tips on how to paint concrete flooring
So y’all remember when we were invited to share our craft room in a magazine? Of course that crazy herringbone bookcase caught their attention. Well Kristi got a little ambitious and told them we’d have new flooring before their photographer came by to snap some pics. Uhm, hello… what?? We knew wood floors were out of our budget soooooo, we ripped up the carpet and painted the concrete. It was definitely labor intensive and we finished the night before the photo shoot but we got it done and it looks great! We’re here to share some thing we learned along the way, if you ever feel like painting concrete floors, ha! And if you follow us on Insta, you’ll have seen a lot of our journey already, a fun journey it’s been! Here’s the carpet before. It wasn’t in good shape but it was a cheap carpet, rent quality since the house was a rental for nearly thirty years before we moved in.
Funniest part was when my hubby said from the next room “I guess you guys are ripping out the carpet…thanks for consulting with me first!” Ha!! He knows we’ll do the grunt work so he truly doesn’t mind (:
Ripping out carpeting is really fun! All you need is a crowbar. Start by prying your bar under the center of the wood strips, in between the tacks. Lift up.
For the actual nails, get your bar underneath them and they’ll pop right out. Use added pressure if they don’t.
Next up is filling all the nail holes with Quikrete. It’s a small amount of pre-mixed concrete, to use! Only a few bucks, we grabbed ours at Home Depot. Fill in the holes with a putty knife and let dry overnight. The next day, sand sand sand with an 80 grit piece of sandpaper. I missed my workout that day so this sufficed, I was a sweaty mess when I was done. Then is the fun part: Painting!! Behr paint sells concrete paint, we used the standard white and love how bright it is. To paint it, we just poured straight from the can and rolled it on. SO FAST!! We touched up the corners of the room with a small foam brush. SO EASY!
For our stripes, we bought the same can of white and had them tint it yellow. $60 for paint for the whole room, it’s a good size room too, 12′ x 15′. For the stripes, we chose 18″ for the size. We just measured from the wall 18″ and marked it across the whole room, one stripe at a time. It was a little time consuming, we probably could have chalked it, but since we only have 5 stripes, it went pretty fast.
We then sealed it with concrete sealer, high gloss, available at Home Depot. Tip: It’s in the concrete section, not the paint section. Only $6 for the whole container. I have a TON leftover which is good because I’m going to do my front porch next (;
And there you have it, painted concrete floors! An inexpensive version to gorgeous hardwood floors which is on my future list!
Since we were in such a rush to finish, we didn’t snap pics of the baseboard install process. For that we used quarter round molding and just brad nailed it into place using our air compressor. We then caulked for hours and freshened up the 30 year old existing baseboards. Many many many hours were spent on those baseboards, can’t believe we didn’t get a picture! Here’s the flooring all finished and the room put back together though.
Look for this room in Creative Spaces magazine Volume 3! Want more of this fun craft room? Check out the fully finished tour,
the herringbone bookcase how-to,
plus all the details like the DIY vintage crates
and Kelli’s matching striped painted concrete porch!
Note: One of our readers told us she read paint won’t adhere to mortar if you’re planning to put tile over. Haven’t checked it out to see if that’s accurate but something you may wanna check out! 🙂 In the meantime, mine have held up strong for 2+ years! xoxo
You took on quite a big project! Thank you for the blog…it’s always great to keep learning from others experiences. I will check out your insta page. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much!
Great paint job! Concrete floors look really amazing and durable also.
Thank you! 🙂
Did you remove glue marks or any paint that may have been on the floor under the carpet or just clean it well and paint over it all?
Hi Julia! Great question, we had washed the floor down with soap and water at the time. Looking back, we should have used a concrete degreaser like we had when we painted the porch. I still have my porch painted and it’s held up 99%, only a few very minor wear marks in three years. Check out the post here: https://lollyjane.com/painted-striped-concrete-flooring/ You can find degreaser at Home Depot: https://rstyle.me/n/dfu7mxxzcw
I am painting my concrete floor midnight blue. If I put a clear top coat on it that is combined with glitter, would that work? I don’t know if it would show up. What do you think?
Hi Ramona! That should work, no problem! We’d love to see an AFTER pic 🙂
Hi there! I’m in the removing carpet glue stage before I paint my daughter’s concrete floors. She’s 6, and I had planned to do the same pattern as you did. Then I read the comments just now and am terrified of the white–it’ll scuff in no time it seems. Any ideas for a neutral palette colors for the floor other than white? Her walls are a very light Aqua color. Will any light color scuff? Thanks for your time!
I just painted my back patio white as well (like, yesterday!) and it is already scuffed. Aaaah!! Yes, all light colors show them- darn it. If you put a good poly finish on it then that may help! I painted my bathroom tile black and love that everything is hidden, haha 😉 Good luck Sarah!
I’m currently tearing out tile and laminate wood flooring in my new home with the intention of painting most of the concrete in my home pearl white. My know it all 26 year old says I’ll regret it because it will show every speck of dirt! I’m not the kind of girl who enjoys spending her free time cleaning the floor so now I’m reconsidering. I’d love to hear your experience on cleaning, scuffs, etc
Hahah, tell your 26 year old they are smart (;
I love the painted concrete BUT because it’s white, it really does show scuffs more than dirt. The dirt has become one with the concrete and I’m not sure how to fix that? We followed all the correct steps and sealed it with more than 2 coats but the scuffs and dirt definitely show up.
I was okay painting that particular room because it’s not highly used by more than myself. I can’t imagine what it would look like if my 4 kids and 3 dogs were in there as much as I am. We’re actually putting vinyl flooring in next week, I can’t wait! This was a temporary solution because our carpet was so trashed, I’ve loved it in there!
Is painting concrete a bad thing? NO! Go for it!! I would do a darker color is all…the yellow hides better than the white but I also have gray/white on my front porch and it’s a great shade!! This girl did a dark stain all over and it looks great and this girl did just gray and she said she’s loved it so far.
Hope isn’t lost! Just reconsider all white (:
I hope this helps!! (: Kelli
The floor looks so great! I’m planning to do something with the concrete floors in our basement and am wondering if I need to sand the existing paint off? It’s been painted at least 2 times before. (It’s a 1920’s home and we just bought it a few years ago so not sure what was used before) The paint is chipping and cracked in some areas but others are fine. Any thoughts or tips would be so helpful. Thank you.
We didn’t have any existing paint to scrape off but if we did, I would recommend it so the new paint has a good grip on the cement. Good luck, Kathy!!
I am wanting to stencil my concrete porch, so I found your post. I am wanting to do many colors so would you still recommend the porch paint? Also I assume it works the same although my concrete is not really smooth and seems more porous.
Hi Tamara, I would recommend the porch paint. You can buy white and have it tinted. Sealing it is your most important step, think of it your top coat on nail polish (; Send us a pic when you’re done, it’ll look great!
These are beautiful! This might be a crazy thought, but my husband and I are considering painting the concrete floors throughout our whole house. We hate our current floors, can’t afford to do what we really want, and thought this might get us through a few years until we can. I was wondering a couple of things: 1.) How has the floor held up over time? and 2.) How much time dry time should we allow? I’ve read some blogs that suggest a whole week! That seems excessive considering that these products would normally be used outdoors….
Thank you! That’s not crazy at all- we had a flood this weekend in our house and not ready for our dream floors either yet so we’re going painted concrete, too! 😉 Just NOT white as it shows EVERYTHING… no matter what cleaning products I use I can’t get all of the smudges cleaned off all the way and that’s with 3 top coats! I think darker colors would look great! 🙂
Regarding the dry time, we followed the directions which was 24 hours. A whole week is a little much, lol. I would say when it’s not tacky to the touch it’s ready for a top coat 😉
Hope that helps! Happy painting!!! Yay!
What brand of sealer did you use? I looked at homedepot in the concrete area and they only had concrete bonder in the same type of bottle you have pictured. I am currently working on a stain concrete floor with faux painted tiles. I need a good sealer for cheap!
This is super affordable and has held up great: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sikagard-1-Gal-High-Gloss-Sealer-107698/202529383
Good luck, Mary!! 😀
This is super affordable and has held up great: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sikagard-1-Gal-High-Gloss-Sealer-107698/202529383
Good luck, Mary!! 😀
Great paint job! Concrete floors can look amazing, especially if you add some stained or stamped concrete designs!
Did you sand the whole floor or just the filled nail holes? Thank you!
Just the nail holes (:
I am looking for a quick easy way to get rid of smelly old carpet and survive until we save up for tile. This looks easy and clean. Am I right? Also, I can’t just pull up the carpet and leave the concrete exposed right?
I know this is an old post but maybe it will still help you or someone else… I am contemplating painting my concrete floor as a temporary fix till I tile, but Google “tile over painted concrete” and read about how tile mortar won’t stick to paint. The pros recommend sanding the paint off (!). Just something to consider.
Good to know, Emily! We will be laying hardwood floor over it one day but I’ll add that disclaimer in the post. Thanks much 🙂
I always LOVE your house additions sweet friends! Featuring you tomorrow! XO, Aimee
Thank you, Aim!! XO
This looks so cute! I think my laundry room floor may need a paint re-do. We rushed it and didn’t use any type of sealer, so it hasn’t held up well. I also love the cute stripes!! 🙂
We were in a mad rush too! Glad we sealed it but even with it on, the white still shows dirt pretty easily. We love the stripes so will probably just wash and RE-seal! 😉 Good luck with your second go-around, Sarah!
Fabulous ladies! I’d take painted concrete over old carpet anyday!! I’m pinning the heck out of this one! 🙂
Gag, carpet!! We hate it! It’s so filthy thanks to our kiddos, dog and so much AZ dust! Happy you like it! XO
Great tips and I <3 your stripes!
Thank you, Michele!!
They look great! I have concrete floors in my basement to do….something with. I was thinking of a stain, but I might consider painting now, too 🙂
Stain looks amazing too! I’ve seen some awesome stained floors!
This room is stunning! Great tutorial.
Thank you, Pauline!! XO
Oh…your craft room is one of my overall favourite spaces in blogland! I love the painted concrete striped floor – I would love to try this outside on the patio that is below our deck (it is covered, so I think with the proper sealer it should stand up…). Thanks for the tips- pinning!!
Thanks, Krista! I’m so excited to do my porch next!! (:
And I love this so much I chose it as my hostess pick of the week tomorrow at Work it Wednesday!! Thanks for linking up with us!
Wahoo! Thanks, Krista!
Hello,Love the painted concrete floor. Would it be possible to paint the subflooring which is particle board or pressed wood and seal it and make it work? Thanks
Hi Sheila, I don’t think that would have the same look. It IS possible to do because it’d soak in the paint okay but subfloor is rough and isn’t mean to to be used as main flooring. You’d have to sand the heck out of it and even then I don’t think it’d ever be as smooth as you’d want it to be for walking on. Hope that helps (:
Thanks, may try a small room that needs to be replaced. It has some coating on it, don’t really know what it is but it doesn’t seem to be rough like most particle board is. Thanks for responding love your page and projects you take on and accomplish.
You’re welcome! Good luck, Sheila!! (: Feel free to send us a pic, I’m curious what yours looks like??
I’m a complete concrete virgin. Concrete countertops, painting concrete floors … I’d never heard of any of this stuff until recently. I’ve always thought of concrete as dirty and boring. Seeing how creative folks like you can get with it is making me rethink that. Lovely job, ladies.
Well thank you, Brandi!! It was a LOT of hard work but the end result was worth it (:
You guys are amazing. When you don’t have any more rooms to redo, you just feel free to come right on over and start on my house, ok?! 🙂
Hahah, Kate! I wish we could bulldoze this old house and start from scratch sometimes, all the DIY involved to restore this house is getting pricey!
Love how they turned out. It’s perfectly you Kelli! How do they hold up to cleaning or scuff marks? Do they just mop clean?
Great question, Bec! They wash great with soapy water. The white definitely shows every little piece of dirt, super annoying, but it washes easily so it evens out. I wouldn’t do white in a high traffic area…unless you have a regular cleaning company HA!
How are the floors holding up after two years?
Hi Brigiette! They’re doing great. They scuffs definintely show up on the white and the dirt has basically settled into the crevices. We sealed it well but the white is definitely not a permanent solution. We’re actually laying down vinyl floors this week since it wasn’t mean to be a fix all. I have loved the colorful floors but I wouldn’t look at them for a long term solution, personally (: