What if your concrete painting project was doomed to failure from the very beginning?

As a homeowner, you have likely painted your walls on more than one occasion. It’s tempting to think that it will be just as easy and straightforward to paint concrete floors or concrete walls. But choosing the best paint for concrete can be very difficult.

Fortunately, we’re here to make the process much easier for you. Keep reading to discover which paint is best for concrete so you can start painting like a pro!

Epoxy paint for concrete floor

Not Just Any Paint

There are many different kinds of paint you can choose for your interior renovation. However, there are only a few paints that are uniquely suited to painting concrete.

Masonry paint and primer is specially formulated to adhere to concrete and expand and contract with the concrete. It is applied similar to regular latex paints. While it looks great, it tends to show wear after a few years when used on floors, especially in high-traffic areas.

Your best choice though is to use epoxy paint. Specifically, you need to use an epoxy paint that has been specially formulated to handle concrete.

This brings up a natural question: what makes epoxy paint so special? The short answer is that this paint was designed to handle a surface that may shift over time.

Concrete is subject to extreme temperature highs and lows (see our temperature notes below). Over time, concrete is going to naturally expand and contract in reaction to the temperature.

With other kinds of paint, this expansion and contraction would lead to an ugly and broken surface appearance. Epoxy paint helps to keep everything looking smooth and even regardless of the temperature.

Keep it Dry

As we noted above, the primary benefit of epoxy paint is that it can handle the expansion and contraction of your concrete surfaces. The other benefit, though, is that it can make your concrete floors essentially waterproof.

Basements are particularly subject to getting wet. This can happen via burst pipes or extreme rainfall that leads to interior flooding.

Water seeping into your floor can make the whole area dangerous. It increases your chances of mold or other toxic issues while also threatening the structural integrity of your home.

Epoxy paint, however, is your first line of defense against this potential problem. You start out by painting the entire surface of your concrete basement floors. Once it dries, you have a floor that is impervious to all but the most serious of flooding.

With the right paint choice, you can make your home safer for yourself while also protecting its value to potential future buyers.

Your True Colors

When people hear the term “epoxy paint,” they often feel that their color selection will be limited. This is not true at all: as with any other kind of paint, it is available in a wide variety of colors for you to choose from.

Not sure what color you’d like to paint your concrete floors? In that case, we have a few suggestions that might help you get started.

  • Beige – One of the main reasons that people often paint a concrete floor is to warm the area up. Otherwise, the room may give off a “spooky and abandoned” vibe. If your goal is to warm the area up, beige paint is probably your best bet.
  • Green – If beige isn’t your color, you can achieve the same “warm” effect with a coat of green paint. That color can also make the space feel more natural and inviting.
  • Ivory – If you’re looking for classy and clean, we recommend painting the concrete floors in a soft ivory color. Such a color instantly makes the basement look nice and clean. And white reflects light very well, helping to make the space look more well-lit.
  • Gray – Gray is still the most popular color for concrete. If you’re fine with the color but just want a clean, finished and uniform look, a shade of gray will do the trick.
Cracks in concrete

Repairs Before Painting

Earlier, we mentioned how epoxy paint is great for floors that are expanding or contracting. However, if you’ve seen some major cracks, it’s worth picking up the phone before you pick up a paint roller.

Cracks in your concrete floor may be more than just an unsightly annoyance. They may, in fact, signal that there are structural problems with the foundation of your home.

It’s possible to fill those cracks before painting (more on this below) to give the area a smoother appearance. However, you’ll want to let a professional first assess whether those cracks mean that your home needs more renovations than a little coat of paint.

dirty garage floor

Smooth Operator

In some respects, painting concrete floors is like painting other surfaces. For example, you want the surface to be as smooth and even as it can be before you start painting.

Concrete has a well-earned reputation for holding onto messes. Pretty much anything wet or sticky that has ever been dropped onto the floor is still waiting for you in the form of sticky residue.

You may be able to clean some of this with a mop, a cloth, and some elbow grease. For the particularly hardened gunk, you might need to use a chisel scraper or even a floor sander.

Priming a concrete floor

Final Pre-Paint Prep

After choosing your paint and scraping the concrete clean, there are a few more steps you’ll need to take. It all starts with cleaning the concrete.

First, spray the concrete floor with water until the area is thoroughly saturated. Next, put down some degreaser onto the surface. Scrub the degreaser into the surface with the broom and pay attention to any special instructions on the label.

Second, make sure you’ve gotten the entire area. In all likelihood, this will require multiple water saturations and degreaser applications. Have a wet vac handy to get any of the excess liquid up.

We also recommend using an acid etcher to clean the floor. This will remove any final residue and open up the pores on the surface of the concrete, allowing the new paint to adhere to the surface.

Last, clean any cracks with a wire brush and then apply filler. Smooth it all out with a putty knife. 

Finally, let the floor dry and then prime it. An epoxy-friendly or masonry primer ensures your new coat of paint will be both vibrant and long-lasting.

Loxon masonry primer

Best Paint for Concrete Basement Floors: Make the Call

Now you know how to pick the best paint for concrete basement floors. But do you know who can lend a helping hand?

We specialize in interior painting, exterior painting, and minor home repairs. Whether you need a color consultation or want to let a pro tackle the basement, you can contact us today!