How to Paint a Floor to Last Longer: For Years

How to paint a floor to last longer requires 2 fundamental aspects, which will help to achieve the expected useful life, after the activity has been carried out.

If you want to paint a pavement so that it lasts for years, you must carry out an adequate preparation of the concrete surface, and later, the instructions given by the manufacturer must be respected for its execution.

How to Paint a Floor so that it Lasts for Years
Garage with pavement paint in good condition.

You should not underestimate the activity of painting a pavement properly. Certain construction conditions and some pavement products or paints may require specialized labor.

Next, we will analyze these fundamental aspects, in detail.

Base Preparation to Paint a Floor to Last Longer

A great tip to keep in mind is that in any activity related to waterproofing or painting a floor, the most important thing is the preparation of the base, support, or surface that will receive the waterproof paint.

Floor Cleaning

Whether it is a new concrete floor, or an existing pavement that you want to repair, it is essential to carry out a (deep) cleaning of the existing surface.

The chances of successfully completing painting on a cement floor depend more than 80% on the good preparation of the support surface.

Repairs and Reforms. In the case of remodeling, to carry out this activity, spatulas, steel bristle brooms, blowtorches, sanders and electric polishers can be used, in such a way that all dirt that may exist is eliminated and removed.

Existing pavement with paint in poor condition
Existing pavement with paint in poor condition .

If the existing pavement has cracks, holes and chips, a manual repair must be done. For this, the surface must be hammered out (30-40mm deep), cleaned with water, and sealed with a mortar (1:3) cement: sand. Subsequently it must be cured for 24 hours.

Some manufacturers of PAINT FOR PAVEMENTS, offer within their range of products, chemical sealants, which can replace the activities of a more laborious manual repair.

In short, the surface of the existing concrete floors must be free of oils, degraded paint, form release substances, tire remains, efflorescence, loose materials or any other incrustation product that may affect the adherence of the new paint.

New Concrete Floors . If it is a new work, it must be clean, free of dust, without cavities or bumps, to achieve a homogeneous plane, which receives the paint in the best way.

Likewise, in the case of new construction, the hydraulic pavement must have already had most of the shrinkage, preventing this from affecting the layers of paint that are going to be applied. The previous curing time must be in the order of 7 to 28 days.

Another important aspect to take into account, prior to applying the paint to the pavement, is the slope or fall of the surface. In this sense, a 0.5% inclination must be guaranteed, on terraces and other exposed circulation areas. In countries with a humid climate, it becomes more relevant.

Floor Sanding

After the general and deep cleaning, we proceed to sand the floor. This activity must be carried out on any type of floor or existing finish, be it concrete, ceramic, tile, etc.

How to Paint a Floor so that it Lasts for Years
Sanding (priming) of a concrete pavement.

The objective of this work is to devastate the entire surface, eliminating as much as possible the remaining dirt, and in turn, creating porosity in it, leaving a homogeneous plane, capable of receiving and “grabbing” the primer.

Among the tools to use, a traditional grinder can serve perfectly.

However, it can also be done by sandblasting, (sand brazing), or the application of acids (chloric acid), depending on the existing conditions.

Water on the Surface

After sanding, clean with plenty of water and a broom and leave the surface to dry. Thus, all traces of dust will have been removed, leaving the floor completely clean, whether new or pre-existing.

In some cases, it may be more convenient to use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust. This will depend on the type of existing floor finish.

Executing all the previous activities of pavement preparation, it is possible to achieve the greatest possible adherence of the product to be applied.

Borders and Edges between Walls and Floor

It may be advisable to cover the edges or the joints between the walls and the floor with paper, for example, on garage and basement floors. In interior spaces of a house, this will depend on the intent of the interior design of the space, the product or paint to be applied, and the method of painting.

Outlining the edges, meetings between floor and walls.
Outlining the edges, meetings between floor and walls.

In renovation works, the joint between the floor and vertical construction elements (walls, columns, etc.) will be sealed with a waterproof putty compatible with the product or paint to be applied, and according to the recommendations given by the manufacturer.

Other Preconditions

Sporadically we can find that the concrete slab or the pavement that is going to be painted does not have the necessary constructive quality.

In these cases, it will have to be repaired, and then carry out all the activities described above. The details for the repair or maintenance of the existing floor or pavement will depend on its particular characteristics.

Other details to consider, before painting a pavement so that it lasts for years, are the humidity conditions of the site. In general, it is not convenient to paint on rainy days, before or after it has rained.

However, in some cement-based waterproof systems or paints, it may be necessary to guarantee certain previous humidity conditions, in order to then apply the paint or waterproofing agent.

How to Paint a Floor to Last Longer for Years

Any paint product that is normally purchased packaged comes with a detailed description for its application. It is very important to read the leaflets, which appear on the packaging itself, with all the information perfectly described.

Leveling Putty or Primer

After having done all the cleaning, and before starting to paint an exterior or interior concrete floor, it is necessary to prime the surface to be painted, in order to receive the next stage in the best conditions.

The objective of the primer is to create a first layer, somewhat diluted, that takes the best adherence to the porous surface. It is the manufacturer of paint for concrete floors, the most appropriate to establish how to dilute the product in the appropriate %.

In the case of cement-based paints or waterproofing, a layer of leveling putty will be applied to finish creating a homogeneous and ready layer to receive the waterproofing or pavement paint.

Putties have the characteristic of creating slightly rough surfaces, with great adherent capacity.

First Coat of Paint

Subsequently, the first layer of the product or paint for concrete floors is applied.

How to Paint a Cement Floor to Last for Years
Paint application on concrete floor.

Depending on the type of paint and the surface where it is applied, it may be necessary to thin again slightly, with the solvent material.

When applying the product on the support, it spreads over the entire floor. To do this, you can use a notched squeegee, a notched trowel or a microfiber roller, taking little by little from the paint can.

Painting on cement floor.
Self-leveling epoxy paint, on concrete pavement.

The pavement paint will be applied evenly, leaving the surfaces homogeneous, without drips or other irregularities.

When painting outdoor pavements, it can be very useful to outline the perimeter, thus reducing the possibility of overflowing and affecting unnecessary areas.

Subsequently, you must wait for the complete drying of the first layer, to continue with the application of the second. The drying time will be from 12 to 24 hours, or according to what is indicated in the good application practices of the product.

Second and Third Coats of Paint

When the first layer has dried, according to the time recommended by the manufacturer, proceed to apply the second, transversally to the first.

Application of the paint with a trowel.

For some types of floor paints, or even in certain situations of use, it may be necessary to apply a third coat. This will be done following the same steps described for the second layer.

The producer can specify the minimum thickness that the sum of all paint layers applied to the concrete floor must reach.

Quality of Finished Work

In each layer of paint, the thickness and uniformity will be those recommended by the manufacturer. The surfaces will be clean, without product residues, drips or irregularities.

Basement garage with epoxy paint finish on pavement.
Basement garage with epoxy paint finish on pavement.

Take Security Measures

Something no less important, on how to paint a floor to last longer, are the security measures to take into account. Paints and construction materials, in a general sense, are chemical products that can affect our health.

Therefore, it is advisable to comply with all occupational protection and hygiene regulations for the region. Clothing, footwear and tools must be adequate for the different activities carried out.

Products to Paint a Pavement that Lasts for Years

The market is full of types of paints for cement floors, with solutions for high traffic, such as industrial buildings and garages, and paint products for medium or light traffic.

There are also very appropriate solutions, depending on the functionality of the support.

Among these are paints for hospital and kitchen floors, slurry mastics for sports floors, tennis courts and schoolyards, garages in HOUSES, or epoxy paints, highly durable and resistant to weathering. All of them with a variety of finishes, colors and textures.

If you want to have your floor painted with high durability, epoxy paints can give you very good results on concrete and/or cement floors.

Consulted bibliography
Technical sheets of different manufacturers.

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