How to Prepare Concrete Floor for Painting

Any professional painter will tell you: it’s all about the prep work. The steps you take to clean and restore a surface before painting it (as well as the steps to protect the surrounding area) make all of the difference in the visual quality and durability of new paint. This applies to painting concrete floors just as much as it does to painting your home’s walls. 

At Shark Coatings, we know the ins and outs of preparing, painting and coating concrete floors so they have lasting protection against the elements and will look vibrant for years to come. Read through these helpful tips to learn more about how to prepare concrete for painting, including how to clean it, etch it, prime it, and choose the right painting option.

How to Clean and Etch a Concrete Surface

Etching is a crucial step in preparing a concrete floor for paint. A standard concrete floor is relatively smooth—while there is some texture, there’s not enough surface area to ensure a tight bond. Also, a lot of the surface-level concrete has damage: cracks, loose particles, dust, and weak layers can all contribute to a short-lived floor. Instead, find a professional service that knows how to prepare concrete for painting by:

  1. Cleaning the concrete with a degreaser to remove buildup from cars and machinery
  2. Rinsing down the entire surface to remove dirt, dust, and lingering residue
  3. Testing an out-of-the-way portion of the flooring with an etching solution
  4. Evenly spread out the etching solution across the entire surface for the recommended length of time
  5. Cleaning away the solution (including neutralizing it as necessary)
  6. Testing the etched floor to make sure it has a surface texture similar to sandpaper

The floor is now clean enough and textured enough to bind tightly to any paint.

How to Prime a Concrete Surface

Priming is just as important as etching for applying a long-lasting top coat. Without a primer, the “top” layer of paint may develop breathing pinholes or become crumbly. Without primer, the paint would also be colored by the underlying concrete, which can turn light colors and white into a dull, faded tone. But a primer acts as a thick coating that evens out the etched surface and creates a “blank slate” of sorts for the final paint to cling to. Professionals evenly apply the coating to prime concrete surfaces and let it sit for the recommended cure or dry time. 

After this stage in how to prepare concrete floor for painting, painters can apply an epoxy coating or, for a longer lasting finish, a Shark Floor Coating that has twenty times the durability and a greater resistance to staining. Because of all the prep work, the surface will be smooth, level, and blemish-free. It also won’t crumble or flake off because of lingering weak points in the concrete.

Shark Floor Coating vs. Epoxy Floor Paint

Choose the right top coat as the final step in how to prepare concrete floor for painting. Many DIYers or property owners looking for a budget-friendly quick fix might turn to epoxy. This coating can absorb stains, be vulnerable to corrosion and impact damage, and break down faster than you expect. A professionally installed Shark Floor Coating is much more resilient, providing years of top-tier protection.

Why You Should Work With Professional Coating Experts

All of these steps are essential for creating a high-quality concrete floor coating that will last through years of use. Turning to the local experts can make the project more manageable and ensure you get better results. Licensed professionals have the equipment and the expertise to do each step correctly and ensure optimal results. Professionals will also offer long-term warranties for more peace of mind.

Shark Coatings – Contractors for a Job That Lasts

Ready to transform your old concrete floors with a professionally painted coating? If you’re in the Cental or Northeast Florida area contact the team at Shark Coatings to learn more about our signature process and see why our coatings make all the difference. We’ll tell you about our preferred process for how to prepare concrete for painting and the advantages of our coating formula.

Click here to request a quote today!

Image Credit: Doralin Samuel Tunas / Shutterstock