So you’ve decided to paint a concrete surface, but where do you start? A project painting your driveway can often be daunting and overwhelming. There’s a lot of choice of paints on the market, and so many places to look for prep and application tips and tricks.
Painting concrete can be a challenge, so it’s important to pick the right paint for the job. It can be difficult to know where to begin. Which surfaces are you painting? What does the paint need to do? Which brands are the best?
In this review, we’ll help you sift through all of the information to work out what concrete paint is best for your project. Giving you ten reviews of the best concrete paints available in 2020, please use this review to narrow down your options.
In our buyer’s guide section, we’ll discuss the properties you should be looking for in concrete paint. Plus any top tips and questions for applying your paint once purchased.
Concrete Paint Features To Look Out For
First, before getting stuck into the reviews, let’s take a look at the most important features to keep in mind when shopping for concrete paint.
Suitability for your space
Different floor types need different types of concrete paint. Whether you’re in need of exterior concrete paint (like driveway paint), interior concrete paint, or some anti-slip paint for concrete, you need to think about when and how the surface you’re painting on is used.
The wrong paint for the condition of your concrete and its working environment will end up looking messy and unprofessional. To avoid this, take time to think about the properties you need from the concrete paint, and then use the reviews in this guide to help make your choice!
Finish and appearance
Depending on the space you’re painting, finish and appearance can make a big difference to your choice of concrete paint. High-quality paints with a clean finish ensure a long-lasting, aesthetic project. This matters most when painting in public areas where your work will be seen by a lot of people!
Painting concrete in an industrial setting is very different to painting it in a domestic space. Luckily, concrete paint technology is evolving and advancing fast. This means you can easily and relatively inexpensively find a great paint to create a professional finish, without the professional knowledge.
Protective and safety properties
Connected to how suitable a concrete paint is for your space, the level of safety and protectiveness the paint offers is essential. Paints need to be able to endure heavy foot-traffic if it’s used in a busy space, and you need to consider what will be coming into contact with the surface. Whether you need anti-slip paint for concrete is also a consideration.
Setting a budget for your project, and making sure your concrete paint fits within it, is important. How many coats you will use, and how much coverage is needed are essential to working out cost. Concrete paints are generally very cost-efficient, but there are lots of different price points available on the market to choose from.
1. KILZ L377711 Concrete and Garage Floor Paint
Ideal for uncoated concrete surfaces
Formulated to last in hard-to-clean, high-traffic areas
Dries in 2 hours, recoat in 4 hours
KILZ has been making high-quality paints and primers for forty years and was crowned Paint Brand of the Year in 2015. It is water-based, and therefore a solid choice for cement paint. Generally, you can expect good quality and lasting finish with KILZ concrete paint.
This Epoxy acrylic formulation works as both an interior concrete paint, and outdoor concrete paint. Reviews say it is very durable, easy to clean, and won’t mark or crack easily. This makes it ideal for driveway paint, or for in a garage, where it will come into contact with heavy cars and hot tires.
It is not recommended to use this paint on vertical surfaces as it isn’t resistant to dripping, and the coverage is quite light so a few coats are necessary for higher-coverage finishes. Users suggest leaving it for three or four days to try before driving on it when used as driveway paint or for a garage.
Overall, this concrete paint is durable and ideal for high-traffic, hard-to-clean areas, making it a reliable and lasting choice!
2. RUST-OLEUM 225359 Epoxy Shield Concrete Floor Paint
Suitable as interior and exterior paint
UV, tire, chemical, and weather-resistant
Self-priming, only one coat required
RUST-OLEUM is the way to go for a U.S.-made, easy to apply, interior, and exterior concrete paint. This product is acrylic-based, and is both hot tire and chemical resistant, making it extremely appropriate for garage spaces and as a driveway paint.
This Armour Gray satin finish colored paint does not require a primer. A single coat is thick and high-coverage. This is ideal if you want to spend less on your concrete paint, as it will need fewer layers to create a complete finish. Application is easy, and the ability to clean up any mess with just soap and water makes this a safe product to use in indoor and outdoor spaces.
Overall, this is a great and reliable product that customers rate highly. It is recommended to be used with a topcoat or sealant for a more professional, long-lasting finish. Just remember: the key to enduring concrete paint is thorough preparation!
Best To Apply
3. Coloredepoxies 10002 Clear Epoxy Resin Coating
Waterproofing, mold and mildew resistant
Odorless, clear, high-gloss finish
Comes with clear instructions
Colored Epoxies’s three gallon high-gloss concrete paint is ideal for basements and garages. At approximately 125 square foot to 170 square foot coverage per gallon, this completely odorless non-water based professional paint will give a brilliant finish to any concrete project.
Being UV resistant, and appropriate for applying on both horizontal and vertical surfaces, this formulation is a lot more flexible than others on the market. Reviews say it is extremely easy to apply, and the finish is extremely professional if you do the prep work properly. No additional primers are needed with this product, so that means less for you to buy!
Available in clear, black, brown, yellow, gray, red, green, and white, Colored Expoxies have a lot more concrete paint colors to choose from. It also comes with detailed application instructions, making this kit ideal for those painting concrete for the first time.
4. Eco Advance EACON16CON Waterproofer
Liquid concentrate formula
Eco-friendly, plant and animal safe
Eco Advance’s waterproofing concrete paint is a great option to paint a surface that you want to keep dry. Ideal for use on concrete, as well as brick, stucco, natural and synthetic stone, and paving, this concrete paint is very flexible. It dries clear as a penetrating sealer, meaning it will disappear into the concrete surface and offer protection without a visible finish. It comes in liquid concentrate form, meaning a 16-oz container makes 1 gallon of waterproofing paint.
For those who are conscious of environmental impact, this product is an eco-friendly, low VOC, and low-odor formula. It is safe for use around people, plants, and pets, making it good for use in the home setting despite being a commercial-grade product. As it is a breathable waterproofing paint, it works well on concrete without cracking or blistering.
Specifically outdoor concrete paint, it is not useful for garage surfaces. Whilst being water repellant, it does not offer much protection against heat and friction, therefore areas with high-traffic that come into contact with hot car tires won’t benefit from this finish. It is good, however, as an exterior driveway paint for keeping water off and stopping mildew and mold forming!
5. COMPLEMENTARY COATINGS Anti-Slip Concrete Coating
High coverage per gallon
Anti-slip paint for concrete
Complementary Coatings’ Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Concrete Coating is useful for making surfaces safe when they aren’t naturally slip-resistant. Condensation on non-slip resistant concrete surfaces can be dangerous, so painting them with an anti-slip paint for concrete is essential to make them safe.
This product is used as a seal coat primer for using over the top of concrete paint. However, it can also be used as a standalone coating on concrete (or asphalt) that has not been coated before. Users recommend using it as a seal coat primer. It is also appropriate for both horizontal and vertical surfaces.
The anti-slip properties make this concrete paint a suitable choice for concrete patios or decks around pools or other areas where slipping is likely. It is clear, so will not change the color of the surface. Something to note, however: this product is not compliant with SCAQMD and CARB, placing limitations on its use if you live in California.
6. UGL Drylok Latex Base Concrete Paint
Suitable for interior and exterior concrete and masonry
Resistant to weather, washing, acid, and alkalis
Use on new or previously painted surfaces
UGL’s Drylock concrete paint is made with a latex base, suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces. Usable as a ‘treatment’ for masonry flooring, it works well on multiple surfaces. This means it is suitable as concrete paint but has the versatility to be applied to materials like granite or brick too. It can be applied to both new and previously painted concrete surfaces. This makes it a great all-rounder for lots of different types of projects.
This product is ranked highly for its protective qualities, being non-flammable and resistant to weather and chemicals. This makes it ideal as a driveway paint, but also for indoor spaces like basements or garages. Additionally, there is no need for a primer and is suitable for vehicular traffic just 24 hours after application (although 5 days is recommended for optimum resistance to damage).
Users note this paint is smooth to apply and gives a professional finish. Using the recommended instructions for applications, including the suggested brush, is a must. Ratings for this paint are high, making it one of the best concrete floor paints on the market today.
7. BEHR Interior/Exterior Concrete Paint
Suitable for horizontal surfaces
Fills hairline cracks in concrete
Anti-slip paint for concrete
This concrete paint is marketed as a unique anti-slip paint for concrete which has a speckled finish. It is dirt and hot tire pick-up resistance. This makes it a good choice for garages and driveways, being both an interior and exterior concrete paint.
Covering up to 50 square foot per gallon, it requires a minimum of two coats for full coverage. You might need to buy more of this product than some other concrete paints on the market. However, it is available in custom colors, meaning it’s much more flexible to fit your specific project.
With the ability to fill in hairline cracks in set concrete, this paint offers a good solution to slightly damaged or older flooring. Whilst reviews are mixed, BEHR’s Granite Grip concrete paint is a solid choice if you’re looking for a unique speckled finish with substantial anti-slip properties.
8. UNITED GILSONITE LAB Semi-Gloss Floor Paint
Water and chemical resistant
Cleans up with water and can be stored after opening
This cement paint offers a semi-gloss finish using advanced epoxy technology. It is a highly durable and chemical-resistant paint, which can be used outside or inside. It is therefore ideal for garages, basements, and exterior concrete floors and walkways.
At one part epoxy, this product is more like a paint than a more complex epoxy product. Full epoxy requires more time and expertise, so this is perfect for an epoxy finish without the required knowledge and effort. Users advise a reasonable amount of prep work, however. Make sure to fill any cracks or holes before using this concrete paint if you want a more professional finish.
One of the advantages of this paint is that it is low VOC. A rare property amongst most concrete paints on the market, low VOC means slower drying times. Whilst this initially seems like a disadvantage, it gives a longer time to work with and clean up the product. If you don’t want to be rushed to get your paint perfect, United Gilsonite Lab’s epoxy paint is the one for you.
9. INSL-X TuffCrete Concrete Stain Pain
Suitable for horizontal and vertical surfaces
Different levels of application – stain, or opaque
Fast drying and large area coverage per gallon
This INSL-X concrete paint is a water-based formula with waterproofing properties. Easy clean-up with soap and water and a recoating time of four hours makes this product relatively straightforward to use. It can be applied both indoors and outside, on horizontal and vertical surfaces. This makes it suitable as a driveway paint, for garages, or even for masonry walls.
With a high surface area coverage of 400 to 500 square feet per gallon, a little goes a long way. One coat makes for a light stain finish, but two or more creates a more opaque, full look. Adding in the non-fading, fast-drying properties, INSL-X’s paint is a versatile product for a lot of different projects.
The manufacturer recommends following their preparation and application tips on the label for the best finish, and customers rate this advice highly. If you’re looking for a reliable, well-reviewed product, then this is one of the best concrete paints around!
10. Liquid Rubber Foundation and Basement Sealant
Storable with no pot life or working time
Suitable for indoor and outdoor, vertical and horizontal surfaces
Liquid Rubber’s products are known for their durability and easy application. This concrete paint is no exception. A water-based formula that contains no VOCs or solvents, it is also non-flammable and usable both indoors and outdoors. It can be used on vertical or horizontal surfaces, for example, like a driveway paint or garage paint, or for shower liners and basements.
This sealant paint creates a watertight seal to prevent moisture and mildew buildup. It is resistant to water, UV, salt, and chemical damage. Highly flexible once cured, users don’t need to worry about heavy loads or movement destroying their neatly painted surfaces. Additionally, Liquid Rubber offers reinforcing products like Seam Tape or Geo-Textile to reinforce their sealant paint even more.
Great for beginners, Liquid Rubber’s paint is easy to apply and can be stored for later use. The versatility and highly-rated endurance of this product make it one of the best concrete paints on the market right now!
What features should you consider when buying concrete paint?
Painting concrete is not the same as painting other surfaces. A concrete paint job can very easily look tired, worn, and unprofessional if it’s not done properly.
Concrete a tricky surface to paint. But with the right preparation and the insider knowledge of the best paint for concrete on the market for different surfaces, it can be a lot more manageable. It takes patience and time to get this process right, and a good bit of research to pick the best concrete floor paint.
If you put the effort in at the start though, your project will be a lot more professional and long-lasting. This section will take you through some of the key things to look for when finding the best concrete paint for your needs.
Suitability for your space
As mentioned previously, you need to consider your surface type before anything else. Driveways and indoor garages need high-quality concrete paint which can withstand high traffic, chemicals, and heat from tires. Generally, one part epoxy paint is considered the best concrete paint for these areas. This is because epoxy is more resistant to mold and mildew, chemicals, scuffing and chipping than a latex acrylic equivalent.
Likewise, you want to opt for paint with anti-slip properties if you’re painting a concrete pool deck. More UV protection is important for outside surfaces, but less of a consideration if you’re painting an interior garage or basement. Make sure to think carefully about what matters most for your space before picking concrete paint!
Finish and appearance
Getting the right finish and appearance for your surface is also essential. Painted concrete can look amazing if you take the time to pick the right paint and prepare the surface properly. Paints come in all sorts of different finishes, including clear stains, bright colors, and more muted grays. Many can also incorporate decorative flecks. You can buy a satin, semi-gloss, or matte paint for your concrete surface and can even paint on designs if you’re feeling adventurous!
Take care to carry out the right prep work to ensure a higher quality finish which is long-lasting. You will make different choices about this depending on if it’s a new or old surface. There are plenty of instructions online for prepping your surface, and many paints come with their own specific instructions too.
Cleaning and sweeping the area is always the first step to remove any dirt or residues. Patching holes and cracks, more cleaning, and preparations such as shot blasting or grinding the surface are also important parts of the process. Take time to evaluate the condition of your floor and visualize the desired finish to get these steps right!
Protective and safety properties
Following on, how protective and safe your paint will make the surface you’re applying it to is very important. As already mentioned, anti-slip paint is a must for pool decks, and garage and driveway paint needs to be resistant to chemicals and hot tires.
Safety considerations also extend to the paint application process. Concrete paint can be damaging to clothing and skin, so wearing the right protective equipment, such as goggles and gloves, is a good idea when painting your surface. Using soap and water clean-up paint makes it easier to remove any paint on your skin quickly. Even if your paint is non-flammable and heat resistant when set, keep it away from sparks and open flames. If it is storable, keep it sealed tightly and away from heat and direct light in a well-ventilated space.
Environment and Health
Additionally, you might want to consider the environmental impact of the paint you’re buying. There are plenty of options for low VOC paints these days; that’s paint with low ‘volatile organic compounds’. These compounds can be harmful to both you and the environment, as they can easily become vapors or gasses. VOCs help paint dry and apply evenly, but they can cause a lot of respiratory and health problems.
This makes the application process riskier to your health, but also makes the surface more dangerous over time. If you have small children, pets, or respiratory problems, you should definitely consider low VOC concrete paint options. The trade-off is that these paints might not last as long, but the second application in the future is probably worth it for the sake of your health!
Luckily, a huge advantage of concrete paint is that it’s quite inexpensive. You don’t have to spend much money to transform and revive a dull concrete floor. When looking at what to buy, compare the coverage per gallon of the paints, as some will fill a much larger area than others. Also take a look at how many coats are recommended, and whether you need primers and sealants.
Many concrete paints these days don’t require either of these things, bringing the cost of your project down. This is an easy way to check you’ll be able to stick to a budget (if you have one), and not overspend on your concrete paint.
Our comprehensive review and guide take you through all the basics of picking the best concrete paint for your project. Including reviews of ten of the top products on the market today. Whilst the amount of choice around can be overwhelming, there are basic things you can look for to make your decision a lot easier.
The key to painting a good concrete surface is thorough prep, lots of research, and a high-quality paint that is right for your surface and setting. Take your time with this process, and you’ll have a great, professional concrete surface perfect for your needs!
Do I need to prepare a concrete floor before painting?
Usually, yes you do need to prepare the surface. At a basic level, some kind of cleaning is required to make sure there is no dust or residue on the surface is necessary. Beyond this, it’s good to check the condition and fill any cracks or chips. Thoroughly wash the floor, and get rid of any old paint before you apply a new layer. If you want a professional result and durable finish, then don’t skimp on the preparation.
How should you prepare a concrete surface for painting?
Cleaning and preparation of a concrete surface need to be carried out to fix its existing condition. Think about the working environment the paint will need to endure when picking the type of paint you’ll be using. Concrete in professional settings is often polished a lot and finished to a smooth surface. However, this is not often seen in domestic settings.
Most of the time, you will want a reasonable degree of anti-slip built into the paint. The surface is more likely to be for a garage or driveway than a glossy interior. It is also expensive to prepare a surface in the same way as industrial settings.
There is no one right method to prepare a concrete floor for painting. However, the three most-used ways to prepare your surface for concrete paint are shot blasting, scarifying, and grinding.
Chemical methods are also possible, but less used in domestic settings. These methods are sometimes used in combination. However, avoid just sanding the surface as this makes it smooth, resulting in the paint not adhering to the surface.
When can new concrete be painted?
Before it’s ready to be painted, a new concrete surface can take at least thirty days to set and cure. Sometimes, it can even take as long as ninety days. This mostly depends on the location, climate, and weather of your surface. Being patient with this setting process is essential if you want a clean, professional finish on your concrete.
Additionally, you need a pH of less than nine before the concrete is suitable to paint. Any more than this means the paint will not set well. Instructions for testing the concrete pH with indicator paper are available online.
Can I paint old concrete?
Yes, but you need to prepare the surface well. Older concrete can have more cracks and chips to fill before painting to make sure the paint doesn’t crack on top.
Check to see if the surface has been painted previously. If it has, a rule to follow is always getting back to the original surface before painting. This will ensure a more clean finish, which is less likely to lift or crack.