How to paint concrete flooring

Updated November 21, 2016

This is a great way to turn a dull drab concrete floor into a bright and cheery room. Paining a concrete floor is not as easy as painting the walls in your house. It takes quite a bit of time preparing the concrete for painting. And it takes some maintenance. However, painting your floor can change the look and feel of the room drastically and you can match any type of decor. You may need an entire week to finish this project depending on the age and condition of the concrete.

Clean the floor completely with a chemical degreaser. Follow the manufacturer's directions, as some are to be mixed with water and others go directly on the floor. If your concrete is a new slab, then this step will not be necessary. If it has been lightly used, a general degreaser is fine. However, if it's badly stained and oily, then you will need a heavy-duty degreaser. Allow the floor to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Preform a moisture test on the slab. Tape a 15 by 15 inch piece of plastic to the floor with a moisture-resistant tape. Leave in place for 72 hours and then check under the plastic for moisture. If there is moisture, you cannot paint this floor until it is fully dry. If there is no moisture you can go on to the next step.

If the concrete is too smooth the paint will not adhere to the concrete, so you must mop on an acid etcher. There are many different kinds, so follow the manufacturer's directions for the one that you are using. When you are done with the etching, the acid will need to be neutralised. This can be done with household ammonia and warm water. Mop the floor with the ammonia and water mixture and then again with straight warm water. Allow to dry completely. Drying times will depend on temperature and humidity of the area.

Paint the floor. Using a roller on an extension pole, roll the paint onto the floor. There are a couple types of paint for concrete flooring, so follow the manufacturer's directions for your type of paint. The floor will need at least two coats of paint, and if you are painting on any decorative murals or pictures, it should be done over the second coat. Let dry.

Paint on concrete paint sealer. Use at least two coats. The sealer will create a bond with the paint and protect it from wearing off. Depending on the traffic the floor gets, you will want to reseal it when it starts to look dull. Let the floor sit for at least 48 hours before allowing regular traffic on it.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete paint
  • Concrete degreaser
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Moisture resistant tape
  • Acid etcher
  • Ammonia
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Rags
  • Paint rollers and pan
  • Extension handle for paint roller
  • Paint sealer
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