Is It Better To Paint or Stain a Concrete Patio?

Covered walkout patio with concrete floor
Covered walkout patio with concrete floor

Is It Better To Paint or Stain a Concrete Patio?

A patio is the perfect location for outdoor entertaining and it can be used year-round in many places. Even in the coldest months of the year, a firepit or outdoor heater can transform a patio into an exterior living space. If you’re the type who spends a lot of time enjoying your backyard, a boring patio can be a downer. Adding plants, furniture and décor can make a difference, but you can also update your current cement patio by changing the color. There are two basic options to choose from, staining and painting, so deciding which is right for your needs and your budget is essential.
Paint stained concrete patio

Staining a Concrete Patio

You can create instant impact by staining a concrete patio. It’s a process that involves several applications of chemicals, as well as a curing process, but it leaves a unique look that can be made to appear like wood or stone. It is possible to stain your patio yourself, but you will likely get better results with the help of an experienced professional.

One of the greatest pros of choosing staining over painting is that the stain penetrates into the concrete rather than just building up on the surface, as with paint. This results in a longer-lasting color that won’t fade as quickly as paint.

For some homeowners, the con of staining a concrete patio is that the colors can be a little unpredictable. The moisture content of the concrete as well as the aging and curing can lead to variations in the color choices, which are already more limited than paint colors.

Painting a Concrete Patio

The process of painting a patio is fairly straightforward and often just involves ensuring that the concrete is thoroughly cleaned beforehand, though etching is recommended. Once it’s clean, the patio can be painted whatever color you might prefer. Have a favorite shade that is already gracing the walls of your home? You can use it on your patio!

Many people who choose painting versus staining do so because it’s easy to do themselves. All you need is paint and a roller to complete the job. Because paint is opaque, it can also cover up discolorations and stains on your existing concrete pad.

The con of painting concrete is that it is not nearly as durable as staining. Over time, the paint can fade and chip away. It can get scratched when you move heavy furniture or can be damaged by bad weather.

Which Option Should You Choose?

Whether you decide to paint or stain a concrete patio depends on a few factors. First, you’ll want to consider whether you have the time and resources to hire a professional for the staining and curing process. You’ll also want to think about the level of durability required for the project. If you live in a mild climate, painting may not be an issue. However, if you use your patio a lot or deal with harsh winters, staining may be the better option.

No matter what you choose, you’ll end up with an updated, unique patio that you’ll enjoy using for years to come.