How to Paint Any Type of Floors!

Revamping concrete: paint or stain?

When you’re upgrading a concrete surface, both paint and stain offer a quicker—and much more affordable—alternative to replacing the slab entirely (a gallon of concrete paint will run you around $50, for example, versus about $600 or so for a new 10 foot x 10 foot slab).

So how do you decide whether it makes more sense to stain or paint concrete floors? It mostly comes down to the final look that you want. Acid-based stains penetrate into the surface of the concrete, so you get longer lasting coverage. However, because concrete is inherently porous, the lack of a solid, top layer of coverage means that you’re likely going to end up with some streaking and unevenness.

Opting to paint concrete instead of staining it provides you with a more even and richly colored finish. Where it slightly falls short is in terms of durability. Expect to deal with chips and peels over time, plus the need for occasional touch-ups—especially if you’re driving on the surface or giving it heavy foot traffic.

Ultimately, both concrete paint and concrete stain have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re wanting the most dramatic finish, however, then paint is almost certainly going to be your best bet.



  1. Prep the concrete floor by removing all items from the area, patching any cracks, removing any residue, and clean the floor.Paint the concrete floor with concrete paint using
  2. Paint the concrete floor with concrete paint using a paintbrush and roller. Allow the paint to cure then move things back into
  3. Allow the paint to cure then move things back into the area and enjoy it!

5. Painted floors can trick the eye

Painted floors can create some clever optical illusions. If you have white- or light-colored walls, paint the floors to match to make the space feel much bigger. Choose paint with a glossier sheen (or add a glossy topcoat) to bring in more light. Or, choose a darker color than walls and ceiling to visually ground a space and add drama.

Your Room Lacks Natural Light

white or subtle off-white shade

If your goal is to brighten a dark room, white floor paint creates a sense of height and expansiveness in a space. “Use floor paint to help create more light in a poorly lit room,” says O’Donnell. This reliable solution is ideal for tight quarters and rooms with few windows. O’Donnell recommends painting the floor of a north-facing room a white or subtle off-white shade to help bounce light around the space.


Before you can even start to paint, you must be able to see the entire floor. 

Spend some time purging your basement of items that you no longer need. Donate, toss or sell. 

Move the remaining items to another room or empty space in the basement.

Here is what my room looked like before:

Tools Materials

  • Sanding sponge

    Sanding sponge

  • Paint roller with extension

    Paint roller with extension

  • Ruler or yardstick

    Ruler or yardstick

  • Putty knife

    Putty knife

  • Mini roller frame

    Mini roller frame

  • Polyester paint brush - 2 1/2-inch

    Polyester paint brush – 2 1/2-inch


The top coat is what seals your new floors, it goes hand in hand with your base coat– like PB&J!

Think of it like your top coat when doing your nails: it protects all your hard work!

Step 2 is non-negotiable… don’t shortcut this process if you want it to be fail proof:

Roll on the primer

Use an extension pole to help you to roll the pr

Use an extension pole to help you to roll the primer on the floor. The pole will speed up the job and save your back. Work in 4-foot-square areas. Let the floor dry thoroughly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for time — anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Check out our Pantry Makeover (with storage ideas!)

Our follow up post is live with the full pantry makeover! It is sooo good, check it out here!

Also visit our pantry a year later to see how the

Also visit our pantry a year later to see how the painted floors have held up plus how we added cursive pantry labels to more organization!

EDITED April 2020: Rust-Oleum renamed and updated their label in April 2020; these photos of the previous design do not reflect the changes as this post was made in 2019 😉 

You Plan to Paint Tile, Stone, or Brick, and Have High Expectations for Perfection

Benjamin Moore Floor & Patio

Painted floors, especially tile, won’t be perfect, and might not be a long-term solution. “The expectations for painting floor tiles should be low, being that you typically can’t open up the tile to accept a coating,” says Mundwiller. “However, for low foot traffic floors, success has been achieved by thoroughly cleaning and using Benjamin Moore Floor & Patio.”

Lawrence reinforces how important it is to prepare the surface professionally prior to painting, particularly for tile, stone, and brick. “Ten to twenty years ago, the products didn’t exist to properly paint tile, stone, and brick. I would have been very nervous painting them, and I would have always thought of it as a temporary solution,” she says. “But the binding agents have improved. I paint wood floors more than anything else, but all surfaces are really stable if prepared correctly.”

Painting floor tile successfully requires professional grout cleaning (using degreasers). Ensure that you’ve prepared the surface adequately prior to painting and sealing, or you can expect eventual chipping.

2. The best paint might be at the marine supply store

You don’t want to have to tiptoe across your painted floors, lest they chip or show wear; the whole appeal is that they’re hardwearing and practical. To get this effect, use at least a semigloss paint from the paint aisle, perhaps coated with some polyurethane if you’re worried about wear. But it might pay to look beyond standard interior paints. Seek out latex enamel-based marine, boat, or porch paint, all of which is hardwearing and built to wear. (You could also use trim enamel matched to a shade you like.) Note that oil-based paints will be hardy, but will also be high in VOCs; read more about that in Remodeling 101: All You Need to Know About VOCs in Paint.

 Above: Oak floors painted in Benjamin Moore’s Pla
Above: Oak floors painted in Benjamin Moore’s Platinum Gray enamel, with modern effect. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, from Nordic Beauty: A Brooklyn Townhouse Reinvented with Style—and Restraint.


If there are bare spots (areas where there is no finish due to wear), brush or roll them with primer. This is called spot priming. Don’t worry about getting some primer on previously finished areas. In places where the old coating is secure, it’s as good as primer (as long as it has been lightly sanded). If the floor was never finished (in an attic, for example), apply a coat of primer over the entire surface.

You may save yourself from having to apply a second top coat by asking the paint supplier to tint your primer to a tone that matches the top coat. My preferred primer for just about everything is Zinssers’ BIN (view on Amazon), an alcohol-based, pigmented shellac primer-sealer (doesn’t stink, dries fast, and sticks to everything), but you should check with the manufacturer of the top-coat paint you’ll be using for its priming recommendations.

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