How to paint a concrete floor white.
Where are my small DIY projects lately you ask?
Ask my house. It’s been holding me hostage needing every ounce of me for some pretty major changes that have been going on lately!
One big project was organizing the junk stash HERE AND naturally turned into so much more…
And the other? You’re about to see it today!
Welcome to my photo studio, which I’ve shared glimpses of many times over the years.
Especially with project shoots like this Hot Cocoa Bar.
This is a very hard working room because it has the best south-facing light in the house. So the pure white walls require constant touching up.
I also use this room for painting projects such as painting ornaments with milk paint above.
The work table was filled with paint smears which didn’t look the best when a nicer shot was desired.
The cement floor was the worst though. While I could make the above shot from the grain sack chair project look charming, floor cracks and all, what you don’t see are all all the mad attempts at missing all the paint splatters!
So it was time to deal with it ALL. The ultimate goal was to be able to plunk a thing down and shoot with complete ease for a change.
But I will admit, this post is pretty much ALL about how to paint a concrete floor white. Something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS.
This project all started when I got brave, and ripped a strip of carpet up in THIS post while working on the big shelving unit. After painting a small area of the floor white, I was in LOVE!
So before the roller dried out, I carried it into the photo studio (in this post) and continued on.
About that floor…
This photo studio is actually situated on an outdoor concrete slab. The previous owners enclosed below the upstairs patio turning it into a bedroom. Lucky me!
However, over time, the skim coat that was on the original concrete has chipped away. I’d work on it now and then to attempt to remove it all, but it was just impossible to remove in some areas.
So on this given day, I removed what I could, then decided to embrace the imperfections and paint it as-is!
So let’s paint a concrete floor white, shall we?
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How to paint a concrete floor white
Supplies I used:
Putty knife (don’t tell) to scrape off skim coat
Pry bar and rubber mallet to remove edge nails
A gallon of porch and floor paint (meant for concrete)
Paint roller with roller extension handle
Paint tray kit (tray, liners, roller handle, etc)
1. Clean off the concrete floor.
After scraping away most of the skim coat with a putty knife, I did a clean sweep of any remaining dust until the concrete floor was perfectly clean.
2. Do any wall painting first before you paint a concrete floor too!
Why not right? If I was going to have gorgeous floors, I wanted the rest of the room perfect too.
The baseboards were removed (they weren’t even real, just planks) then I crack filled, primed and painted ALL the walls, including new paint on all the trim. Yup… a top to bottom makeover!
Painting a concrete floor
3. Roll on the paint.
It was kinda that easy.
I picked up a gallon of Porch and Floor paint (water based), and ended up rolling on 3 coats to cover the original grey.
I wish I could tell you some major secrets on painting concrete. But in all honesty, it didn’t get that involved with this room. It’s a hard working work room that will wear paint splatters one day again soon, so I just wanted something washable, with an easy way to touch up the floor whenever desired.
Since the floor was already exposed concrete, carpet strips were long removed. However a few nails were still intact.
So I used a crowbar and rubber mallet to pound them out. Chunks of concrete did follow with the removed nails, so if that happens for you too, you may wish to crack fill the holes before painting.
Which I may do in the rest of the junk stash room when I finish up that floor too.
Porch & Floor Acrylic Enamel Floor Finish by Cloverdale Paint
Colour – EX270 (closest colour on chart that matched the walls)
It went on so easily and coverage was amazing! It has a matte finish but still feels slightly smooth to the touch which is nicer for when you wash or sweep it. I’m very happy with the outcome!
And I didn’t prime either. I chatted with the owner of our local hardware store and walked on a large section of the same paint he just used and told me it was holding up wonderfully with just paint! So I copied him.
- Use a roller extension pole. It really saves your back.
- I liked using a shorter pile roller teamed up with an extension pole and a paintbrush.
- Hand paint all the edges first.
- Roll the floor last. I needed 3 coats of white.
It was suggested to get a really thick roller due to all the imperfections in the concrete. But I actually found it skid around rather than rolled.
I found a very short pile wall roller ultimately did a better job and used a paint brush to dab into the cracks.
But using an extension for the roller was key of course. It was nice not having to bend over.
Ready to see some pretty spectacular results?!
The white concrete floor reveal
From a dark and dingy before…
… and the bright, beautiful ‘paint a concrete floor white’ after! Isn’t it amazing?!
And here’s the other side of the room. Back to fresh plain white and sparse… just the way I need it.
I use to have THIS tool area on the left wall, but I plan to find a new home for the tool station because I’d like the photo studio to be completely bare except for staging accessories this round. I want every square inch avail for shots in a moment’s notice.
All new baseboards (properly this time) were installed as well, left over in stock from my board and batten living room wall project I shared HERE which was actually my first go around with a complete room molding install! And it worked out amazing. I’m so happy!
And today, the now much prettier photo studio is bright, white, beautiful and ready for a shoot thanks to that gorgeous white painted floor!
The room feels like such a happy place now!
As for other props, a large work table on casters comes in really handy to use for prep shots, or to roll out of the way so I can use the area for a room stage.
The table is also getting a re-fresh which I’ll share in another post soon.
The little round wooden vintage table with chair to the right show up in many shoots!
Can you even believe there’s a curtain in the above shot? If I expose it out, the curtain disappears. Gotta love white sheet curtains!
But I couldn’t let this post finish without one pretend shoot to try out the new white floor as a backdrop…
Not too shabby for a floor, huh?!
Now I’m really glad the skim coat couldn’t all come off! Love the added texture.
While I was working on this room, I realized, while I wanted the room nice, I didn’t want it to look like a new build. I think all the quirks make it! Which I think marries well with my rustic style preferences.
Is it any wonder that I slip down here in this all white photo studio space in the mornings to enjoy coffee with a view these days?
I think I’ll just blame it on the ‘paint a concrete floor white’ move.
Can’t wait to paint the rest of the concrete basement floor white now! Coming soon…
Isn’t it wonderful?!
Update! View the room now with new sheet curtains HERE
Other past photo studio projects you may enjoy:
Old cupboard turned tool and paint trolley
Stencil trolley from an old crate
How to create sheet curtains with pipe curtain rods
Easy board and batten wall treatment
Visit all photo studio posts HERE
25 thoughts on “How to paint a concrete floor white”
Love the white floors! That room would make me so happy in winter as it is so bright. I was thinking about the paint splatters you mentioned. If it was on the floor, you could just pass it off as terrazzo! Lol. Great job on the refresh!
Thanks Deb! I did use it as part of an ‘artistic expression’ in some shoots because I didn’t have a choice. hahaha But it’s always bugged me. They weren’t cute enough. I’m loving the change!
White, bright, and clean!
Yes! Until I walk on it. But we’ll cover that another day. hahah
It shows more stuff but so far it’s easy to keep up.
I love the white floor! I’ve wanted to paint & stencil my front porch floor for quite some time, but keep putting it off. Thanks for inspiring me to get on it!
Thanks and SAME! I’m feeling a little braver to move into other more used areas after this trial now! I can’t get my front door area clean any longer so I’m tempted to ‘just paint’.
You’re ready for Spring! Great job Donna!
Thank-you! Feeling determined to get the rest of downstairs done before the nice weather hits as well!
You did a great job, looks bright and sunny and welcoming! Your description of the steps to go about painting the floor, prep and product listing were great….Thanks!
Thank-you! It was well worth the effort!
LOVE it. I love the cracks!!! Makes me want to create something on the cracks. Great contemplation room.
Thanks Melissa, I do too! Good thing as I didn’t have an option. Some areas are raised too high to patch it so I decided to embrace it. haha
Looks great. Painting my garage floor is on the agenda for this year and now I know how to do it with your help. Thinking I might do some color blocking to define different areas. Thanks Donna
Thanks Sandy, and that sounds cool! I was just looking at my workshop / garage floor after this and that could also be an option this year…
Thank-you Nancy! You’ll be seeing lots of upcoming peeks of this room in future shoots! Gave it a whirl yesterday and it was FAB.
Love the white floor but I would have filled the large crack….just me!
Haha! I’ll see how it does. There’s some ant digging that goes on down below so I’ll have to see if patchwork is even a do-able solution. I just wanted something fast right now. I rather like it myself!
I used expanding spray in foam to fill large cracks in my garden room. Afer it hardened I cut it flat to the floor, then sanded. Keeps the bugs out!
The perfect photo studio. I love the imperfections in the floor, makes for interesting textures in your photos. I’d be bringing my coffee down to this light-filled room in the mornings too, especially with that lovely view!
Thanks Marie! Whenever I’m down there, I wish I could bring that room upstairs where it’s warmer. LOL
Such a great place to take pictures! And you’re surrounded by green, too.Yes, I’d want to live in this spot! Lots of work, but so worth it!
Thanks Lora! Yeah, it took awhile to complete but I wanted it done right this time and the biggest bonus of all… it taught me a few new DIY lessons as well.
It’s fantastic Donna. The white floors, with the texture of the skim coat underneath is fabulous. And the way you describe the process, it’s pretty straight forward. If I were there every time I would walk in the room I would feel my mind and soul say YES, AAHH! Amazing!
Looks nice! I could embrace the crack too, but I’d rather see a river of turquoise in clear epoxy….like they do in living wood projects.