Painted Concrete Floors & Stained Concrete Floor Ideas


Painted concrete floors can look stunning if you invest time to prepare them, use a specialty concrete floor paint, add a great design and finish off with a concrete floor sealer. It sounds complicated but its easier than you think. These stunning professional looking floors use a combination of paint or stain, stencil and a sealer and will cost you much less than hiring a professional. This is a long post, so grab a coffee and settle back of simple scroll to the section that interests you.

use a stencil

Source: Pinterest

Painted concrete floors look great on any floor in your home including garage, basement, living room, patio or balcony. You can stain, paint, decorate, age, pattern or etch your concrete floor to get the look you want, one layer at a time. You can use normal paint, but it comes off within just a few months. I know, I’ve tried it.


Source: She Can Do It All

While one solid color might be the fastest way to paint your floor, it can often look flat and dull. There are a few things you can do to take this look to a new level, one simple way is to add a border. Another is to apply a stencil over the top. Another is to stain or etch your concrete. 


Source: Houzz

The floor design in the short video below was quickly created using painter’s tape. It gives you some idea of what can be done with limited resources, skills and a tight budget. Think checkerboard in white and gray or black and white or maybe even stripes. It is a classic evergreen look that can quickly update your curb appeal.

Painted Concrete Floor Designs

Paint on concrete floors can look like rugs, carpets, floorboards and even granite using stencils, borders or freehand designs. Design is important because it can make your room feel and look smaller and darker. First, consider the size of your room, the amount of natural light in the room and your decor.


Source: Pinterest

One huge benefit of painting your concrete floors is that it is much cheaper to do it yourself. There are some expenses such as equipment hire, concrete floor paint, etching solution (for stained concrete floors) and a sealer but little compared to hiring a contractor. Click here to find painting and staining products to get started.

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Work out your style. Your floors will be with your for a while. Is the style of floor you like classic, rustic, farmhouse or modern? The checkerboard floor design goes with most classic decorating themes. It only uses paint, not etching or staining techniques. 

When selecting floor colors, use the same principles you would when choosing carpet or rug colors. Consider the size and natural light in your room, your decor and which paint color will best hide dirt. You want something that is easy to keep clean and maintain. Simple.

Having said that, the range of concrete paint colors is limited but growing. Use a paint chart to find paint colors that suit your room, then ask your local paint supplier to add pigment or colors to your concrete paint to get the color you want if its not readily available. 

How To Paint Concrete Floors

If you like the idea of large designs consider the white floor below with a large dark coffee design. The stark contrast in colors has you focusing on the floor design. Its out of harmony with the room but it does give the feeling of carpet or tiles. 

Painted Concrete Floors - Source -

concrete floor paint

Source: Pinterest

The stenciled concrete floor above reverses the color palette; a very dark coffee or black floor with a white stencil on the top resembling carpet or tiles.

Painted Concrete Floors – The Healthy Option

There are also health benefits to swapping to painted floors including eliminating or managing allergies. If allergies affect you or you family, it could be time to rip up your carpets and think about painting your floors instead. Allergens live in carpet fibers, and when you remove carpets you remove their breeding ground, and reduce allergies.

Concrete floors are also the perfect anti-slip flooring solution; being anti-slip means safety first.

muted painted concrete

Source: My Paradissi

There are many decorative concrete contractors who can help you either prepare your floors or undertake the task completely if you find the process beyond your DIY skills but its not cheap.

Source - apartment

Concrete Floor Preparation

  1. Remove old carpets, tiles or vinyl. Review the floor condition. You’ll be shocked at the amount of dirt trapped under your carpets. Wear a mask while you vacuum or sweep.
  2. Remove nails from the floor with a crowbar or nail puller. Go slowly to avoid removing chunks of concrete.
  3. To remove stubborn dirt or residues of carpet glue use a hydrochloric acid solution, diluted with 4 parts water. There are solutions like Clean-N-Etch 64 oz. cleaning solution or Rust-Oleum 238475 EPOXYShield Concrete Etch. Wear protective eye wear and gloves and only work in a ventilated room.
  4. If your floor is in a very poor condition use a stronger cleaner and a special floor cleaner/buffer to remove additional layers of residue. These are big machines and can be expensive to hire, but they are cheaper than hiring someone. If it looks like you need help, hire a professional decorative concrete contractor.
  5. Patch any holes with concrete patch. If you want a worn rustic or industrial look, leave the holes in tact. 
  6. Vacuum or sweep again.
  7. Mop your floor with a cleanser to remove residue, dirt, and loose particles.
  8. Paint for concrete floors is more expensive, but its also more durable and long lasting than wall paint. Use a spray gun if you can. They are faster and use less paint than a paint brush. Many consider an HLVP spray gun the best hvlp spray gun. It leaves a softer finish because the pressure is lower. It is also easier for beginners to use and minimizes any over spray paint waste.
  9. You can find more painting and staining products here.

10 Tips for Painting Concrete Floors

  1. Remove glue, nails and any concrete bumps. Sandpaper removes glue easily. 
  2. Concrete must completely clean and dry. Use a humidifier to remove excess moisture within 1-5 days.
  3. Only use concrete floor paint. Good quality brands are listed here. Make sure you read reviews.
  4. Apply two coats concrete primer to your floors. This binds to the concrete, allowing the topcoat to stick.
  5. Allow 24 hours for the primer to dry. Apply the epoxy. Use a paint small brush, starting around the perimeter.
  6. Continue painting. Start away from the entrance using a lambswool roller on a poll.
  7. Your first coat of concrete floor paint takes at least 12 hours to dry.
  8. Apply your second coat of concrete floor paint and epoxy paint.
  9. To avoid any risk of scratching floors, wait 7 days before walking on painted concrete floors with shoes or adding furniture. The primer adds time to the drying process, no matter what the paint can says. 
  10. If your painted concrete floors scratch, touch up with concrete floor paint and epoxy paint.

Painting Concrete Floors Finishes

Solid colors, borders or stencils are great tools for painting concrete floors. Acid etching solutions or stains are a different look, take more time and skill to transform your floors completely. Etching solutions react with the concrete to create patterns, stains are absorbed by the concrete. 

Not all concrete floors are suitable or can absorb stain. If are planning on staining your concrete test it first by placing some water on it. If the water is absorbed quickly, your concrete will most likely absorb stain. If the water beads on top of the concrete, you might have to reconsider your options. The video below will help.

Dark stain produces a stone-like look. First, apply stain to you floors with a garden sprayer. Allow to dry. Apply a different color stain to create a layered granite look. The sealer is applied on the dried surface with a brush or roller.

3603a9315575a34855c00aa04e2e8211 granite look

Source: Pinterest and Lake Girl Paints

This short video explains how to use epoxy paint for concrete floors for a decorative concrete floor.

To create a pattern or border, tape the floor then apply the stain. Use a quality product like Valspar 1534 Porch and Floor Latex  for the best result. More concrete paints and stains here.


For the best result stain the concrete a second time, this time with the tape removed.

stencilled floor - source -
What about creating your own floorboards using paint on concrete, like these painted floor boards below?


Painting Concrete – Concrete Floor Rugs

Painting a concrete floor ‘rug’ can be as big, small or intricate as you want. If you don’t want to wait or buy a stencil, and prefer to make your own, here’s a tutorial to make your own stencils.


Source: Pinterest

This ‘rug’ effect is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. They add color and the look of texture. They also take less time and cost less than painting an entire floor. You can paint an intricate piece like the rug above or create a simple outline like the rug below.


Source: Pinterest


How to Stain Concrete Floors

This stained concrete floor look like tiled ceramic floor. The floor stays cool in summer and is easy to mop clean.

tywkiwdbi blogpsot

Source: Pinterest

Staining concrete floors not for the faint-hearted. The material cost for the floor above was around $500, but it was labor intensive. See more photos here.

Concrete stained floors need stains instead of paints. The effects you get depend on whether you use full strength or dilute the stains, and different stain to produce a marbling, granite or stone effect. At all times, follow the instructions.

Some notes on this floor:

  • It will last a lifetime. It’s easily cared for by mopping on wax every 6 months in high traffic spots.
  • To create the lines, use 1/2″ masking tape, then spray the stain over. The natural concrete color comes through when the painters tape is removed.
  • This is an acid stain and reacts directly with the concrete.
  • Once stained, a urethane sealer followed by a coat of wax are applied.  
  • The look above used one brown stain color. The dark areas are full strength. Lighter areas are diluted with water 1:1.

Whether you create a painted concrete floor rug, stain or use an etching solution, do it yourself or bring in a decorative concrete contractor, the final results of painted concrete or stained concrete can be spectacular, giving your home a truly unique feel and look. 

25 Responsesso far.

  1. windows in peoria says:

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

  2. web page says:

    It is important that you wash it, That strong musty odor is
    usually caused by improperly stretched carpets. An LCD brings its own backlight to the party, meaning you can see that many customers requires the services of NYC duct
    carpet cleaning. This means the wool is stain
    resistant not stain proof.

  3. Painting Tips says:

    Great post! Been reading around for info on this kind of paint job. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Morgan says:

    Have you tried painting over stain? We are staining all the floors in our house and I would love to stencil our bathroom and closets with something cool! Thanks!

    • Christine says:

      Hi Morgan
      Thanks for the email. You can easily stencil over stained floors as long as they are not heavily varnished. Apply a seal over the final job to protect your work!

      Hope it turns out beautifully!


  5. James Bergman says:

    I really like the idea of painting concrete. Looking at all of the images you have provided, it looks great. I especially like the painted rugs. However, if I could have my way I would want to get stamped concrete so that it would have more texture to it. Unfortunately it is not something you can do with existing concrete. I’ll have to stick to painting. Thanks for the tips.

  6. Bethany M says:

    I think you mean a “dehumidifier” in the tips section not a “humidifier.”

  7. Rosemary Jones says:

    Great video and ideas!! I love the Australian guy with how to paint a concrete floor – very user friendly. THANK YOU!!

  8. Amanda says:

    The first picture in the post; the “Moroccan-esque” stencil on the concrete floor, do you have a source for where that stencil can be purchased? Or a good source in general for floor stencils?


    • Christine says:

      Hi Amanda
      thank you so much for emailing. I hope I can help you.
      There are a few different places you can get these.
      Here’s a link to Amazon with different floor stencils.

      I think that’s a good place to start because there are so many different styles and prices to choose from.

      Good luck!


  9. Arlene says:

    Hi! Love your blog! I was considering painting my basement concrete floor. Right now we have pulled up the old carpet and found stick on wood flooring that is very ugly and old. I have been peeling some of it up. How do I get ride of all the adhesive that was left by those stick on wood pieces? I was going to paint it and then do a some kind of stencil pattern over it. Do you think my idea is doable? Thanks so much!

  10. Glynis says:

    Hi. Great info…thx. I have a few questions : we just poured a concrete floor in our new home. The concrete was coloured -triple black – so it is quite dark. I wanted to have a cedar branch design in a few select areas of the house, and thought I could use a real cedar branch as a sort of stencil. If I did this, and sprayed muriatic acid around the edges of the branch, would the outline be lighter than the untouched area? Or would it be the same colour and simply etched? What if I used a dyed acid – would it show up on the dark concrete? Any other suggestions for how I could use the branch as a stencil?

    • Christine says:

      Hi Gynis
      sorry for the late reply. I wanted to see if I could find specific information for you using muriatic acid (or hydrochloric acid) and its not that easy… and probably why professionals charge so much! Its like a secret society!
      Hope some of this information helps!

      I understand that Muriatic acid can also brighten concrete but that is not the same as lightening it.

      This is one of the hardest issues to deal with. Because integral color is such a durable and “integral” part of the concrete, it’s very difficult to change the color. Going from a light to a dark color can be achieved with tinted sealers and colored coatings. But to go from dark to light, without making the surface look like it has been painted, often requires application of a micro-thin colored overlay. However, this is a costly fix and will not work over exposed aggregate.

      To reduce the color intensity and tone down the darkness from black to gray, and efflorescence can help you do that. For this to work, the concrete must be free of all sealers and curing compounds. Use a garden hose or pressure washer, and saturate the concrete surface with lots of water. Then let Mother Nature take effect. Multiple water-soaking cycles may be needed, and there is no guarantee that the color will lighten to the desired shade, if at all.

      I’m not sure you can achieve that with using a branch as a stencil. So you can etch it but not lighten it – I hope that is what you want!

      I’ve also found a site with a video on how to stencil concrete floors here using an acid etching gel which will give a lighter result. You may want to work out how to create a stencil from your branch because over time it will destroyed so the first few times you might get a reasonable result but by the end of it… well, there may not be enough branch to give the same result.

      BUT I did find the name of someone that makes templates – they sell them too, but I didn’t see anything like a branch.
      Hope that helps!

      Here are some steps to etching with acid that might also help.

      All concrete, both new and old, must be acid etched in the following manner:
      1. Etch with a mixture of 1 part (32%) Commercial Hydrochloric (Muriatic) Acid and 2 parts clean water. Add acid to
      water when mixing. Do not add water to acid as reaction may be violent. Apply about 1 litre of this mixture to 3
      square metres of concrete. Thoroughly wet the entire concrete surface area directly from a plastic watering can (or
      other suitable method). Before scrubbing, ensure that entire surface is wet with acid mixture. The wet area should
      then be scrubbed to ensure penetration of acid into concrete. Do not rely on scrubbing to distribute acid mixture to
      dry areas as this acid will already be partly reacted and thus be ineffective on dry concrete areas.
      2. CAUTION: Hydrochloric acid is corrosive and needs to be handled with care. Avoid contact with the skin and eyes.
      Wear impervious gloves and protective goggles. If skin contact occurs remove contaminated clothing and wash skin
      thoroughly. If splashed in eyes wash out with large quantities of clean water and obtain medical attention. If
      swallowed do not induce vomiting. Drink plenty of water or milk and obtain medial attention.
      3. The concrete must be well wet with acid. It should bubble for 3-5 minutes. Allow 10-15 minutes for the etching
      action to be complete.
      4. If acid does not react with concrete it is an indication that the surface of the concrete was not free of oil or grease,
      and further cleaning treatment is required. Repeat acid etching until the reaction occurs. If necessary increase
      concentration of acid.
      5. When etching is complete, wash the surface down with plenty of fresh water. Brush during washing with a stiff brush
      to remove concrete salts.
      6. When the surface is properly etched it will appear slightly granular and free from any glaze.
      7. On very dense machine-trowelled surfaces, repeat applications of acid may be necessary to get a properly etched
      8. Allow the surface to dry thoroughly. A moist surface will not allow proper adhesion of the paint. 7 days should be
      considered a normal drying time. Before painting, the presence of moisture can be detected by laying a piece of
      clear plastic on the surface to be coated. Tape all round the edges, ensuring a good seal and leave for two (2) hours
      during daylight. If moisture condenses under the plastic, do not coat, but leave surface to dry and test again.
      9. Before painting sweep thoroughly or vacuum to remove dust and grit left by the etching process.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Hi christine- i have carpet directly over cement floor in living room. I dont want wall to wall carpeting anymore but im worried about how cold the floor may get in winter….any suggestions?

    • Christine says:

      Hi Rebecca
      So good to hear from you!

      We had wall to wall carpets and when we replaced them with wooden flooring we found our health improved dramatically. No matter how clean you keep your carpets, dust mites etc have a way of settling in.

      On the other hand, concrete is pretty tough to live with in colder months.

      My main suggestion is area rugs. You can choose different sizes for different zones – and even layer them.

      Sisal is a good natural option and moderately priced.

      Depending on the size of your rooms you can get jute or sisal in large area rugs, so you have a buffer between you and the cold concrete floor.
      Have a look at this collection from Amazon for pricing and you can see they are not particularly expensive –

      If you are polishing your concrete floors, then smaller rugs with runners, could solve your problem so you can show off your concrete floors in the summer months and cover up in the winter.

      Here are some runners to get some ideas and that won’t break the bank, and many are washable.

      Remember to choose one with a non-slip backing, especially if you are polishing your concrete.

      That’s my advice without knowing much more – hope it helps a little.

      Thank you again for writing in.



  12. KUl says:

    Can I paint a mural on the concrete floor and then apply a clear coat rust oleum epoxysheild over it? We are hoping to do something like that for our coffee shop floor.

    • Christine says:

      Yes.. but you need to use industrial or garage strength for all of it because depending on the amount of traffic, it wears away.
      It will look great! I did it a while ago for a retail store and it was amazing.

      • KUl says:

        industrial strength paint? The expoxyshield is for garage floors or do you think a different stronger product? Thank you so much!
        And one more question, if the garage floor has been painted previously and it is worn off in places…should we remove the old pain, or paint over it? Thank you so much!

        • Christine says:

          I’ve used some expoxyshield paints for garages and they have come off…
          Whatever you decide on, when you are purchasing it ask about the old paint? You can paint over it but if its glossy or similar garage paint, they could bond and it may peel after a while. Ask. It may help you decide.

          Good luck. It sounds great!

  13. Steve says:

    I hav a new concrete slab in my shop so will it need much prep s far as cleaning?

    • Christine says:

      Hi Steve
      it will really depend on how much grease and dirt is on it – the less of each the better your final result.
      Good luck


  14. Michelle F says:

    Hello, great blog and a lot of information. I am painting a hockey rink on our basement floor. I have found the concrete paint with epoxy that I will be using. I note that the floors you describe are almost glossy and talk about a sealant? What do you suggest for my project? It needs to be durable (as possible) as it will be used with sticks and foam balls. Thanks for any information!