Why use concrete paint? The invention of concrete is an industrial miracle that people all too often take for granted. The very foundation of our homes relies on long lasting concrete to hold up many tons of weight. While most people envision concrete in industrial applications, it can have an aesthetic appeal for uses in the home. Garages, patios, and basements are areas where exposed concrete flooring dwells. The basic gray slate that is iconic of concrete has its place, but innovative homeowners with a vision want to make it something more. Bland concrete can be transformed into a colorful floor that has both aesthetic and useful applications. This is done by using products like concrete paint and concrete stain.
What Is Concrete Paint?
Concrete paint is actually a special concrete coating comprised of either a latex or acrylic base. This coating is applied to bare concrete with the intent of sealing it and making the surface smooth. This paint comes in many colors, including special versions that feature speckled flecks for an added touch. Around the home you will most commonly see this product used as a garage floor sealer. The aesthetic appeal of having a smooth textured garage floor is the envy of many homeowners. The fact is anyone with even a small amount of technical expertise can apply a coat of their own. For a modest price you can obtain a gallon or two of this special paint in your color of choice. A garage floor coating project can be completed in a day with a setting time of around 12-24 hours. A second or third coat may be needed depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
How Do I Apply It?
Most people don’t attempt painting their concrete flooring because of the misconception that they will mess it up or coat unevenly. Application involves a few simple steps that when followed careful will result in a beautiful coat every time. The concrete surface must be free of wide cracks and be even. Dirt, debris and moisture must be completely removed before application. Use an etching cleaner to remove tough material like vehicle oils. Neglecting to remove the grime will result in a bad bond between the paint and the concrete. If the floor has paint on it, you will need to remove it with a sander and thoroughly vacuum the area to remove particulates. Cement fillers are available at your hardware store to fill in small cracks and holes before application. Using a wide brush, apply the paint generously around the edges of the floor. You want to cover the concrete so it is not seen anymore. Then, pour the paint along the floor and “roll” it over the surface using your brush. The paint will spread evenly using gravity. If you plan on setting outdoor tiles onto a slab of concrete, it is recommended that a layer of concrete sealer is applied beforehand to improve adhesion.
What Is Concrete Stain?
Concrete stain is used to turn bland concrete into a beautiful surface that is comparable to tile, except stringer. The stain process is similar to the painting process but achieves a different result. The stain is less viscous and can be applied using a brush, roller or sprayer. The stain doesn’t just cover the concrete surface but actually penetrates deep inside it, resulting in a permanent color change. However, you don’t get the benefits of the easy-to-clean seal that concrete paint provides. If you are looking for the best of both worlds, you can apply a clear acrylic sealant over the stain after application. Stains offer more color selection and textures than paints. The concrete can achieve deep swirling patterns that perfectly match the décor of your home. The completed look is even suitable for use as flooring throughout home interiors.
How Do I Apply It?
Preparation is exactly the same as when applying paint. You need to make sure that the surface is completely free of dirt, oils and moisture before beginning. The easiest way to apply it evenly is to use a sprayer. A little tip for you is to use one of those hand-pump pesticide sprayers you use around the home. Load the stain into the container and spray away. Use even, left-to-right motions while walking backwards. It is important to avoid stepping on the uncured surface. If you accidentally create puddles it will result in areas that look darker than the rest of the floor. Additional coats can correct this problem. Make sure you abide by the manufacture’s recommendations for drying time. After curing, feel free to apply a concrete sealer to protect and beatify your investment. Concrete floor coatings are an excellent way to transform any part of the home with minimal investment. Whether you use a standard paint product or a specialized garage floor sealer, the result is a professional looking home.