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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    3

    Default Would you repaint or attempt to strip paint from old concrete exterior stairs?

    100 year-old house with original exterior stairs in the Pacific Northwest (read: wet!).

    The stairs have been repeatedly painted red over the last 20 years by a previous owner. We'd like to return them to something low maintenance and neutral.

    The stairs are in mediocre condition--lots of cracks and crannies.

    I'm wondering, is the smart thing to attempt stripping them? The red paint goes all the way up the concrete stairs from the sidewalk and continues in the concrete stoop next to the house. Approximately 10 steps.

    Or would you power wash them as best as possible and paint them a neutral grey?

    Paint stripping concerns:
    I'd never really be able to get it all off without damaging the house siding.
    It would be more effort than it's worth.

    Repainting concerns:
    The new neutral paint will eventually flake off and need to be repainted repeatedly.

    What would you do, and how would you do it?

    Thanks for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Would you repaint or attempt to strip paint from old concrete exterior stairs?

    Pressure wash it with a low pressure than look at using a FOG COAT like EL-REY very low cost an very natural you can also use the same color in difference shades an blend it in so it will look old.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,751

    Default Re: Would you repaint or attempt to strip paint from old concrete exterior stairs?

    Two difficult choices.

    When you have so many layers of paint, removing these layers will cause tremendous damage to the stairs.

    On the other hand, power washing and painting won't last very long.

    If bad results are guaranteed either way, I choose the one with the least labor. Maybe that's why you have so many coats of paint on the stairs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: Would you repaint or attempt to strip paint from old concrete exterior stairs?

    My guess is that a lot of that paint from way back when was oil paint. It you strip it off, use an acrylic based concrete paint or a solid hide concrete stain when repainting. Both these breathe letting vapor pass through. Oil paints are fairly vapor impervious and tend to pop off because of it.

    There are chemical strippers intended for paint removal from concrete available at Home Depot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Would you repaint or attempt to strip paint from old concrete exterior stairs?

    Consider a couple coats of Ready mix concrete patch to go over top once you get the lose paint off..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Would you repaint or attempt to strip paint from old concrete exterior stairs?

    Thanks for all the advice. We decided to physically remove the paint as best we could, patch for aesthetics only, and the repaint with a grey acrylic.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,751

    Default Re: Would you repaint or attempt to strip paint from old concrete exterior stairs?

    Thanks for the update. Can you send pictures (via photobucket.com)?

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