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.
Let’s get started on to how to paint a concrete floor.
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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:
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:
- Remove the floor covering, e.g carpeting or rugs.
- Remove any adhesive material – if your floor has any adhesive stuck to it, these spots will stand out under the new paint treatment.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vacuum – Use a construction vacuum, like a shop-vac, and vacuum the floor to remove the dust and debris.
- 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.
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.
To start painting, cutting in around the edges of the floor with a paintbrush.
After cutting in, use a roller to paint all the other areas of the floor.
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.
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
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- How to create concrete landscape edging
- How to use self-leveling concrete