Long gone are the days when garages were merely household carports and storage sheds – these days, they're whole extra rooms with endless possibilities for design. Adding in functional (and fashionable, if we do say so ourselves) garage wall storage is the first step toward giving your garage some personal flair, but what about the floor? While there are tons of garage flooring options, one of the most fun (and customizable) ones out there is cement paint. Best of all, it's pretty darn easy. Check it out:
Start with a smooth, clean foundation
Perhaps the most important part of painting your floor is starting with a perfectly smooth base. Tiny spots of old paint and nearly invisible pieces of dirt can make an otherwise professional-looking floor appear messy and haphazard when painted over, so it's important to be as meticulous as possible during this process. Here's what you'll need to do:
- Begin by thoroughly hand-washing the entire floor with a degreasing solution
- Leave the floor untouched for at least a couple days to allow it to totally dry
- Next, sand off any rough spots using a pole sander
- Sweep the floor
- Then vacuum it
This all may seem tedious – and it is – but it's so, so important to take the extra steps so that your floor looks beautiful once you've finished painting it.
Fill in the cracks and holes
If your garage floor still has uneven spots after sanding, it's a good idea to fill them in with compound. You can buy it at most hardware stores, and it dries relatively quickly.
Apply your primer
Now your floor is clean, dry, smooth and shiny – it's time to paint! Start by painting two coats of primer onto the floor, then let them dry.
To stain, or not to stain?
After your floor has been primed, there are two primary ways to color your floor: using epoxy paint or a cement stain. A stain is far more translucent than paint, but is more effective at resisting scuffing and fading. The one thing you'll want to avoid entirely, though, is latex paint – it won't hold up to the wear and tear of a garage.
Let the coats cure
Regardless of your method, you'll want to paint of two coats of color and let each cure for at least an hour. Make sure you go back over each coat, smoothing out any drips of paint that will stand out from the rest of the floor once the area has dried as well.
One of the coolest things about painting your garage floor is that you can add on any design you want. Some people will paint geometric patterns, stripes, flowers or animal print right over their base color, creating an awesome and personalized space. This is such a popular technique, in fact, that some folks even rip out the carpets in their bedrooms so they can paint the concrete floor instead.
Try a top coat
Cement paint isn't all that different from nail polish – a base layer goes underneath the main color, and a top coat seals and protects the whole area. As an added bonus, applying a top coat will also make your garage floor much, much easier to clean.