How to Get the Best Results with Concrete Paint

Concrete was one of the greatest building innovations ever. It allowed buildings to become bigger and stronger, it also allowed homes and garages to have amazingly strong foundations. Today, concrete comprises the majority of walls and floors in our home’s basements. It is also the primary flooring material of garages and carports. Concrete is amazingly strong especially when it is reinforced with metal as it is in most modern construction.

Why paint concrete? Concrete is a porous surface that will suck up spills and stains. It also can become discolored over time. Concrete also can look very industrial, which is a look that most of us do not want to come home to! Concrete paint gives you a washable surface that is easy to take care of and has a uniform color and finish that can brighten any room’s walls or even floors!

Proper prep of your concrete is the only way to get the best results with concrete paint!

The first rule to painting concrete is proper preparation of the surface. No matter how good or expensive your paint, without proper prep, it will not last and will not provide decent protection for your surface.

Step 1 Paint Removal: All previous paint must be removed to do a great job at getting your concrete paint to last. In areas where it is practical, a power washer is a must have. Use the power washer to remove old paint and dirt. If you do not have access to a power washer or if it is not practical to use one (like in your home!) you will need to scrape as much of the old paint off by hand.

Step 2 TSP: You will need to scrub the surface with TSP. TSP, or Tri-Sodium Phosphate, is a readily available cleaner that will remove any grease or oil from the surface. Carefully follow the instructions on the package and make sure that you let the area dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3 Sealer: All concrete surfaces must be sealed or else moisture can seep through ruining your paint and your room. When you are choosing a sealer, make sure you look for one that is right for your location. There are sealers that are specially formulated for garage floors and sealers that are designed for use inside of your home. Also, when you are sealer shopping let them know that you plan on priming and painting the surface, there are a few sealer/primers available that will remove the next step from your project.

Step 4 Primer: Sealers are only for stopping moisture unless you use a sealer/primer. Therefore, the surface must be coated with a primer to ensure that your paint will stick to the surface. Primers create a bond between the paint and the sealer making the paint last longer and look better because it helps form a consistent surface.

Step 5 The Painting: Once you have allowed the primer to completely set, it is time to start painting. Use a roller to apply your paint, this will speed up the process and helps put a little texture into the paint which can cover up any small imperfections in the concrete itself. You will want to apply two light coats of the paint, allowing for the first coat to dry before starting the second. Two light coats are always better than one for making the paint last the longest. If you are painting a concrete floor, you may want to add some texture by adding paint texture additives to your second coat. Painted concrete floors can get very slippery, especially when they get wet!

Step 6 Let it dry!: Next to proper preparation, this is the most important step. I only say this because I have seen plenty of permanent foot prints in painted concrete floors. It may look dry, it may feel dry to the touch, but do not step on it until you are absolutely sure! It is not worth ruining all of your hard work by jumping the gun!

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