DIY woodworking projects for every budget and skill level

DIY Basement Concrete Painting

How to Paint a concrete basement floor for under $50 – the Quick and easy way

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How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.


Painting Concrete – Let’s get real

Sometimes we need to be reminded that the DIY world is filled with moms, dads, students, retirees, cat lovers and unfortunately cat haters, all with a full day of responsibilities. On occasion, if corners aren’t cut then the bigger picture project will not come to fruition. Yeah, you guessed it – painting the unfinished concrete portion of the basement is just that project for me.

There are much more capable, detailed, painstakingly detailed step by step instructions on the optimal way to paint bare basement concrete. Frankly, I just didn’t have the time. If you, like me, need to paint concrete floors in a pinch, well then my fur lovin’ friend you have come to the right place. These step by step instructions will help you paint that bare concrete in no time.

How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.

Table of Contents

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Categories and Difficulty

Every Project is ranked by Tool Category and Difficulty Level.

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Stray CAt

How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.


Shortest Materials List yet

1. BEHR Premium Low-Lustre Enamel Interior/Exterior Porch and Patio Floor Pain (1 Gallon easily covered 300 SqFt)

2. Paint Brush or Roller

3. Paper Towels 

4. Broom and Dustpan

5. Painters tape (optional)


How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.

Clear The Area

Big Stuff can stay if it has to.

Space constraints considered, the first step is to clear everything that you can from the area. If you can not find a place for things then pile everything into a corner and section it off. The main area will need to be painted and preferably cured before moving stuff back on to it.

In my case, I was not moving the large arcade games out of the space. I did my best to pack everything together and then focused on the main area first. 


How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.

Clean The Space

The Most important step of painting bare concrete floors is to make sure that they are clean.

The sentence above says it all you furball tickling task tacklers. In fact, this is the step that separates that simple from the complicated. You can not cut this corner but we can take a lighter approach. It is critical that all dirt and debris are removed from the workspace.

To properly clean your bare concrete floor as quickly as possible:

1. Sweep thoroughly

2. Vacuum after sweeping

3. Scrub the concrete with a bristle brush, concrete cleaner and some water

4. Isolate the area. It is amazing how quickly a basement floor will attract dirt. Block off the area that will be painted and try to paint as quickly as you can after cleaning.


Why the above four (4) steps to painting concrete are necessary: 

It is critical to remove all dirt and debris. These pesky little DB’s (dust bunnies not the other DB) will hop themselves right off the floor after painting. Do you know what that means? It means that the space the DB occupied will now show that old grey unfinished floor that you worked so (ish) hard to cover. We are cutting corners but we aren’t being completely irresponsible. 

Steps that we are skipping:

1. Filling Cracks: Yep, not today. I had a few cracks on the bare concrete floor and I decided that I would paint inside those cracks rather than fill them.

2. Sanding the Surface: This just sounds terrible. I will stick to sanding my wood projects obsessively.

3. Priming the surface: Now we may ruffle a few feathers with this suggestion but we did not prime the floor for the paint. 


How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.

Paint the Floors

Well, we can’t cut out this step

Though I would love to feed you some hippy dippy life lesson metaphor on how you don’t need to paint the floor anymore because you have already accomplished what you need mentally – we both know that wouldn’t cut it. Also, don’t be offended if your a hippy, it’s just a phrase my toddler says. Also, I drink mushroom “coffee” – are we even?

Pro Tip: Have a bowl of water and paper towels with you. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the area you are about to paint. Use a dry paper towel to wipe up any moisture leftover by the towel. High five yourself if the paper towel is even a little discolored.

Your space will determine if you are using a paint brush or a roller. If you are using a roller then have a small paint brush ready for cracks and crevices.

We are going to paint 2-3 coats and so don’t feel the need to lay it on thick. The goal is to apply even coats. This is a little tricky being that it is a floor. My advice is to start in a corner and work away from that corner in a half moon pattern. When you dip your brush or roller in for more paint be sure to go back over the borderline between where you ended and where you are starting. Do this methodically to avoid any visible transition lines. Don’t obsess, it will all blend in after the second or third coat. 

How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.

Recoat and Cure

Yes, we need a few coats

2 coats, 3 days and 4 weeks

Recoating is as simple as this:

1. A minimum of two (2) coats of paint, preferably three (3) coats of paint.

2. Three (3) days before stepping foot on the painted surface unless absolutely necessary. If you must step on the surface wear socks, no bare feet and no shoes.

3. Four (4) weeks until the floor is fully cured. While it will be dry to the touch in a matter of hours the full bonding process takes much longer. You can use the space but use it carefully. 

How to Paint a Concrete Basement Floor.

Enjoy, but don’t stop now

What a transformation!

Congratulations, you’re done.

Enjoy the new look but remember, tread lightly for the first four (4) weeks.

This entire process took a few hours for me to complete (aside from drying times of course). With this speed comes the knowledge and acceptance that some touching up will be required. It has been almost a year since I painted the floor and it has held up great. On rare occasions, I have had to touch up spots. This was mostly my fault, moving 100lb arcade machines will probably scratch most (non epoxied) surfaces. 

Next Up.

Bar Arcade Speakeasy

Click Below to access my free series on how we converted an unfinished portion of our basement into a speakeasy bar arcade. All for less than the cost of what a contractor was going to charge to put up the studs!  

Next Up: Hiding the AC Duct

AC Duct with weathered wood

Click the picture above to learn how I hid the unsightly silver AC duct behind mostly free scrap pieces of wood using a weathering wood technique that I “developed” (sounds fancier than it is). A fun and easy project that transformed a major eye sore.

Click below to see all of my DIY Arcade Bar Projects.

TheCraftyCatsman - Speakeasy Arcade

A collection of projects explaining how I built my arcade bar for less than a contractor wanted to charge to put up studs. All free for my feline loving friends. 

cropped TheCraftyCatsman 1


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