A quick coat of paint spruces up your basement floors.
Adding a fresh coat of paint to your basement floor is a relatively quick, inexpensive and easy way to spruce up the space. It allows you to improve the overall look of your basement without covering your classic concrete floors with rugs or carpet. Before you begin, select an epoxy paint made specifically for concrete basement or garage floors. Other types of paint are too delicate and won’t provide the durability you need. Epoxy paints made for concrete floors dry with an extremely hard finish that can easily withstand frequent traffic, abrasion, scuffing and heavy blows. Once the paint is selected, painting your basement floor requires a few simple steps and several days of drying time.
Adjust the basement temperature if necessary. The air in the room and the surface of the floor should be heated to at least 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit to allow for proper paint application and drying. If using space heaters to warm the area, keep the paint and other flammable materials away from the heat source.
Fix any problems before you begin. If the concrete floor has cracks or breaks, use a concrete-repair compound or concrete patch to correct the damage. If your basement is prone to water leaks, condensation, mold or mildew, correct the root of those problems before you paint the floor. An unexpected water accumulation in the basement the day after you paint will ruin your efforts.
Clean the floor’s surface while you’re warming the room. Sweep the floor with a large durable broom to remove dust, dirt and other debris. Mix a small amount of detergent into a bucket of water and use a stiff brush to apply this cleaning solution to the concrete floor.
Re-fill the bucket with plain water and rinse your brush. Use the same stiff brush or a clean towel to rinse the floor with the plain water and remove any remaining detergent. Allow the floor to dry completely.
Tape around the lower edges of the walls to avoid getting paint on the wrong surface. Use painter’s tape to allow for easy application and removal.
Apply an epoxy-based primer to the floor to serve as the base layer for your actual paint. Use a long-handled paint roller to apply the paint and begin at the end of the room farthest from the door. Apply the primer in long even strokes and work backward toward the door. This technique allows you an adequate work space without needing to step in wet primer. Allow at least 24 hours for the primer to dry.
Apply your selected epoxy paint around the edges of the floor using a paint brush and paint tray. While the roller was sufficient for the primer, your paint should look seamless and even. It might be difficult to achieve this perfect look if you only use a paint roller. Extend the paint about five inches out from the wall.
Apply the rest of the paint to the basement floor. Again, use a long-handled roller and begin at the end of the room farthest from the door. Use a paint tray to hold the paint or simply pour it directly onto the floor and spread it out with the roller. Apply the paint in even strokes. Allow at least 12 hours of dry time before applying a second layer of paint in the same fashion.
Allow at least seven days before walking heavily or placing furniture on your newly painted floor. Although your primer and paint cans might show shorter drying times, this longer period gives your basement floor plenty of time to dry and harden. Remove the tape and rearrange your basement once the floor is fully dried.
Things You Will Need
- Space heater
- Stiff brush
- Painter’s tape
- Epoxy based primer
- Long-handled paint roller
- Paint brush
- Paint tray
- Epoxy paint for concrete
- Although you might be tempted to apply a coat of sealer on top of the paint, consider the alternative. Although sealer can add shine and an extra layer of protection, it makes touch-up jobs difficult. If the paint on your basement floor happens to scratch or get damaged, you can easily re-touch the area with the same shade of epoxy paint. However, epoxy paint will not adhere to the slick surface of sealer – making your touch-up jobs next to impossible. Unless your basement floor is subjected to excessive traffic or force, the paint and primer alone should be durable enough for your needs.