Alternatives to painted concrete stairs?

Hello - We live in an old craftsman in Oakland. Currently the stairs from the street to our front door are painted concrete. I'm not a huge fan of our particular stairs - it seems as though there are major new paint chips and peels  every day; and maybe b/c it is a lighter color I feel like it looks dirty all the time. I'm looking for suggestions for reasonably priced alternatives to painted concrete that folks have done for their outdoor stairs (bonus if you have a specific person you can recommend that did it). My biggest priorities would be low maintenance/lasts over time; and cost is something to think about given we are on a hill and have about 25 steps. Has anyone reverted painted concrete just back to regular concrete? How involved was that process/were you happy with the outcome? Would something like a brick be super costly/not last as long either? Or have other people had more success with a lack of peeling on painted stairs, and maybe it just wasn't the best job that was done on ours/a darker color may help with the dirty look factor? (If so, are there any specific painters you know that have done a good, long-lasting job)?

Just looking for ideas at this point.  Thank you!!!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

I have that at my Craftsman house too, although only a few steps - mainly it's the cement porch at the front door. At some point, they painted it red, which might be even worse than your light color!  I guess in the 1940's or 1950's people thought red concrete looked cool. A lot of the red has worn off, showing the raw concrete underneath, but we still get chips of old red paint coming up, plus ugly patches of dirty old red islands in a sea of dirty old concrete!  Here's what I learned from a landscape design company (Lazar) that replaced the red-painted and cracked concrete sidewalk leading up to our house a few years ago with a nice stone and brick-lined sidewalk. One, you can get someone to sandblast (or water blast?) all the paint off the concrete, including spiffing up the concrete below. Two, you can put brick facings directly on the concrete. These are not actual bricks, but rather just a thin slice of a brick, like a tile. I'm not sure if they would be slippery the way real bricks are - if so, you wouldn't want that on your steps. There might be other materials that could be laid over the concrete. Three, you can paint it another color.  I would get estimates only from reputable painters that have done this before and can give you referrals - if they cut corners on the paint, your steps could look even worse in a couple of years!  A landscape design company would probably do #2. Probably a painting contractor could do either of the other two.  I think there might be companies that specialize in sandblasting.  I haven't done any of these yet - I'm trying to wait it out until the rest of the red paint wears off, or until I can't stand it anymore!