Before redoing your basement and painting the walls and floors, you need to make sure you are choosing the right concrete paint for the job. Depending on whether you have stairs, floors, or walls to paint, you will require a different type of paint for each. You will be faced with epoxies, concrete stain, water-based and oil-based paints to choose from. The right decision will determine how long the paint lasts.
First, examine the concrete surfaces to determine what kind of preparation they need and if a concrete sealer is going to be required. Any loose or peeling paint needs to be stripped before you can begin. Make sure, if you are painting over current paint that you match up the type correctly. Oil-based painted walls need to be painted with the same type, because water-based paint will not stick well to oil-based ones.
If there is no paint on the walls, they may need to be treated first. Some concrete is not in condition to take paint successfully; such as if it is too porous, degraded, or cracked. In cases such as that, a concrete stain may be your best bet. This works in the same way as wood stain, as it will penetrate the surface of the concrete, staining it so that there is no paint to peel off yet adding color.
Before painting, make sure the walls are clean and start with a thinned down layer of paint to penetrate the concrete to allow for a better bond. Water-based paint should be thinned down by adding one pint of water per gallon. After that, apply two regular coats. However, if you are using oil-based paint, dilute it with mineral spirits rather than water, and follow the same procedure.
When choosing concrete paint, not only do you have to take into account whether it is walls, floors, or stairs you’ll be painting, but also whether it is interior or exterior. Never paint over peeling or cracked paint, always sand and strip the surface to give your paint the best chance to adhere. In addition, anytime you are repainting, make sure you match up the paint types or you will find yourself repainting in a couple months because the paint has already started to crack and peel off.