How to Paint an Interior Concrete Floor

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A painted concrete floor adds a finishing touch to a space.
A painted concrete floor adds a finishing touch to a space. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Interior concrete floors can be incredibly drab and dull. They sometimes make it feel like you're living or working in a garage. Change all that by adding some pizzazz in the form of paint and primer. Painting a concrete floor is not difficult, just tedious. It calls for great attention to detail and even greater patience, but when it's all said and done, you'll love the look of your new painted concrete.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Cleaning solution
  • Floor mop
  • Concrete primer
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Roller handle
  • 3 roller heads
  • Concrete paint
  • Concrete paint sealer
  • Airtight bag
  • Paint scraper or razor (optional)

Remove all furniture and objects from the room. Use painter's tape to cover the baseboards. Extend your tape a little higher than the height of the roller head to avoid splatters on the baseboards.

Wash any residue, dirt and grime from your floor. Scrape off any stuck-on dirt with a paint scraper or razor blade. Next, give the floor a good mopping with bleach, ammonia or mopping solution but make sure you rinse ridiculously well. Any bleach, ammonia or mopping solution left behind may mar the paint job.

Apply a concrete primer, using a paint tray and roller. 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.

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.

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 & Warnings

  • Store the roller in an airtight bag between painting applications so it stays moist and pliable throughout the job.
  • Do not use the same roller for the sealer that you used for the paint unless you have cleaned it thoroughly. It's easier to buy a new roller than to try to clean the sticky primer off a used one. You can usually buy a roller head for less than $5.

References

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