Concrete Paint | How to Paint Concrete Floors

LAST UPDATED: Oct 21, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Sep 10, 2014 | By: Julie Blanner

Concrete floor paint is the easiest way to update concrete for a beautiful, durable finish on a budget. Learn how to paint concrete floors for an instant update that works well for basements, laundry rooms, playrooms, screened in porches and so much more! 

grey concrete paint in mudroom with white cubbies

I always thought I’d have more luxurious flooring in our laundry room and mudroom, but having kids gives you a sense of practicality you’d never imagine. I started looking at concrete painted floors in a new light, thinking of it in an East Coast cottage. Suddenly, it opened my eyes to something far more beautiful than the garage I had originally envisioned. Cement floor paint is more than just utilitarian- it can be beautiful too! I’m going to show you how to paint concrete floors for a result you’ll love for years to come.

Concrete Paint for Floors and Beyond

We absolutely loved the concrete paint in our closet converted mudroom. It was pristine and worry free, functional and most importantly, durable. (Unlike that wood table we’re still overwhelmed with.) Because we enjoyed the finished product so much, I’m sharing the details of how to paint concrete floors to create your own fuss-free zone.

Above all, it’s an inexpensive way to update a space that you want to easily “wipe down”. Concrete Floor Paint is perfect for an unfinished basement, laundry room, mudroom, screened in porch and so much more!

Applying a coat of cement floor paint is quick, easy, and cost-effective. It immediately enhances a space and makes it feel fresh and so clean, without a lot of effort.

You can see from the photo below the dramatic before and after concrete paint can offer!

dark dated laundry room with carpet
BEFORE

Concrete Paint

First of all, I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to painting concrete. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right product for cement paint- the truth is, very few of us are professionals. After lots of research and discussions with paint crews, I recommend a high quality concrete paint (also known as cement floor paint) that can withstand the natural expansion and contraction of the floor as temperatures fluctuate with seasons.

In fact, a properly painted concrete floor will also withstand scratching, high foot traffic, heat from the wheels of your car, and even water. Certainly, cement floor paint helps waterproof the floor! When applied to a dry surface, it seals the floor and doesn’t allow moderate water to seep into the concrete below unless subjected to flooding, of course.

Choosing The Best Concrete Paint

Concrete paint labeled for interior and exterior use tend to be more durable. Luckily, I have researched products through various sources to ensure the best concrete floor paint for you! One gallon can cover quite a few square feet. Usually it’s more than enough to cover a large room.

We used Glidden Porch and Floor Polyurethane Oil Gloss (in Steel Grey). You can find a lot of great options at Amazon, (linked) Lowe’s and Home Depot. 

Epoxy paint is a little more difficult to work with. Because of this, most homeowners have a tendency to lean towards latex options. For interiors, the following paints with a satin finish work well and are easy to apply.

  • Rust-Oleum Concrete & Garage Floor Paint – this paint is indoor/outdoor, self-priming and results in a satin finish. It’s specially formulated to resist high heat from cars!
  • Drylock Concrete Floor Paint – it resists peeling and scuffing. It is known for covering up imperfections which is great for unfinished spaces or concrete where you have removed a previous floor that may have experienced damage. This is a low-luster acrylic latex paint which can also sustain UV rays!
  • Kilz Porch and Patio Paint – despite the name it is amazing for basement floors as well! It forms a barrier to keep water and dampness out.
  • Kilz Over Armor – This product has texture for anti-slip so best used outdoors for a porch or garage.
  • Kilz Basement and Masonry Waterproofer – This tinted base is great for keeping dampness at bay. In just 2 coats you’ll have a smooth, glossy finish that dries in just an hour.
  • Insl-x Sure Step – Another acrylic cement paint option that’s very affordable! It is anti-slip with a slight texture so best used outdoors. 

grey concrete paint in laundry room with dryer and stripe rug

Tools Needed to Use Cement Floor Paint

Thankfully, you’ll need very little to get started! Are you ready? 

  • Brush
  • Paint Roller

How to Paint Concrete Floors

  1. First of all, start by removing any existing flooring. In our case, it was carpet, which meant we had tack strips to remove. Remove any adhesive if there is any from existing vinyl. Furthermore, if there’s any leftover gunk or existing adhesive, consider using a scraper or wire brush. For outdoor spaces, a power washer will come in handy! 
  2. Thoroughly clean the floor, wiping down baseboards and corners to remove all dirt and debris. 
  3. Next, start painting at the far corner of the room. Paint the edges with a brush.
  4. Paint the floor (main area) with a paint roller, just as you would a wall.
  5. Work your way out of the room and allow to dry 24 hours or per the instructions for your cement paint.
  6. Finally, after your first coat of paint is completely dry, touch up or apply a second coat, if needed.

How Do You Clean Concrete Floor Paint?

Although this new surface is very easy to care for, you’ll need to clean it occasionally of course! To clean your newly painted surface, simply:

  • Just do it the old fashioned way and use dish soap and warm water and a standard mop. 
  • Swiffer also works well. 

Most of all, I love that this concrete coating is extremely durable and can withstand most cleaners. Because of this, it’s a floor we can enjoy for years to come! 

Concrete Floor Paint Ideas

Think beyond the basic! In contrast to a simple solid color coating of concrete paint, you can even take your project to the next level. That’s right- turn it into decorative concrete. The options are endless! There are so many concrete floor paint ideas!

  • Patterns are perfect- you can use a stencil to create the look of tile or more! 
  • Paint stripes- this is a simple way to create decorative concrete with very few tools.
  • Paint a rug- I love that this project can warm up an outdoor living space with a low-maintenance floor paint technique.
  • Painting games like hopscotch and Twister, or create an indoor basketball court

Can You Tint Concrete Paint? 

Thankfully, yes! If you’re looking for something beyond the basic utilitarian gray colors of years past, you are in luck! Most of the paints mentioned above are available in a variety of colors. This makes customizing your cement floor paint so easy! 

More Easy Painting Ideas

Above all, what do you think? Do you have a concrete space in your home that could benefit from cement floor paint? I’d love to hear from you- if you complete a concrete floor painting project, be sure to come back and share! 

How to Paint Concrete Floors

How to Paint Concrete Floors

Yield: 1 Amazing Room
Active Time: 3 hours
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: Less than $60.00

How to paint concrete floors for a durable, beautiful finish.

Materials

  • Soap and Water to Clean
  • Concrete Floor Paint (labeled for interior exterior)

Tools

  • Paint Roller
  • Paint Brush
  • Painter's Tape

Instructions

  1. Removing any existing flooring, tack strips and or adhesive.
  2. Thoroughly clean the floor, wiping down baseboards and corners to remove any debris.
  3. Starting at the far corner of the room, paint the edges with a brush.
  4. Next, roll paint onto the main surface (just as you would a wall).
  5. Work your way out of the room and allow to dry 24 hours.
  6. Touch up or apply a second coat as needed.

Notes

We used Glidden Porch and Floor Polyurethane Oil Gloss in Steel Grey. Paints that are labeled for interior and exterior use tend to be more durable.

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