It's Raining Colors! 10 Steps on How to Paint a Concrete Floor

How to paint a concrete floor
Painting a concrete floor can turn a room you didn't want to step into, into a room where you want to spend hours together! When the best hardwood or the most luxurious carpet doesn't do the trick, you can create magic with concrete floor paint. Breathe life into a dull room by learning how to paint a concrete floor in some very simple steps.
Before You Begin
~ The method provided here is best suited to interior spaces that are not exposed to excessive heat. For instance, in case you have to paint your garage floor, it is better to consult an expert in the field and get the work done professionally. In these areas, the heat is excessive which may cause the paint to peel if the floor has not been prepped thoroughly.
~ When using any solution/paint, follow only the manufacturer's instructions. This is particularly important because some products are to be used at particular temperatures, have to be mixed before use, have to be cured for a certain amount of time, or simply applied in a particular manner.
~ Certain products are likely to have strong fumes, which if inhaled can be dangerous. Always follow the procedure in a well-ventilated room and wear a mask while dealing with these products.
~ The material required mentioned below depends on the current condition of the floor that you are going to paint.
Prepping the Floor
Material Required
~ Paint Stripper ~ Acid Etch Solution
~ Household Ammonia ~ Degreaser
~ Lacquer Thinner ~ Putty Knife
~ 60-grit Sandpaper ~ Pole Sander
~ Plastic Brush ~ Plastic Scraper
~ Concrete Patching Compound
Procedure
Procedure: prepping floor
~ Thorough cleaning of the floor before you begin the painting process is imperative. The floor should be free of dust and debris, moisture, and cracks before it can be beautified with a paint of your choice.
~ Clean the surface thoroughly; remove any traces of dust and debris. Sweep the floor to remove debris and use a vacuum cleaner for the dust.
~ Before painting, check if there are any traces of moisture in the concrete; if yes, do not paint till the problem has been solved.
~ Painting should be done only after the moisture is removed, along with the source of moisture being determined and eliminated. Using a dehumidifier for this purpose may help in smaller cases. In case of excessive water seepage into the floor, professional help is necessary.
~ If the floor is glossy or has glue, it may not adhere easily. You may etch even in these cases. Once the acid etching is done with, the entire surface should be thoroughly washed with water to remove any residue of the acid. If available, household ammonia can work as an excellent neutralizer of the acid along with water.
~ To remove any grease from the floor, use a degreaser.
~ If there is residual glue on the floor, pour lacquer thinner on it to soften it, till the thinner evaporates. Scrape and clean with a plastic brush thereafter.
~ If there are holes or cracks in the floor, clean them to get rid of gravel and dust, and fill them up using a concrete patch compound. Smooth these surfaces with a putty knife.
~ To smooth out uneven patches due to the filling process, sand the entire floor. Use a 60-grit sandpaper and attach it to a pole sander. Sand the floor at least twice in opposite directions to ensure that the floor is completely smooth. Also, make sure all the dust and debris has been cleared out.
~ Do not allow the floor to get wet after this process. If it does, you must wait for a minimum of 24 hours, or until it dries completely, before proceeding further.
Painting the Floor
Material Required
~ 4" Masking Tape
~ Primer
~ Concrete Floor Paint
~ 9" x 3/8" Lambswool Roller Cover
~ Paint Roller Extension Pole
~ 2" Paint Brush
~ Additional Brushes for Patterns
It is best to consult your dealer and explain your exact specifications/requirements to him before you purchase concrete floor paint. This may include details regarding who uses the room, the amount of traffic in the room, whether it should particularly be anti-skid (in which case an additional product is added to the paint), and the like. The dealer will also guide you and tell you whether the floor needs a primer, which primer is best, and the best paint for your room.
Procedure
Procedure: Painting the floor
~ Apply 4" of masking tape on the lower edge of the baseboard in the room to prevent the primer and paint from damaging it.
~ Once the floor has dried and is ready for painting, start by applying a primer on the floor. This increases the adhesion of the paint to the floor.
~ Apply two coats, and allow the first coat to dry thoroughly before the application of the second coat.
~ Some concrete floor paint brands are self-priming and may not require the application of a primer.
~ The paint you choose may be tinted to a color of your choice by your dealer, if you are unable to find the color you are looking for.
~ Once you have purchased your paint, start with the painting process. Start from the corner opposite the entrance of your room.
~ Choose the paint and pour on the floor. Use a 3/8" lambswool roller attached to an extension pole to apply the paint evenly throughout.
~ If the edges of the room look rough or unfinished after painting with the roller, use a small paint brush to paint them.
~ Based on the color you have chosen, you may require a second coat of paint. If you do, wait until the first coat dries up completely to paint the second coat. Ideally, the paint should be allowed to dry for a minimum of 7 days.
~ If you want to paint a pattern on the floor, allow the floor to dry completely before you start painting the pattern.
Sealing the Floor
Material Required
~ Concrete Floor Paint Sealer
Procedure
Procedure: Sealing the floor
~ Sealing is imperative to prevent scratches on the floor. A clear top coat sealer will not only protect the room, it will also give it a glossy finish.
~ At least two coats of sealer are essential to make your floor durable. Apply the first coat after the paint has dried up thoroughly. Allow each coat to dry before the application of the next one.
~ The sealer requires a 72-hour curing period before it can even be walked on. Ideally, after the top coat, the room should be left alone.
Important Notes
~ After the use of a sealer, touch ups will not be easy because paint does not adhere to such glossy surfaces. So make sure you use the sealer only after you are sure that the painting job is satisfactorily done.
~ Depending on the humidity and temperature of the areas you reside in, the products used may take longer to dry.
~ Painted concrete floors are prone to scratching up to 30 days after the painting process has been completed.
~ If possible, do not transfer any furniture into the room for at least 15 days after you have painted. If you must, use furniture pads to protect the flooring.
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