Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Wheel Chair Ramps–Painting Issues

By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Features, Special Surfaces

If you ever tried painting concrete in the sidewalk setting then you likely have had similar results as we have: i.e. not good. Paint does not adhere to the concrete particularly when it is grooved as ramps must be.Painted conc ramp.JPG

I am always surprised when engineers give in to the vendors’ plea to “trust us, this is different and we stand behind it”.  They stand behind it provided you can prove it was installed in the ideal temperature and humidity range they recommend and then only for the one-year warranty.  In short, the ramps in only a few years look like these photos.


If you have it in the contract to use stained concrete then do not let the contractor give you the excuses that: the batch plant will not mix it; it costs too much; paint is just as good; or paint on their garage floor has lasted for XX years or.  Enforce the contract.

If you do need to give in somewhat then require them to buy the stain and sprinkle it on once the concrete is floated to grade and long before it begins to set. They can then rake it in so there is at least tint to 0.5-inch depth. They should add the stain liberally but evenly and rake it more than once in more than one direction. Then continue with the standard finishing and grooving. Someday the surface will be chipped but likely not below the stained layer. You will be glad it was not painted.


0 Comments to “Wheel Chair Ramps–Painting Issues”

  1. Yes its true…I painted a sidewalk concrete of a bridge and it does not adhere to concrete properly


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