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Concrete Paint – Secrets for Best Results

Updated on June 28, 2010

If you are looking for a great way to not only make your garage look better, but to also make it easier to clean up, concrete paint can do both. However, painting concrete is not like painting a wall in your home. It requires a few extra steps and a little extra care to make sure that your surface is properly prepared, so that the concrete paint will last. If you follow these steps, your concrete will look great for years.

There are four major steps to properly painting concrete. First of all is surface preparation. Second is applying a good moisture sealer. Third is applying a primer. Fourth is applying the concrete paint in the proper manner. So, here is a breakdown of each step.

First you need to focus on surface prep. You must remove any and all paint from the surface. A media blaster is the easiest way. A hand scrapper is the hardest. Use whatever you have at your disposal. A high-pressure water blaster will also help speed up the process and renting one will definitely save you a lot of time and effort. Once all of the old paint and material has been removed from the concrete and the surface is completely dry, it’s time to scrub it with TSP. Tri-Sodium Phosphate is a degreaser that will remove any oil off of the surface of your concrete. Carefully follow the directions on the container and make sure that you let the concrete completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Now it is time to water seal the concrete. Depending upon where the concrete is located, your local hardware store will help you find the correct sealer. While you are talking to them, also inquire about the proper primer to use. There are now primer/sealer products available that will remove an entire step from the process and save you a ton of time. The whole purpose of the sealer is to prevent moisture from coming through the concrete and ruining your surface. The primer is just designed to help the paint stick to the sealer. If you neglect the sealer or the primer, your paint will peel and not last.

The final step is the concrete painting. Apply two separate light coats of concrete paint with a roller. The roller will take less time to cover large areas and they can also add a small amount of texture that will keep the concrete from becoming too slippery when it gets wet. The roller texture can also disguise small problems in your concrete. Allow each coat to fully dry before attempting to walk on them. There are also additives that you can add to your concrete paint that will give it more texture if you need it. 

Do your research before you start painting, there are a ton of great sites that can offer other ideas for coating your garage floor or basement. There are also some fantastic epoxy coatings that you may be interested in as well as a ton of different tile and flooring options. Pick the right coating for your surface and what you intend to use it for.

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