3 cans of Sherwin-Williams masonry paint showing new color coded labels

How Do I Pick the Right Coatings for Concrete and Masonry Jobs?

Answers to pro painters’ most pressing questions by Rick Watson

We’re bidding on more concrete and masonry work these days. How can we make sure we’re using the right coatings?

As you’ve no doubt noticed, there are more options than ever out there, so making the right choice is important. We recently reviewed and are rebranding our Sherwin-Williams concrete and masonry products to make selecting the perfect product for your projects even easier.

You’ll now find these preparation products, finishes and specialty products grouped under two brand names:

  • Loxon®: These are the most widely recognized concrete coating products in the industry for their direct-to-concrete applications and set the standard with their high-performance attributes.
  • ConFlex™: With its lineup of elastomeric waterproofers and acrylics, this brand has a proven history of solid performance, which has made it the industry workhorse for concrete applications.

Different look, same great products

The formulas which you have come to rely on and trust have NOT changed, just their branding.

And, we are relabeling our concrete and masonry coatings to make selecting the perfect product for every project even easier for the busy professional. For instance, now you will find convenient color coding on the labels and data pages.

Preparation products will have a blue chevron at the top of the label, finishing products will be green and specialty products will use purple. (See photo at the top of the story.)

Can’t we just use our favorite latex paints on concrete?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

In some cases, high-quality architectural paints may be a perfectly suitable solution.

But protection issues – like corrosion, alkalinity and moisture protection and infiltration prevention – are often primary concerns in concrete and masonry applications. So these jobs generally require a specialized coating rather than a standard conventional latex paint.

What other factors should we consider when selecting a concrete coating?

Look for a supplier like Sherwin-Williams whose concrete and masonry products are universally available in a complete “system” – from preparation to finish and special lines.

Consider all the features of a coating that add up to providing maximum durability for your project. Also, look for products that are formulated to comply with the most stringent VOC regulations in your area.

The final, and maybe most important piece of the puzzle, is to take advantage of the product and application expertise of your local store and sales rep. They have extensive training and experience dealing with the specific issues and needs of concrete and masonry surfaces, everything from alkali burn to efflorescence to water penetration and much more.

They will work with you to walk through your project and make the best coating system recommendations. They can also point you to a number of printed and digital resources we have developed to help you learn more about concrete and masonry substrates and how to protect them.

More resources

The Sherwin-Williams Essential Guide to Concrete & Masonry is a complete list of concrete coatings and much more. You can find that and more at swconcretecoatings.com.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2018 issue of PPC magazine. Rick Watson, director of Product Information and Technical Services at Sherwin-Williams, answers questions from pro painters in the Ask Your ProPartner™ column in PPC magazine.

Got a question for Rick?