Painting concrete is no easy task. Painting concrete in a basement is even more complicated. But if you take your time, work diligently and follow the steps below, you can successfully paint a poured concrete wall in your basement and have the finish last a long time.
You can paint poured concrete basement walls, but there are several steps you must take before you actually begin to paint. You will need to clean the wall thoroughly, apply an etching solution, fill in any cracks, use a concrete sealer and paint with latex-based paint.
In the paragraphs below, I will explain how to perform each of the steps I’ve listed above. I’ll go into detail about the purpose of each step and how it will help you achieve a high-quality, long-lasting paint job.
How to Paint Poured Concrete Basement Walls
1. Clean the Area
The first step anytime that you are going to paint a surface is to clean it.
This will ensure that the paint will adhere to the surface correctly and that the finish will be nice and smooth as opposed to rough and bumpy.
There are a few different ways that you can do this.
You can simply clean the wall by hand with a gentle rag and some very gentle soap.
You do not need to scrub the wall—just wipe away the dust and dirt and ensure the surface is free of any debris.
You can also pressure wash the wall, but this may be difficult to do if your basement is finished.
Pressure washing the wall is best for unfinished basements because it does create a bit of a mess.
Pressure washing the wall can also damage the concrete if you’re not careful.
You need to keep the pressure very low.
Remember that you are not trying to scrub or aggressively pressure wash the wall.
You are just cleaning any debris from the surface.
2. Apply an Etching Solution
An etching solution is a liquid that you can spray onto the wall you want to paint that will get rid of any sediment deposits on the wall.
This will serve to smooth out the wall even more, giving you a better surface to paint on
Etching solutions often contain abrasive acids, so it is essential to be careful not to get any on your skin.
You should also ensure that the room you’re in is well-ventilated.
Open a window or open the door to the outside before you start to spray the etching solution.
There is no need to scrub the etching solution.
Different brands will have different formulas and different instructions, so it is essential to read the bottle and follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely.
Once you’ve applied the etching solution, you just need to wait about 15 minutes, and then you can wipe the mixture away.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions is imperative, as some etching acids require another substance to stop the acid from reacting with the salt deposits in the concrete.
Read the bottle and follow the instructions carefully.
3. Fill in Any Cracks
After letting the etching solution time itself out or after you deactivate the acid with a different chemical, you can let the area dry and begin to fill in any large cracks or imperfections in the concrete.
Take your time and be thorough when you do this.
This step is critical to achieving a perfectly smooth surface that the paint will adhere to.
After you’ve filled in all the imperfections, you should then let the filler dry and sand down the wall lightly.
4. Apply a Concrete Sealer
Once your surfaces perfectly sealed, you can then apply a concrete sealer.
A concrete sealer will lock out any moisture that would try to seep into the porous concrete.
This step is vital, especially for basement walls.
Basements are the most humid area of a home because they are often below the water table.
Concrete that hasn’t been sealed correctly will retain water.
You do not want that if you are going to paint the wall.
There are a few brands that actually offer color-tinted concrete sealers that will change the color of the concrete as you seal it.
If efficiency is what you’re going for, this is the way to go.
Just apply the sealer in your choice of color and let it dry.
5. Paint the Wall
After letting the sealer dry completely, the only thing left to do is apply the paint in your choice of color.
You need to make sure that you purchase latex-based paint.
This is a durable type of paint that helps to lock out moisture further.
Apply one coat of paint to the wall and let it dry.
Then apply a second coat to really make the color pop and help all of the paint adhere to the concrete wall.
After the second coat of pain has dried, the only thing left to do is step back and admire your work.
Many people will tell you that you shouldn’t paint concrete walls in your basement because of all the excess moisture that is present in basements.
But as long as you follow the process I’ve outlined, you will end up with a high-quality finish on your wall that will last for a very long time.
Cheers, tools owners!