How to Refinish a Concrete Basement Floor


Whether your home is newly built or several decades old, you can refinish your concrete basement floor with a fresh coat of paint. All you need to complete the job are a few basic tools and a little prep work. Be sure to allow enough time for the sealer and primer to dry before painting. If the weather is cold or humid, drying time may be increased. Spend a little extra time on preparation in order to achieve a long-lasting result.

Things You'll Need

  • Scraper, optional
  • Wire brush, optional
  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Chisel, optional
  • Concrete filler, if necessary
  • Sealer
  • Paintbrushes and rollers
  • Primer
  • Floor paint or masonry paint
  • Floor texture, optional
  • Topcoat sealer
  • Remove existing paint, if necessary. If your concrete basement has been painted, use a scraper and wire brush to remove any loose or chipped paint. Sweep and vacuum the basement floor to remove any paint chips and dust.

  • Wash the surface with trisodium phosphate and a scrub brush. Mix the TSP powder in a bucket with water. TSP is a heavy-duty cleanser that will remove grease and oil stains from concrete. Any oil or grease that isn't removed will seep through your paint job, so it's best to wash the entire floor surface. Allow the floor to dry.

  • Repair any cracks with concrete filler. If necessary, use a chisel to clean the edges of the crack and create a smooth finish. Vacuum dust and dirt out of the crack before filling to ensure a solid bond. Let the filler dry completely.

  • Apply sealer. Use a masonry or concrete sealer to prevent moisture seepage. Moisture from the concrete will seep up through the surface and cause the paint to flake and chip over time, so apply a good quality sealer. Allow it to dry.

  • Prime the concrete. Specialty masonry paint has a primer combined with the paint, but if your basement will get a lot of traffic it's a good idea to prime separately. Primer adds durability to your paint job and provides a good base for your final color. You can have your primer tinted for added depth of color.

  • Paint the basement floor once the primer is dry. You can add floor texture to your paint to give it a slight "grip" and help prevent falls. Two thin coats of paint will adhere better than one thick coat, so take the time to build thin layers of paint.

  • Add a topcoat sealer if desired. If you complete these steps properly, you shouldn't need a topcoat sealer. However, if your basement gets a lot of use, you may want to add a final coat of sealer once the paint has thoroughly dried.

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