concrete floor painting

I would like to paint a concrete floor in a home. It’s an unfinished basement of a new home, and I’m sure I can’t just paint it without some prep work. I remember something about using acid to prep concrete, but I obviously don’t know.

Anyone know how to do this properly?


There’s links in this Google Search including info on acid etching of new masonry. Hope it helps.

Your local big-box home improvement store sells kits with cleaner, etchant, and special paint. And instructions. Or you can buy the components separately.

The process is a pain in the ass, but the results are pretty good, assuming you’ve got a good concrete surface to start with.

IMHO, the paint you’ll find in big boxes is slop. Go to a paint store, which is where true professional painters buy their supplies, and you will receive sound advice from people who only do paint.

Not sure if they are in your area, but MAB is my first choice for a quality product at a reasonable cost. After them, look for dealers who handle Pratt & Lambert, Benjamin Moore, or Muralo.

I used to sell paint at Sears, and can tell you that Sears and Dutchboy paints are made by Sherwin Williams. According to the information I was given, there are only about 3 companies that actually make paint. The others merely rebrand them.

I don’t know anything about etching the floor, because we didn’t sell the products for it. But I recommend that you use a specific concrete floor paint (Sears brand has one, and I assume others would as well). You can also add a packet of sand to help out with traction on the floor, if desired.

Have a garden hose and squeegie and shop vac ready. Get a gallon or two of muriatic acid from home depot or lowes and put a gallon in a 5 gallon bucket or mop mocket and fill the rest with water and mop it on the floor. Keep the floor wet you don’t want the acid to dry up (new concrete tends to dry up rapidly). Rinse the floor to a drain if you have one or out a door or wet it down a couple times and shop vac it. Get some waterbased epoxy from Sherwin Williams and apply as many coats as you need. Dilute the first coat with about 30-40% water so that it soaks into the concrete. Goodluck!

GuffTech is pretty spot on but one quick off the top of my head question would be how moist is your basement? Take a plastic garbage bag and cut down the sides to give you a flat sheet then lay that sheet flat on the concrete floor and duct tape the edges down. Leave that for a day or two then pull up the plastic, if there are significant beads of condensation then I definatly sugest one of the epoxy coatings. If it’s fairly dry than a normal (good quality) paint should hold up pretty well for you but in either case epoxy will last longer. BTW, use good ventalation with both the muriatic acid and the paint/epoxy.