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How to paint a concrete floor in a basement

A step-by-step tutorial on how to paint concrete floors in a basement using concrete paint.

Ah! The basement! You either love it or hate it. 

For many of you, it’s a dark, unfinished dungeon only fit for towering mountains of laundry or scattered piles of the latest garage sale finds. 

You don’t expect much when you descend into the cold warehouse of forgotten items. And it’s the last place that you think of when considering upgrades to your home. 

But, somewhere in that mess is a sturdy, neglected floor that has survived countless floods and spills. 

If you suddenly decided to give it the attention it deserved, you might actually utilize all this extra space in your home in a more innovative way.

The basement floor sets the ambiance for the entire space. And a fresh coat of paint can liven up any room or item. 

Why not update your basement concrete floors with new paint? 

This tutorial will show you how to paint concrete floors anywhere, e.g. your basement or garage.

painted concrete basement floor grey

Let’s get started on to how to paint a concrete floor.

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PAINT A CONCRETE FLOOR


MATERIALS:

TOOLS:

You can print the material list and instructions below.

STEP 1: CLEAR THE SPACE

Before you can even start to paint, you must be able to see the entire floor. 

Spend some time purging your basement of items that you no longer need. Donate, toss or sell. 

Move the remaining items to another room or empty space in the basement.

Here is what my room looked like before:

messy basement floor

STEP 2: PREP THE SURFACE

Prepping is the most important step when painting but it can take a while to complete. When you carefully prepare the surface, you will get a refined, long-lasting finish.

Here is a complete list of steps you need to prep the concrete floor before painting: 

  1. Remove the floor covering, e.g carpeting or rugs.
  2. Remove any adhesive material – if your floor has any adhesive stuck to it, these spots will stand out under the new paint treatment.
  3. Fill in all cracks and holes – if you happen to have any cracks or holes in your concrete, use a concrete filler like Concrete Fix Sealant to conceal these. 
  4. Sand the floor – this might sound strange but if you want to ensure a smooth concrete floor finish, you will want to sand any rough areas. I would recommend a block sander to sand a small area but for larger areas, consider using a bigger machine.
    • SIDE NOTE: There will be a lot of dust, so wear a mask and tape off other rooms you don’t want dust in.
  5. Vacuum – Use a construction vacuum, like a shop-vac, and vacuum the floor to remove the dust and debris.
  6. Clean the floor – Now that the floor is free of dust, you need to wipe it clean with soap and water. I like to wash the floor with soap; then, mop it again with water alone, to make sure no soap residue is left.
clean basement floor before paint

Let the concrete dry completely before painting, at least 8 hours, but I let it sit 24 hours to be sure.

SIDE NOTE: I waterproofed the cinder block walls and painted them before moving onto the floors. If you are wondering how to do this, I have a tutorial about how to waterproof cracks in a foundation and a tutorial about how to paint cinder block walls. Be sure to check those out if you want to fully update your basement. 

STEP 3: PAINT THE CONCRETE FLOOR

Now that the concrete is prepped, you can start painting. For this kind of flooring, use a concrete paint and follow the instructions on the container.

I decided to try Behr’s Porch and Patio concrete paint in grey. After reading the instructions, I realised I didn’t need to prime the floor because the concrete had already been painted once. 

Next time I will prime the floor first to see what kind of finish this gives me.

If you determine that you need to prime the floor, do that first before painting.

If you’re wondering how to open a can of paint, be sure to visit my post all about it, plus there’s a video with the instructions.

steps on painting basement concrete floor

To start painting, cutting in around the edges of the floor with a paintbrush.

cutting in with concrete paint

After cutting in, use a roller to paint all the other areas of the floor.

paint roller concrete paint

TIP: Apply the paint in the furthest corner and work your way to the entrance. You don’t want to paint yourself in the corner!

Allow the paint to dry according to the instructions on the can. Then, apply a second coat.

For a protective finish, apply some concrete sealant or sealer over the painted concrete floor.

after painted basement concrete floor

I didn’t apply the sealant on my floor this time because I was on a tight deadline. I plan on using it in my laundry room when I repaint that concrete floor.

Once everything has dried according to the instructions on the can, move your belongings back into the room, and see what a difference a little paint can make!

To give you an even better idea of the process, I have created a video to show you how I painted my concrete floor.

I hope this tutorial will help you see how easy it can be to update your concrete floor with paint, whether it’s a basement floor or garage floor.

Interested in more concrete tutorials? Here are some other posts you might enjoy:

Yield: painted concrete floor

How to paint a concrete floor in a basement or garage

paint roller concrete paint

A fresh coat of paint can liven up any room. And why not update your concrete floors with a fresh coat of paint? This is how to paint concrete floors or any concrete floor, like the garage floor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $40

Materials

  • concrete paint
  • concrete sealer (optional)
  • concrete patch (optional)

Tools

  • paintbrush
  • paint roller frame
  • paint roller cover
  • adjustable extension pole
  • vacuum
  • scraper

Instructions

  1. Prep the concrete floor by removing all items from the area, patching any cracks, removing any residue, and clean the floor.clean basement floor before paint
  2. Paint the concrete floor with concrete paint using a paintbrush and roller. painting basement concrete floor
  3. Allow the paint to cure then move things back into the area and enjoy it!after painted basement concrete floor
how to paint concrete floor

5 Comments

  1. Your floor looks amazing. I have stained concrete floors but never painted them. I am planning on doing this in our garage and I will follow your tutorial. Thank you.

  2. This looks so awesome! I just pinned it for our future garage floor makeover. Can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

  3. We are planning on remodeling our basement laundry room soon. The floors were painted, but we’ve been living here for 27 years, and it was before that, so… Thank you for the tutorial, and we will be using this for sure! Pinned.

  4. I am so glad you posted this! I wanted to do this in our last home, but never had the courage. It looks fantastic!

  5. Wow. What a transformation! Thank you for sharing your project with us!

Comments are closed.