How to paint an interior concrete floor

Written by ryn gargulinski
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Interior concrete floors can be incredibly drab, dull and make it feel like you are living or working in a garage. You can change all that by adding some pizazz when you paint an interior concrete floor. Painting an interior concrete floor is not difficult, just tedious. It also involves a lot of waiting if you want it to come out right.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Concrete paint
  • Concrete primer
  • Concrete paint sealer
  • Several fresh roller heads
  • Roller with long handle
  • Painters tape
  • Paint tray
  • Paint scraper or razor (optional)

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  1. 1

    Prepare the room. Remove all furniture and protect the walls. Use painter's tape to cover the baseboards. Go a little higher than the height of the roller head to avoid splatters.

  2. 2

    Prepare the floor. Wash off any residue, dirt and grime. Scrape off any stuck-on stuff with a paint scraper or razor blade. You can give the floor a good mopping with bleach, ammonia or mopping solution but make sure you rinse excruciatingly well. Any bleach, ammonia or mopping solution residue may mar the paint job.

  3. 3

    Apply a concrete primer. This step is essential in getting paint to stick to concrete for any length of time. Primers are very sticky and need at least 24 hours to dry, so prepare yourself and your family. The floor should not be stepped on for that length of time or you may end up with sticky feet and unwanted foot prints.

  4. 4

    Use a fresh roller head to evenly spread a thin coat of paint in one direction over the primer. Rollers attached to long handles--sold at hardware and home stores--make the job a lot easier. Let the first coat dry for at least 8 hours. Apply a second thin coat in a perpendicular direction to the first, and wait another 8 hours. If you still want a deeper hue or note inconsistencies in coverage, apply a third coat, perpendicular to the second coat. Wait another 8 hours for it to dry.

  5. 5

    Seal the paint. A concrete sealer will help protect the floor from scratches and keep it looking shiny. Apply with a fresh roller the same way you applied the paint, in the opposite direction of the last coat.

Tips and warnings

  • Since concrete paint usually comes in limited colours, you may want to paint a lighter colour over a darker one to produce a different hue.
  • You can also mix more than one colour of concrete paint, as long as they are the same brands and have the same ingredients.
  • Designs look good on concrete. Experiment with a small patch in the corner if you want to get fancy with lines, grids or faux cobblestones.
  • You can store the roller in an airtight bag between painting applications so it stays moist and can continue to be used for the painting.
  • Do not use the same roller you used for the sealer for the paint unless you have cleaned it 100 per cent. It’s easier to use a new roller than to try to clean the sticky primer off it. You can buy a roller head for less than £3.
  • Do not mix regular paint with concrete paint or you are just asking for a disaster.
  • Do not thin concrete paint.
  • Be patient. The paint job will last for years if done correctly. Wait the allotted time for the paint to dry between applications.

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