So you have a plain concrete floor and you want to brighten it up. A great way to do that is by painting it. Painting concrete is not difficult and can be done easily by the most novice do-it-yourselfer. Concrete is porous and takes paint very well but since it is porous, you need to take a few more upfront steps to prepare the surface.
First you need to determine if your concrete is “wet”. Take a plastic garbage bag and cut out a 3 foot by 3 foot square. Place it onto the concrete floor and tape it down on all 4 sides. You want to run a strip of tape all across the entire sides of the bag. Leave the taped bag down for a few days then take it up and check for any sign of moisture on the side of the bag that was against the concrete. If you have moisture, they you need to seal the concrete prior to painting.
Once you determine if you have moisture, you then want to prepare the concrete surface. Patch any holes or rough spots in your concrete floor using a concrete patch kit that you can find at most hardware stores. You also want to clean any grease and oil spots at this time.
If the concrete was previously painted, use a wire brush to remove loose paint.
Once the floor has been prepped for painting, go over the entire floor with a vacuum to remove dust or dirt on the surface.
Apply a mixture of water and acid (10:1 ratio) to etch the surface of the concrete and allow the floor to dry thoroughly. You can get this product from most hardware stores. Once dry, go over the entire floor with a vacuum to remove dust and dirt from the etching.
Seal you concrete with a quality sealer. You can get concrete sealer from most paint and hardware stores. Use a paint roller to apply the sealer and be sure to allow the sealer to completely dry.
Once these steps have been completed you can now paint. Depending on the paint you choose, you may need to apply a primer. Be sure to check when you purchase your paint.
When you start painting, begin at the far end of the room and work your way towards an exit (door or stairs). Don’t put the paint on too thick. It’s better to do 2 or 3 light coats.
Finally apply one more coat of sealer and allow it to dry.
Painting concrete is more time consuming then difficult. If you take your time and follow the above steps, you will be able to sit back and reflect on a job well done.