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How to paint a concrete floor, design on a tight budget

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Painting Concrete Floors

Secrets for Updating Your Home Décor On a Tight Budget

By Pamela Cole Harris

The first time I saw a painted concrete floor, I was amazed! It
was beautiful! It is the perfect solution for an inexpensive floor
that will last and last. If you want to try this money-saving
technique in your home, here’s how (but I warn you, this is not
a one-weekend project!)

1. If your floor is inside the house, do a little checking before
you decide to paint your floor. Is the concrete damp? Are there
puddles? (If so, then you have a larger problem than an ugly
floor!) If so, contact a professional to take care of the water
seepage problem. Let the concrete dry thoroughly before painting
(this may take a l-o-n-n-n-n-n-n-g time!)

2. Thoroughly clean the concrete. If there is any grease on the
floor (what have you been DOING in this room?), you must remove it
before painting or the paint won’t stick. To remove grease, put
down cat litter to absorb the majority of oil, then scrub again
with Goof Off. Then mix up a bucket of TSP and scrub the floor,
rinsing several times, until your mop is clean (I didn’t say
this would be easy, did I?). Wait at least three days for the
floor to dry.

3. Sand off any paint (have you done this before?) or bumpy stuff
(such as glue or paint residue) with a hand sander and 80-grit
sandpaper. Vacuum well. Go over the floor with a tack cloth (a
sticky cheesecloth available at any hardware or home improvement

4. Use Cement Fixall to repair any cracks and holes, then let it
dry completely.

5. Now we begin the painting process. Roll on two coats of Kilz
primer and stain blocker. Let dry between coats.

6. Use a roller or a paint compressor, if you have one, to paint
on at least two coats of a good latex flat paint. (Don’t settle
for the cheap stuff for this project!)

7. Now for the creative stuff! Use your imagination to come up
with geometric shapes, the look of faux tile, faux stone, or even
a faux yellow brick road! Let dry completely!

8. Roll on two coats of Breakthrough*** sealer with a 1/4″ nap
roller. You will need a respirator mask for this (cough! cough!).
Let dry.

Now you have a beautiful concrete floor – indestructible and

I just have one more tip – lay some nice soft rugs
around, especially in the wintertime! Your floor may be
but it will be cold on those tender toes!

How to paint a concrete
floor – pictures 


Apparently this product is very difficult, if not impossible to get hold
of these days.  One of the companies which used to supply it (HPI
Finishing Supply) no longer seems to have a presence online.  If
anyone does know where Breakthrough Sealant can be purchased please let me

always one of my visitors has come up trumps.  Margo
has contacted me as follows:-

I researched the internet & called half a dozen paint stores. I found several companies that used to handle it but only one that has it now. 

Luckily I found out a pertinent piece of information. There is more than on product with a “Break-Through” name and the one you need for the floor application to protect and not damage all the work you’ve done to paint your floor is Break-Through “clear satin”. A manager at a Sherman William’s store in Tulsa, Oklahoma told me this; he was very familiar with the product but did not sell it. He said the sealer dries really harder polyurethane so I’m sure this is why it is recommended so highly. He also said that the sealer was manufactured by Vanex. They don’t have a website. The are in Mount Vernon, Illinois, U.S.A.. PH. 618-244-1414. I told the lady how hard I’d worked to find the product & she informed me that they do not ever intend to have a website. I guess they don’t care if they sell this product or not. She gave me a distributor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They are Environmental Paint & Supply; there phone number is 918-437-3200. It’s approx. $43/gal.

are going to be shocked…I have more information.  The supplier for
UK is:

Avenue Coatings
in Colnbrook, Slough.  Their phone number is 01753-686888 and
there is another associated
which still seems to feature some Break-Through products although
they are in very large quantities.

Claudia Chin Chin writes –
Breakthrough paint is available at Star Scenic in Orlando, Florida

I just purchased some a month ago.

I have checked out the above
supplier and, although there are many different ‘Breakthrough’ products
I could not see a sealant suitable for concrete listed amongst the
products on offer.  They may, of course, be able to obtain it for


writes –

can be ordered pretty much through any PPG (Pittsburgh Paint) dealer. I
ordered 10 gal. here in Columbus Indiana to do all my wood floors in my
“turn of the century” house. Have used it for many years — it is THE
BEST for floors.

breakthrough manufacturer was purchased by PPG – they also make paints.”




you will see I have now found some additional details regarding
“Breakthrough” products but as there are apparently several
different products with similar names I cannot guarantee that this is the
same as that being recommended.


was reading your hints about painting cement floors – the last paragraph has
not been my experience. I am a “can’t stand cold person”. Almost
did not do the cement floor overlay for fear of having cold feetsies – I am
a bare foot girl at home. So I just did the overlay rooms we don’t live in a
lot. Turns out the floors feel great. Same temp as whatever I keep my
thermostat at. I do use ceiling fans in my house so that may keep warm air
pushed down. But please think about adding that bare foot girl loves the
cement floor so much she is replacing worn carpet in the entire house now.
It is beautiful, clean, rugged, easy to maintain – and comfortable on bare

Randy M.

you will see I have now found some additional details regarding
“Breakthrough” products but as there are apparently several different
products with similar names I cannot guarantee that this is the same as that
being recommended.