How To Paint A Concrete Floor

Our recent sunroom floor staining debacle led us away from semi-transparent floor finishes (which are fabulous for raw concrete but don’t work as well over previously stained concrete) and towards solid floor treatments that are yummy and glossy and opaque. We quickly learned that oil-based porch and floor paint was the best candidate for the room (since latex based floor paints can’t bond to a previously stained concrete surface) and at Lowe’s we happily discovered Valspar’s High Performance Oil-Based Porch & Floor Paint in a perfect chocolate brown color called Brownstone (here’s an affiliate link to it over on Amazon if you can’t find it in stores).

We’d been longing for a rich brown tone to tie into the adjoining room’s hardwood flooring, and Brownstone was a match made in floor paint heaven. Since the stuff is “extremely durable and resists scuffing while retaining its high gloss appearance”, it was the perfect solution for our high traffic sunroom. And not only is it great for concrete floors, it can also be used on wood floors and primed metal so it’s definitely something to keep in mind for any of the floors in your home that have seen better days.

So without further ado, we bring you the simple five step tutorial to painting your floor:

Step 1: Ensure that the floor is squeaky clean. This can be accomplished by thoroughly vacuuming and then going over your floor with a mildly soapy wet rag and waiting for the floor to dry completely before moving onto the next step. Additionally, if you’re painting a wood floor, any splintered or rough parts should be sanded or patched before moving on to the painting process.

Step 2: Edge the perimeter of the entire floor (about 4 inches or so) with a good quality brush that won’t leave any bristles behind. Oil based paint is deliciously glossy, which can makes things like errant paintbrush bristles stuck to the floor more obvious than a matte floor finish would.

Step 3: Use a paint roller with an extended pole attachment to coat the entire floor with one coat of paint. Roll in long even strokes and make a “w” pattern on the floor with the roller to eliminate any obvious paint globs from the side of the roller. Don’t forget to be smart about painting yourself out of the room as oil paint takes a looong time to dry before you can walk on it again.

Step 4: If you’re lucky, one coat of paint will do the trick. In our sunroom it would have except that we missed a couple of teeny slivers of the floor and wanted to go over the whole thing again for good measure and a uniform finish. You must wait at least a full 24 hours before applying a second coat, and even after 24 hours you may notice that your first coat isn’t completely dry (you may see subtle footprints as you walk across the floor) but you can proceed with your second coat since it’ll gloss over everything and leave it looking shiny and perfect again.

Step 5: Wait at least 6 full days to walk on your new floor. It may feel like torture, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. And after almost a week of avoiding the space, you’ll be super excited to move in all of your furniture and make yourself at home. It should be noted that oil-paint is especially toxic and super stiiinky, so keeping a ceiling fan going and the windows open for the full 6 days is a smart idea (which means implementing that plan before the second coat since you won’t have access to the room afterwards).

So there you have it, a simple five step process to fantastic new flooring. Here’s ours looking all glossy and fabulous (like melted chocolate, I tell ya). We love the rich, uniform tone and the luxe sheen, and we’ve both noticed that the room looks a whole lot more “finished” with the newly painted floor.

We also love how it ties in with the dark brown window sashes around the entire room, and makes our white furniture pop even more than it did against our old orangey-gold floor.

And perhaps the most exciting thing of all is how the newly painted sunroom floor so perfectly ties into our existing hardwood floor in the adjoining laundry nook and den. It’s an almost seamless transition which makes the sunroom seem a lot more cohesive (it no longer screams “add-on”) thanks to the uniform floor color and super luxe sheen.

We hope our fast and furious floor painting tutorial has been of help. And of course feel free to send us your floor painting before and afters (we eat that stuff for breakfast). Happy rolling!


  1. Amanda says

    It really looks both fab and classy I must say! Congrats on a fab job, as always!

    I’m moving into a studio apartment soon with my hubby and two dogs (yikes!!). Your decoration skills have served as a great inspiration for me when deciding what to buy for the new apartment. I’ll be sure to send you a couple of pics once we have moved in, if you’d like some?

  2. Tatyana says

    Looks, great! The floors DO look like melted chocolate… bad if you are a chocoholic like me. :)
    BTW, you have wood floors in your laundry area. How does that work? Have you have any water damage?
    We are planning on installing wood floors and I’m not sure if to take them into the laundry area and 1/2 bath or not.
    Anyone else that has wood floors in these areas let me know how it works for you. (Sorry for the change of subject)

  3. says

    this looks amazing! the finished product looks just that…finished. the space was cute before, but now it really shines. thanks for the ideas!

  4. ErinEvelyn says

    Lovely end-product as usual.
    You’re on a roll! Now what kind of hip finish can be added to a classic blacktop driveway?
    I dare you to stencil it. (I’m kidding. Don’t stencil it.)

  5. says

    Oh wow–it looks amazing! I’m so impressed. And I love how you put the room together, too. It’s lovely! I also wanted to tell you I love your blog so much I chose it as one of my favorites to receive some odd, weirdly spelled cyberspace award that could use a little Photoshop tlc. But it seems to big a big deal around the neighborhood so I wanted to come knocking on your door with it. The only catch is you need to let me move in with you. Only kidding, heehee. Details on my blog if you’re interested in playing along!

  6. YoungHouseLove says

    Hey everyone,

    So glad our floor painting tutorial was such a hit. Please send us pics if you attempt the project yourselves- and Amanda, of course we’d love to see some pics of your new apartment whether you paint the floors or not.

    As for Katie’s query about the daybed linens, it’s just a twin fitted sheet from Ikea in a tan color, three 24″ floor pillows that we covered in some Linens N’ Things pillow cases for back support and tossed on the bed, two throw pillows on sale from Bed Bath & Beyond and a fun woven bolster from West Elm (on sale for $9!).

    Tatyana, as for your wood floor question, our whole house is hardwood save for our master bathroom which has original vintage tile. We intentionally opted to carry the hardwood all the way through our half bathroom and our laundry area during our remodel last year as we think that in a small house like ours a seamless look keeps things feeling more open and spacious. We’ve never had any issues with either the wood floor in the bathroom or the laundry room (knock on wood) and we’ve found that it’s a very durable and easy to care for surface. We also remembered to order some extra flooring, which we have laying around in case a flooring issue pops up in the future. Hardwood is actually really easy to patch, so it’s nice to have a little extra stock just in case. Hope that helps!

    ErinEvelyn, we’re truly stumped for driveway swankification ideas. Actually I think leaving pavement well enough alone and adding some pretty shrubs and flowers around the perimeter (in decorative pots or in planting beds) would be all the gussying up a driveway needs. Although painting a shuffleboard court on it in green oil paint could be very cool for cookouts and such…

    G&D, thanks a million for the oddly spelled cyberspace award that you so generously bestowed upon us. We’d like to thank the academy and WordPress and my first grade english teacher Mrs. Martin…


    • dalton says

      hey im a general contractor and i’ve painted NUMEROUS floors. from hardwood to concrete to just plain dirt (not easy) and i just want to give you a little hint for your next floor :) if u dumo the paint in the middle of the room (like half of the gallon) and then spread it all around with your paint roller, it will leave an amazing glossy finish and you wont have any roller marks :D just remember to cut in around all of your edges, corners, and whatever else you dont want to get paint on! hope this helped a little!

  7. dänika says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a bit now, and when I saw this post, I just had to pop my head in and say how very fabulous your floor looks! I’m very keen on painted floors, and this one is just so lovely! Beautiful job!

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