Can You Paint Precast Concrete Walls?
A modern commercial space demands more than a neverending expanse of grey. If you can turn that space into a canvas of color and light, it could lift and transform your environment.
That's important in business. Your commercial space is often the first time a customer encounters your brand. So, your building appearance reflects who you are as a business.
This article will explain what you can do if you have a commercial building made from precast concrete walls. Read on to see if you can paint these surfaces and how to go about it to get the best results.
What Are Precast Concrete Walls?
In commercial buildings, precast concrete walls are a standard feature.
Architects favor these constructions as they are strong, durable, and versatile. They offer excellent sound insulation, so you'll find them in offices, warehouses, and factories.
These wall designs provide businesses with a fast way to construct a building.
Precast means the wall molding happens offsite instead of on-site concrete pouring. It's a modular design, so the construction is uniform and precise.
Once that molding is ready, the supplier transports and assembles it. It's an efficient and low-cost process that requires fewer contractors on-site.
You can check to see whether a wall is precast by looking for the following features:
- You'll see multiple standard-sized panels for a wall
- They have a uniform texture
- Some walls will have a manufacturer's stamp
Don't forget that you can review building paperwork if you're unsure. Most commercial buildings will have construction plans that will outline the wall type.
Why Paint a Precast Concrete Wall?
The most obvious reason for painting a precast wall is its aesthetics. It will make your building look better, and that's important for your brand image. You can even add logos or corporate designs onto a painted wall.
It will also be something your employees will appreciate. People want to work in an environment that looks modern and professional. A bright, freshly painted wall often creates a more pleasant working environment.
There are other reasons, too.
Paint is a protective material for buildings. It can help shield walls from moisture and the effects of the sun. So, you could extend the lifespan of a wall by applying a coat of paint.
Can You Paint Concrete Walls?
In short, you can paint a precast concrete wall. However, you must prepare and prime the wall correctly before adding paint.
You'll also need to choose a suitable paint for the wall, which we'll discuss later in the article.
Preparing the Surface
When painting a precast concrete wall, you must prepare the surface first.
Start by cleaning the wall. Use a mild detergent and water. You can use a pressure washer for larger wall surfaces.
Remove any dirt or debris and check the wall for any signs of mold. If you have cracks, fill these with a sealant before painting.
Primers for Precast Concrete Walls
You can paint a precast concrete wall, but to do so, you will need to begin with a primer. The primer acts as an essential foundation, protecting the concrete from the finished paint layers. It also acts as an adhesive between the concrete and paint, preventing peeling later.
Always invest in a high-quality primer that's suitable for large-scale commercial buildings. It should be moisture-resistant and have a high bonding capacity. That will provide better long-term protection, and you'll get a higher-quality finish.
Types of Precast Concrete Wall Paint
After choosing a primer, it's time to select the paint. Here are the different paints to consider for a precast concrete wall.
Elastomeric paints are best for exterior walls. They offer resilience and can withstand temperature changes. They're also waterproof and have elastic properties. The latter ensures they won't crack even with surface movement.
Acrylic paints are helpful if you have a wall with lots of sun exposure. They are UV resistant. They also resist yellowing, so they will last a long time on an exterior wall without repainting.
The flexible nature of acrylic paints means they're also popular for interior walls.
Silicate or Mineral
Silicate paints, also known as mineral paints, provide a lasting finish. They're durable and withstand many weather conditions, like sunlight. The paints are breathable, too, protecting the walls from damp damage.
Painting Concrete: The Step-by-Step Process
A systematic painting of your walls will help you get the best finish. Here are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Prepare Your Equipment
You'll need paint, primer, brushes, and rollers. Measure the wall to estimate the volume of paint you'll need.
Ensure you invest in several brushes and rollers to have some for the priming and the painting. For high walls, you may also need a stepladder.
Step 2: Prepare Your walls
Clean and dry the walls. Repair any gaps or cracks before you start adding a primer. Always check the wall is dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Prime the Walls
Add a high-quality primer to the surface. After applying a primer, you should wait at least 4 hours before painting. Oil-based primers will need a minimum of 24 hours.
Step 4: Begin Painting
Choose your final paint selection. Apply even, consistent strokes.
Use a smaller brush to cover the edges and corners. You'll need 2-3 coats and sufficient drying time between applications.
Step 5: Inspect
After each paint application, check the finish once the paint has dried. That will ensure you spot any unevenness or missed areas.
Maintenance for a Freshly-Painted Wall
While you can paint a precast concrete wall, you must take steps to maintain it. That will stop the paint from peeling or the wall showing signs of wear and tear, like cracks.
First, keep the wall clean, using a mild detergent to remove stubborn grease and dirt stains. Check the walls for water damage and promptly address any signs of moisture before the issue worsens.
Getting the Perfect Finish for Your Walls
Precast concrete walls can be more than functional. With a splash of color, you can brighten any commercial space, whether inside or out.
To get a professional painting finish on your commercial building, hire our expert team. Contact PPD Painting to find out about our services.