Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

hand painting on raw concrete

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Jean Shimp, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    jacksonville, fl
    I have been asked to paint some letters and graphics on an interior concrete wall. The surface is bare, unpainted concrete. It appears in a photo to look very smooth. The graphic has a stripe in it which I am assuming will have to be freehand painted since tape will not stick tightly to concrete. I have other concerns also. Is there some kind of clear sealer that can be used that will help? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    • What's the overall size ??
    • Do you have good hand-painting experience ??
    • What kinda paints do you intend to use ??
    • Is this a school, place of business, warehouse...... ??
  3. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    jacksonville, fl
    48" wide by 12' high large stripe with thinner stripe inside and 5 large letters stacked vertically; yes I have good hand painting skills; using acrylic latex paint with fitches, rollers, cutters; new apartment building.
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    I would talk to the paint supplier/manufacturer to find out if there is a clear sealer-primer they recommend. Taping may work for the stripe, especially if you can apply a clear first.
    You can pull sections as you paint and touch up the edges. Can't expect perfection on concrete anyhow.
  5. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
    If I had to do it I would Make a nice stencil and use spray paint. Can't think of reason to do it any other way.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Pacific NW
    I would go old school, using a perforated pattern & chalk dust.
    Depending on the colors and how well the paint covers, possibly go with a good quality paint/primer in one

    It will take multiple coats. ...Have fun :) !!
  7. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    Always water base on masonry. The alkali in masonry is the natural enemy of oil based colors like One Shot.
    You can use house paint, but the pigments are not as pure as a mural paint like Nova Colors. House paints have lots of titanium dioxide diluting the pigments. Of course, if the client specifies a house paint color, it is still far better than an oil base color. I would double coat all colors. Prime the area to be painted if you wish. Colors will cover better. (I like Zinnser 1-2-3).

    If the masonry is fresh (weeks old), any painting contractor will say to acid wash first to remove any effervescence (white salts residue). Four parts water, one part muriatic acid. Scrub with a log-handled brush and then rinse and allow to dry.
    Clear coating is unnecessary and it may trap moisture, which you do not want. Water based paints will allow any residual moisture to exit.

    Yes, you can use bristle fitches, but natural bristles tend to swell in water base paint. You'll get cleaner lines from synthetic sables and the water doesn't affect them. I like the angled ones by Royal Langnickel (dark silver handles, at Michaels). They are a little softer than real sables but still stiff enough to work well on masonry, allowing you to pull straight lines and create clean corners. I think they are Taklon or a mix.

    Taping off concrete does not work well. Better to use pounce patterns and hand cut all the lines with brushes. Fill in with larger brushes or roller.

    Knock it out. And have fun, like Tammie said.

    Brad in Kansas City


    Nova is pricey but if you need bright colors it's great. They have metallics, too. And a blending medium.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Pure Genius! Pure Genius! x 1
  8. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    I do a lot of painting on bare concrete. I use BEHR satin enamel with primer. You dont need any sealer. In the pics on columns a mask was cut to get done quicker with work. Ive also done paper patterns. I use foam rollers and brushes depending on application. The MC was hand done with brushes. The school logo was a mask but freehand shaded

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 6

Share This Page