, avoiding puddles or uneven application. Follow the recommended number of coats and drying time specified by the sealer manufacturer.

Step 5: Allow Enough Drying Time. Give the sealer ample time to dry and cure. Avoid foot traffic or any contact with the sealed surface until it has fully dried. Drying times may vary depending on the sealer type and environmental conditions.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Concrete?

The drying time of acrylic paint on concrete can vary based on several factors. However, under optimal conditions, acrylic paint typically dries within a few hours to a day.

The drying time of acrylic paint on concrete is influenced by the following factors:

  • Temperature and Humidity. Higher temperatures and lower humidity levels promote faster drying. Conversely, cooler temperatures and higher humidity can extend the drying time.
  • Paint Thickness. Thicker layers of paint will require more time to dry compared to thin, even coats. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended paint thickness.
  • Ventilation. Adequate air circulation helps expedite the drying process. Ensure there is sufficient airflow in the area where the paint is drying.
  • Environmental Conditions. External factors such as sunlight, wind, and moisture can impact drying time. Choose a dry and sheltered location for the best results.

While acrylic paint on concrete may feel dry to the touch within a few hours, it is recommended to allow at least 24 hours for the paint to fully cure before subjecting it to heavy use or exposing it to water or other substances.

If you need to accelerate the drying process, you can consider the following tips:

  • Increase Air Circulation. Use fans or open windows to improve airflow around the painted surface.
  • Use Dehumidifiers. Reduce the humidity levels in the drying area with the help of dehumidifiers.
  • Apply Thin Coats. Applying thin coats of paint allows for faster drying compared to thicker applications.

Note that drying times may vary depending on the specific brand of acrylic paint and environmental conditions.

Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Cement?

Yes, acrylic paint and cement can be mixed together to create intriguing textures and colors. Combined, they offer a medium that can be used in projects like murals and sculptures.

To mix acrylic paint with cement, consider the following:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the acrylic paint you choose is compatible with cement. Look for acrylic paints formulated for exterior or masonry use, as they adhere well to cement surfaces.
  • Proportions and Mixing. Start by adding a small amount of acrylic paint to the cement mix and increase it until you achieve the desired color intensity. Experimentation is key, so adjust the paint-to-cement ratio based on your preference and the effect you want to achieve.
  • Testing and Evaluation. Before applying the mixture to your project, conduct small-scale tests to observe how the colors and textures interact. This allows you to refine your technique and ensure the desired results.
  • Curing and Sealing. After the application, follow the curing instructions provided by the cement manufacturer. Proper curing ensures the cement hardens and creates a durable bond with the paint. Additionally, consider applying a concrete sealer after the paint has cured to protect the finished surface and enhance its longevity.

Related: Can you mix acrylic and oil paint?

What Is the Best Paint for Concrete?

Let’s explore the top paint options for concrete surfaces:

1. INSL-X SU031009A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Paint

INSL-X SU031009A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint, 1 Gallon, Light Gray
  • Durable, skid resistant finish anti slip paint for interior or exterior application, excellent color retention, abrasion resistance, and resistance to ponding water.
  • High traffic slip resistant paint for concrete that’s ideal for stairs, walkways, patios, and more.
  • Fast drying, durable, easy application that fills and seals cracks.

Designed for high-traffic areas, this paint offers exceptional durability and excellent traction.

Its slip-resistant finish makes it ideal for outdoor areas prone to slips and falls.

The acrylic formula ensures strong adhesion to concrete, providing long-lasting performance.

It resists weathering, fading, cracking, and peeling, allowing it to withstand environmental conditions.


  • Exceptional durability for high-traffic areas.
  • Excellent traction and slip resistance.
  • Strong adhesion to concrete surfaces.
  • Resistance to weathering, fading, cracking, and peeling.


  • Limited color options compared to other paint types.

2. INSL-X CST211009A-01 TuffCrete Acrylic Stain Paint

INSL-X CST211009A-01 TuffCrete Waterborne Acrylic Concrete Stain Paint, 1 Gallon, White, 128 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
  • Acrylic concrete, stucco, and brick paint coating designed for application to interior or exterior, vertical, or horizontal masonry surfaces.
  • Can be applied in one coat, as a stain; or two coats for an opaque finish.
  • Non fading, fast drying concrete stains with durable finish that resists detergents, oils, grease, & scrubbing.

Enhance the natural look of concrete with this acrylic stain paint. Its semi-transparent finish provides an appealing aesthetic.

The paint offers excellent UV resistance, protecting against fading and discoloration. Deep penetration into the concrete ensures long-lasting color and durability.

Suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces, it provides an attractive finish.


  • Enhances the natural look of concrete.
  • Excellent UV resistance for color preservation.
  • Deep penetration for long-lasting color and durability.
  • Suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces.


  • Limited color options compared to opaque concrete paints.
  • Multiple coats may be required for desired intensity.

3. KILZ Epoxy Acrylic Concrete and Garage Floor Paint

KILZ 1-Part Epoxy Acrylic Concrete and Garage Floor Paint, Interior/Exterior, Satin, Silver Gray, 1 Gallon
  • FLOOR PAINT: KILZ 1-Part Epoxy Concrete & Garage Floor Paint is highly durable, easy to clean and won’t scuff, fade, crack or blister easily, even from hot tires and other heavy activity.
  • ADVANCED FORMULA: This single component, water-based floor paint is formulated to last in hard to clean areas like basements and garages. It’s resistant to staining and damage from chemicals, Oil and gasoline.
  • MULTIPLE USES: Use on interior and exterior surfaces such as porous concrete, masonry, stone and brick. For use on horizontal surfaces such as garage floors, driveways, basements, porches and pool decks. DO NOT use on vertical surfaces or areas subject to hydrostatic pressure. DO NOT use on areas subject to fork-lifts. For residential applications only.

Formulated for demanding environments like garage concrete floors, this paint offers exceptional durability.

It provides a glossy finish that enhances the appearance of concrete surfaces.

Its two-part epoxy formula creates a strong bond with the concrete, ensuring long-lasting. The paint resists chemicals, oil, grease, and hot tire marks on the concrete floor.


  • Exceptional durability for demanding environments.
  • Glossy finish.
  • Strong bond with concrete.
  • Resistance to chemicals, oil, grease, and hot tire marks.


  • Requires mixing of two-part epoxy formula.
  • Strong odor during application.
  • Limited color options compared to acrylic stains.

Interested in other types of paint? Check out acrylic paint for guitar.

Best Concrete Sealer For Acrylic Paint

Here are our recommended concrete sealers to help achieve optimal protection:

1. Armor AR350 Solvent Based Acrylic Wet Look Concrete Sealer, 1 Gal

Armor AR350 Wet Look Concrete Sealer and Paver Sealer with Low Gloss Finish (1 GAL) (700 VOC)
  • Armor AR350 is available in (3) formulations: 700 VOC, 350 VOC, and 50 VOC. Please see the VOC information in the listing before selecting your choice.
  • Will enhance dull and faded surfaces with a low gloss wet look. It will darken the surface to make it look wet, and protect it with a durable, non-yellowing surface film.
  • Will reduce damage caused by surface abrasion, road salts, water absorption, and exposure to the elements.

Achieve a stunning wet-look finish with this high-quality sealer. It provides excellent protection against UV rays, water, stains, and mildew.

This helps prolong the life of your painted surface. The solvent-based formula ensures deep penetration and long-lasting durability.


  • Stunning wet look finish.
  • Excellent UV protection.
  • Guards against water, stains, and mildew.
  • Deep penetration for durability.


  • Requires proper surface preparation.
  • May darken lighter-colored concrete.
  • Slightly longer drying time.

2. DOMINATOR LG+ Clear Acrylic Sealer | Low Gloss Paver Sealer

1 Gal. DOMINATOR LG+ Clear Acrylic Sealer | Low Gloss Paver Sealer | Wet Look, Color Enhancing | Professional Grade | Concrete Pavers and Decorative Concrete | Fast Dry | Driveway, Patio and Walkways
  • COLD WEATHER WARNING: Do not apply if surface temperature is expected to be below 50° for 48 hours before & after application. ENHANCE the life and beauty of your surface (wet look) and a low gloss finish for 2-4 years before the need to reseal (depending on your environment).
  • Protects against oil stains and other spills while providing the ultimate weather resistance on surfaces including concrete pavers and decorative concrete. Not intended for stone or clay.
  • Great coverage rate: 250-400 square feet per gallon, per coat. You will save money and time by reducing maintenance when you seal with DOMINATOR LG+.

This sealer offers a low gloss, natural-looking finish for your acrylic paint on concrete slab.

It provides superior protection against UV rays, water damage, and stains, preserving the paint’s appearance. Easy to apply and maintain, it offers durable protection.


  • Low gloss, natural-looking finish.
  • Excellent UV protection.
  • Resistant to water damage and stains.
  • Easy application and maintenance.


  • Requires proper surface preparation.
  • May need multiple coats.
  • Not suitable for high gloss or high-traffic areas.

3. INSL-X SU092209A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint

INSL-X SU092209A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint, 1 Gallon, Desert Sand
  • Durable, skid resistant finish anti slip paint for interior or exterior application, excellent color retention, abrasion resistance, and resistance to ponding water.
  • High traffic slip resistant paint for concrete that’s ideal for stairs, walkways, patios, and more.
  • Fast drying, durable, easy application that fills and seals cracks.

Designed for safety and durability. This anti-slip coating paint protects acrylic paint on concrete in high-traffic areas.

This wall paint provides a slip-resistant finish, reducing the risk of accidents. The acrylic formula ensures strong adhesion and resists weathering, fading, cracking, and peeling.


  • Slip-resistant finish for safety.
  • Strong adhesion to concrete.
  • Resistant to weathering, fading, cracking, and peeling.
  • Suitable for high-traffic areas.


  • Requires proper surface preparation.
  • Limited color options.
  • May require additional coats for desired slip resistance.

Alternatives to Acrylic: Exploring Other Paint Types Suitable for Concrete

While acrylic paint is a popular choice, there are alternative acrylic paints for concrete surfaces:

Epoxy Paint

Durable and resistant, epoxy paint bonds strongly to concrete. It offers excellent adhesion, durability, and chemical resistance.

Epoxy provides a tough, long-lasting finish ideal for high-traffic areas. Its glossy appearance enhances aesthetics.

However, the application requires proper surface preparation, which is more challenging than acrylic.

Concrete Stains

Achieve a natural, variegated look with concrete stains. They penetrate the surface, creating rich, translucent colors that enhance texture.

Available in acid-based and water-based formulas, stains offer versatility and various color options.

Note that stains provide less protection against wear and tear than paint. Hence may require additional sealers.

Latex Paint

Water-based latex paint is an alternative to acrylic paint. It provides good adhesion, durability, and color retention.

It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, making it convenient for time-sensitive projects. However, when comparing latex vs acrylic paint, it may not offer the same level of durability or resistance as acrylic or epoxy paint.

Nonetheless, latex paint is suitable for indoor or lightly used painted surfaces.

Also Read: Can You Sublimate on Acrylic Ornaments

How to Remove Acrylic Paint From Concrete

Removing acrylic paint from concrete can be challenging, but with the right techniques, it can be done. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Act quickly: Address the paint spill or splatter as soon as possible.
  • Scrape off excess paint: Use a plastic scraper or putty knife to remove any excess paint.
  • Apply soapy water: Create a solution with warm water and mild dish soap. Apply it to the paint stain and scrub with a brush.
  • Rinse with water: Thoroughly rinse the area with clean water to remove the loosened paint.
  • Use a paint remover: If the stain persists, use a paint remover designed for acrylic paint. Follow the instructions and let it sit.
  • Scrub and rinse: Scrub the stained area with a brush and rinse with water.
  • Repeat if necessary: Repeat the process if the stain remains.

What is the Best Concrete Paint Stripper?

Our overall best recommendation for the best concrete paint stripper is the KILZ Concrete & Masonry Paint Stripper.

It excels in performance and versatility. It effectively removes multiple layers of concrete and masonry paints.

It penetrates and softens the paint, making it easy to scrape or power wash off. It works on horizontal and vertical surfaces like driveways, patios, and walls.

With its exceptional capabilities, it’s the top choice for effective paint removal from concrete.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Metal

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on metal surfaces. Acrylic paint is suitable for painting on various metals, including steel, aluminum, and iron.

Before applying the acrylic paint, prepare the metal surface by cleaning it and removing any rust or debris.

Use a primer specifically designed for metal surfaces for better adhesion. Then, apply multiple thin coats of acrylic paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

Finally, consider sealing the painted metal surface with a clear protective sealant for added durability.

Read Also: Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic and Can you paint polyurethane over acrylic paint.


What kind of paint can be used on concrete?

Acrylic paint, epoxy, and concrete stains are all suitable options for painting concrete. They provide durability, color options, and protection.

How do you get acrylic paint to stick to concrete wall?

To ensure good adhesion of acrylic paint to the wall. Clean the surface, repair any cracks, and use a wall concrete primer. Apply thin coats of paint, allowing proper drying time between each coat.

Will acrylic paint wash off concrete?

Once acrylic paint has dried and cured on concrete, it forms a strong bond and is resistant to washing off. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may degrade the paint over time. Acrylic paint on concrete provides lasting durability and longevity. And is acrylic paint permanent? Find out.

Can you use acrylic paint on concrete statues?

Yes, acrylic paint can be used on concrete statues. It offers a durable and colorful option for enhancing the appearance of statues. Ensure proper surface preparation and apply a clear protective sealer for added protection.

Can you use acrylic latex paint on concrete?

Yes, acrylic latex paint works on concrete surfaces. It offers good adhesion and durability. Preparing your surface properly, such as cleaning and priming, is essential for optimal results. The paint provides a wide range of color options and can transform and protect concrete.

Read Also: Can You Drill Holes in Plexiglass?


Acrylic paint offers a versatile and durable solution for transforming concrete surfaces. Proper surface preparation is essential, including cleaning and repairing the concrete.

Applying a suitable primer promotes adhesion. Once dry, acrylic paint forms a strong bond with concrete, resisting washing off.

So why wait? Unleash your creativity and explore the art of using acrylic paint on concrete. Whether it’s reviving a drab concrete patio or adding vibrant colors to a mural.

Acrylic paint can bring your vision to life. Let your imagination flow and create stunning masterpieces that will stand the test of time.


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