Painting bare cement floor? What paint type?


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Old 05-12-11, 02:32 PM
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Painting bare cement floor? What paint type?

During a project in our bedroom we pulled up the old carpet and saw that the cement floor was mostly of smooth texture yet it had kicked up some cement dust under the carpet and pad. Well after awhile an idea dawned on us to not replace the carpet, pull up the carpet tack boards, and paint the floor a cool color. If we decide to carpet later the painted surface wouldn't generate so much or at all cement dust.

Now the question and I'm no paint expert....What kind of paint do I use. Exterior porch latex? Would latex take some traffic? Exterior oil based? Because it's oil does it soak in and hold better? Should I prime first? If so with what?

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 05-12-11, 03:51 PM
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I would never paint any cement. If you insist, there is paint made for it. Go to a local paint store, not Home Depot.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 05:19 PM
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A lot depends on what you want the finished product to look like. There are acid stains for concrete that look real nice. Unless I'm mistaken, they require a sealer over the stain. You could also use a solid color concrete stain. Porch and deck enamel or floor enamel is another choice, it would require two coats [check the label but most use a thinned down version of the top coat for the primer] Enamel would be extra slick if liquid gets spilled on it.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 07:03 PM
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No, you don't want to paint your concrete floor. Not only will the paint crack and peel if there's any moisture evaporating out of that concrete, but if anyone ever wants to install a flooring like ceramic tile or sheet vinyl over it, then there's no guarantee the flooring will last. That's because unless you remove the paint from the concrete, then if the paint starts to let go, that's the end of the new flooring too.

What you should consider is buying a cheap but hard wood panelling like 4X8 foot sheets of masonite, sticking it down to your concrete with double sided carpet tape, priming over that with an oil based primer, and then painting over that. If your local home center sells 2 foot by 4 foot "Laminate handy panels" you can stick them down to your floor with double sided carpet tape to make a "patch quilt" floor. No paint will stick well to plastic laminate tho.

Both alkyd and polyurethane floor paints will typically come pretinted in a very limited colour selection. Typically, like grey, dark grey, reddish brown and navy blue. However, you can tint a pre-tinted floor paint to change it's colour a bit. Doing so will increase it's drying time proportionately to the amount of tinting colourant you add to the paint. What you might consider is painting a mural on the floor with interior alkyd wall paints, and then applying polyurethane hardwood floor finish over the alkyd wall paint to give the floor a bit more hardness and durability.

You need a HARD drying paint to stand up well n a floor. In order of hardness, here's how paints stack up:

softest is latex paints (both interior and exterior)
cross linking latex paints (often used for "Porch and Floor Latex Paints")
exterior linseed oil based paints
interior linseed oil based paints
linseed or Tung oil based varnishes
exterior alkyd paints
interior alkyd paints
hardest user friendly coatings: polyurethane hardwood floor finishes and floor paints

A polyurethane floor paint is really just a polyurethane hardwood floor finish that's been tinted in the paint tinting machine to give it colour and opacity.
 
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Old 05-13-11, 04:01 AM
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"the paint crack and peel if there's any moisture evaporating out of that concrete"

This shouldn't be an issue on an interior slab. There should be a vapor barrier and gravel under the slab to prevent moisture from wicking up thru the slab, unlike the concrete in a garage. It also won't see the abuse that a garage floor is put thru. A cheap easy way to verify the slab is dry and apt to stay that way is to tape about a square foot of plastic to the concrete and see if it stays dry under the plastic for a day or two.
 
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Old 05-15-11, 07:16 AM
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An interesting thread.
Mine is an antique home, built to some cheap or non-existent "standards".
I am sure the basement floor is wicking moisture as I see wet spots, even with a visually low water level at the sump pump.
Then, does this mean I will not be able to seal the floor at these spots ?
And I fully agree with the knock on the big box stores(Lowes, HD), the small store service is much better(Ace, for one).
 
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Old 05-15-11, 08:21 AM
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If moisture is passing thru the slab, sooner or later it will remove the paint that is on the slab. I wouldn't advise painting or sealing any concrete slab that has moisture issues.
 
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Old 05-18-11, 11:59 AM
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As stated in the intitial post the current issue of this previously carpeted over cement slab was the amonut of cement dust that builds up under the carpet/padding. We want to, if only for a period of time it continues to look appealing, paint it an attractive or cool color with the built-in non-perfect natural textures with of course some large rugs thrown down. Around the edges exisat the the little pock marks form the old tack boards being pulled up, but again it gives it some character thru being not perfect. down the road as little scrapes/scratches happen we could simply do some touch up. In the extreme, we would simply re-carpet the area and the exisitg painted surface would minimize if not eliminate the exposed cement dust.

We were in Lowes yesterday looking at Valspar Latex Satin interior/exterior porch & floor paint that could be tinted whatever color we desired. We're thinking an aqua green would match some of the existing colors in the room. The wife is an artsy-fartsy tpye that likes out of the norm presentations.

Aside from brand quality, is there any issues with an exterior porch "latex" type paint? Sctathes we're fine with. WQe just want tit to come up in large strips or patches from lack of adherence.
 
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Old 05-18-11, 12:19 PM
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A couple of things come to mind, you need to remove all the dust from the concrete before applying any coating - paint/primer won't adhere well to dust. The other thing is floor enamel doesn't touch up well - it's likely the touch up spots will have a different sheen than the rest of the floor, the color should match but the sheen difference will show.

While it's not a great idea to use exterior paints inside it should be ok. The biggest thing is the off gassing of the paint as it dries/cures. This will go away in a few days, especially if you can open a window or 2. It shouldn't bother most people but can be an issue with those who have respiratory problems.

As long as you can address the dust issue and prime as directed on the label you should be fine. I always like to thin [about 10%] the prime coat on concrete so it can suck into the cement a little better.
 
 

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