In some older homes you will find floors that make it difficult and uncomfortable to spend time in particular rooms. Raw concrete floors make a room feel cold and uninviting, as well as being very impractical if even a little water spills as it creates unsightly water marks and can cause a slip hazard. Often times people do not realize that an unfinished basement can be used despite its lack of renovation just by painting the concrete floor with a special type of paint.
There are several different types of concrete floor paint choices. You can find them in latex, epoxy and alkyd bases with each offering benefits and minuses. These paints will give a finish to the floor that makes the cement surface usable and resistant to oil, grease or chemicals. Most of these paints offer a glossy finish, but are available in less shiny options too. If you are concerned about slips then you will want to add a non slip floor additive to the can of paint.
Several companies produce these paints and it is a good idea to consider the strong points of each brand. Most can be differentiated by the formula they use, and the finishes they offer. They all use different combinations to produce different types of finished looks. For example, some companies offer a type of sealer that finishes with a wet look, or you can get it as a lower luster sealer. It is really your choice in how you want the finished product to look. High gloss is very popular but it is not a good coating to use in an area where there may be water present as it gets very slippery when wet.
If you go with an epoxy based product, which is really the best choice for longevity, then you can choose between water based and oil based. The oil based tends to last a lot longer but it has unhealthy fumes when used in a room that is closed up such as a basement. The water based is also much easier to clean up, especially if you tend to be a messy painter.
If you have other floors like a patio or porch to do then you can choose an indoor outdoor paint and use the same product through out all your projects. This makes things much easier.
While there are not as many choices as regular paint, color is something that still must be considered when buying concrete paints. Neutral colors are good choices when you wish for the floor to blend in with wall colors. Although obviously darker colors seem like the more practical choice – it is important to realize that they actually show grime and dirt and they are not necessarily the more practical choice. One of the worst colors for showing dust is black, but you wouldn’t really want a black floor anyway.
In places where good lighting is important, choosing a paint color that reflects light rather than absorbs it is a plus. Bright colors are best in a kitchen type area, and sticking to a solid color always works better than a mix. Many people choose to decorate the concrete floors with patterns and designs by using special flakes mixed into the paint, creating a nice original effect.