Spruce up Your Floor with Concrete Paint

by Matt Goering

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Tired of looking at that drab gray concrete slab in your basement, garage, workshop, or rec room? There are a number of concrete painting techniques out there that can transform a boring concrete floor into something to behold. Whether you're looking to apply an epoxy based floor coating in the garage or a stenciled concrete stain in the rec room, concrete painting is a cost effective way to drastically improve the looks of any space.

Epoxy Concrete Floor Coatings are tough, durable flooring solutions. They are excellent for use in garages and workshops, since they resist spills (including oil and grease), and provide a safe, non-slip surface. These qualities also make them excellent concrete painting choices for basements, patios, sheds, barns, and anywhere else a tough, stain resistant floor is desired. Did I mention they look great, too? These paints come in a variety of colors, can be enhanced with decorative "stone" flakes, and are often topped off with a urethane finish to achieve a stunning shine.

Concrete Stain is another popular method for painting concrete floor. If you're looking for a concrete painting method that can be used in your living room as opposed to the garage, this is the way to go. Used alongside a variety of stenciling, stamping, and etching procedures, proper application of acid-based stain can produce natural toned surface designs that resemble natural stone, polished marble and even leather and wood. Experience counts with concrete staining, however, so it's good to talk to a professional if you're thinking about more complicated designs.

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Painted Concrete

Concrete Dyes
Where acid-based stains react chemically with the concrete to achieve their coloring effects, concrete dyes are actually pigments that are painted on and penetrate into the concrete to achieve the desired effect. Concrete painting with dyes can produce impressive results, though achieving the right shades, contrasts, and colors isn't as straightforward as you might think. Often getting the best results requires a little experimentation while painting concrete floor on the jobsite, as well as some artistic inclination, so this is another product where hiring a professional is always a good idea.

Traditional Paint can be applied to concrete as well, and is just what the Dr. ordered if you're on a tight budget. Remember, however, that most regular paints aren't manufactured to be tread on so it's wise not to expect too much from them in areas where they'll experience high traffic or a heavy beating. Following proper application procedures is a must, and you'll want to seal your floor after the paint dries to extend the life of your paint job. Finally, be creative! Painting with borders, alternating colors to achieve a multi-colored tile effect, and utilizing different geometric shapes as you paint will pay big dividends when it comes to the finished product.

Concrete painting is a fun and fruitful home improvement experience. And when you figure that all you've got to lose is that boring, gray concrete slab, why not give it a try? From improving garages and workshops on up to fine concrete finishing in luxury homes, painting concrete floor will get you very pleasing results.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.