How to Paint a Concrete Shower

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Concrete showers are durable and easy to clean but may look utilitarian. Painting a concrete shower can add much-needed visual appeal to an otherwise cold, gray space. Painting concrete surfaces requires a few additional steps beyond the simple priming and painting of traditional drywall surfaces. However, the extra preparations necessary for painting concrete are not overly difficult. With the right tools and know how, you can turn any concrete shower into a richly colored, aesthetically pleasing space.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Trisodium phosphate solution
  • Bucket
  • Primer
  • Paint roller for rough/concrete surfaces
  • Paintbrush
  • Exterior paint
  • Mix-in paint texture

How to Paint a Concrete Shower

Clean the concrete shower thoroughly with water, soap and a scrub brush, removing as much debris and scum as possible from the concrete surfaces.

Scrub the surface with a brush and a trisodium phosphate solution. According to DoItYourself.com, trisodium phosphate, or TSP, “will remove any grease or oil,” ensuring your paint will adhere to the concrete surface. TSP is available from most local hardware stores as a powder that can be mixed with water in a bucket for easy cleaning.

Allow the surface dry thoroughly.

Apply primer to the shower’s surfaces. Use a roller for large sections of concrete and a paintbrush for tight corners.

Allow the primer to dry. Different primer products have different drying times, but generally one to two hours is normal depending on temperature, humidity and air circulation. Consult the primer label for the most accurate timing.

Apply a coat of exterior paint to the shower using a brush and roller. Exterior paint is designed to withstand water damage, so it is ideal for shower surfaces that are regularly damp. If your shower has a very smooth concrete floor, the painted surface will only add to the slickness; mix some paint texture, available at most hardware stores, into the paint used on the floor surfaces to prevent slipping.

Wait for the first coat to dry. Follow the drying times on the paint can for the best results. Apply a second coat if necessary for full coverage. Do not use the shower for at least 24 hours after painting to ensure complete paint adhesion and drying.

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