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Paint for Concrete Floors - Which is Best?

By Jim Dugan
Professional Contractor & DIY Expert

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A new finish can transform an ordinary concrete floor into something beautiful. Unfortunately, many amateur do-it-yourselfers choose the wrong paint for concrete floors, and peeling, scarring and staining ultimately result. Before you decide to add a painted finish to your flooring, learn which finishes are best-suited for heavy traffic.

The Wrong Concrete Floor Paint

Ordinary latex satin, flat and gloss paint works well on walls and trim; however, these finishes won’t last very long on a horizontal surface that lies underfoot. If you apply any of these paints to your cement or concrete flooring, rampant chipping and/or staining is bound to result.

The Correct Type of Floor Paint

Several companies manufacturer acrylic floor paints specifically engineered to hold up to heavy traffic. When it comes to choosing an appropriate acrylic floor paint for your concrete flooring, brand names matter less than guaranties. For best results, choose a product that boasts the longest warranty.

Epoxy Concrete Paint for Floors

Epoxy is a two-part coating consisting of a catalyst and resin. Once combined, the components harden into a durable paint for concrete floors. Epoxy is appropriate for interior surfaces, but most use it on garage floors and inside basements used as home gyms or work areas.

Important Considerations

No type of paint will adhere to a cement or concrete floor unless the surface has been etched with muriatic acid. Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous process fraught with all sorts of risk. Unless you are experienced working with dangerous acids, consider hiring a contractor. You may also use an all-in-one decorative concrete coating equipped with a self-etching chemical base.