There are many types of paints available for purchase at your local hardware store, and it can be hard to know where to start looking for your project’s needs. The basic categories of paint you will be choosing from are acrylic, oil-based, and epoxy resin—each available in interior and exterior use varieties. Acrylic paints are typically the cheapest, while epoxy resins are the most expensive. When deciding what the best paint to use on concrete, there are a couple of things to take into consideration.
First, what is the type of concrete surface you will be working on? Is it a garage floor, wall, stairs, or an exterior surface? This will make a huge difference in your ideal paint choice. If you are painting a concrete wall, whether it is interior or exterior, you should be able to use acrylic paints as long as the walls are in relatively good condition (you can use exterior paints inside but not the other way around). Cheap acrylic paint might not adhere well to wall surfaces that are cracked or crumbling however. It is also important to know that acrylic paints will not stick to a wall that has been painted with oil-based paint; surfaces that already have oil-based paint should only have other oil-based paints used on them.
If you are planning on painting a concrete floor, like the one in your garage, you should stay away from acrylic and go for either oil-based or epoxy because acrylic paints do not hold up well against the wear and tear that concrete floors are subjected to. Epoxy, though more expensive, is the best bet. Oil-based paints can be slippery on concrete, which is a definite no-no for something like a garage floor. Epoxy resins are much more durable, last longer, and leave your floor less slick; they are also much easier to clean.
Some concrete surfaces are so damaged, cracked, and porous that no type of paint will stick to them well. In these situations you may want to opt for a concrete stain rather than actual paint. Concrete stains work just like wood stains by seeping into the surface and changing its color. Applying a concrete stain can be a little complicated and may be too big of a job for the inexperienced do-it-yourself painter. If you want to go with this option, you should use TalkLocal to find a professional painter in your area. All you need to do is enter a description of your project requirements and TalkLocal will automatically connect you with someone who can meet that specific need.