I would like to apply some kind of coating to this concrete staircase that would involve color other than the native.

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I am not sure if just regular exterior primer and paint would be durable because of direct vertical exposure to weather. What are my options? I would also like something less complicated than epoxy. Is there a colored sealant that would be more resistant to weather than just regular paint or do you think paint is fine?

  • The "exterior" graded primer and paint have already taken into account the impacts from the environment and weather. Just find the one that is suitable for cement-based material. Don't use water-based paint though.
    – r13
    Sep 22, 2021 at 22:30
  • The exterior primer I use (Zinsser) is water-based. Should I use oil based?
    – amphibient
    Sep 22, 2021 at 23:12
  • I would shy away from painting concrete with water-based primer/paint, it usually is not durable. For applying oil-based primer, make sure the surface has completely dried.
    – r13
    Sep 22, 2021 at 23:17
  • 1
    I suggest talking to your paint supplier who is knowledgeable, not the store clerk though. Don't forget to mention it is for outdoor stair use, which might need a special product for wearing and abrasion.
    – r13
    Sep 22, 2021 at 23:33
  • 2
    You narrowly skirted product recommendation prohibition in your post, but you bludgeoned right into that off-topic realm with your comments. I'm not sure why you didn't just read some labels. They tend to make it quite clear right on the front what they're for. This is not an odd use case.
    – isherwood
    Sep 23, 2021 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


Concrete floor paint, as used in showrooms and garages will do just fine. Different colours are available, and some mix with epoxy, giving an even harder finish.

Might be an idea to mark the edges of the treads in a lighter colour, for safety reasons.

  • 1
    Anti-slip additives (grit) are also a good idea for stairs.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 23, 2021 at 12:56
  • yes, sprinkle some dry silica sand on the wet paint to provide grip and increase the durability of the paint.
    – Jasen
    Sep 23, 2021 at 14:36
  • Any of the surface treatments that are applicable to concrete paths can be used here,
    – Jasen
    Sep 23, 2021 at 14:37

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