How to Paint Concrete Basement Floors Using Epoxyshield

June 10, 2021

*This post is sponsored by Rust-Oleum. All content and opinions are my own.

When we moved into our home two years ago, we only used the unfinished basement for storage. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that we realized its untapped potential. You can see in the before images below how large our basement is!

Update your basement concrete floors with this budget-friendly DIY | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #painted floors
Update your basement concrete floors with this budget-friendly DIY | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #painted floors
Update your basement concrete floors with this budget-friendly DIY | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #painted floors

While in quarantine, we realized that our kids needed a dedicated space to run around and play with their toys. We created a makeshift playroom in the unfinished basement and it worked out great!

This year, I really wanted to give the basement a more finished look and began planning a budget-friendly basement makeover. We built a utility room to hide the mechanicals, updated the overhead lighting, sprayed the exposed ceiling black, and painted the concrete floors. 

I decided to paint the floors using Rust-Oleum’s Epoxyshield Garage Floor Coating kits instead of carpeting because of its durability and clean finish. With two kids and three dogs, I wanted low-maintenance floors where we didn’t have to work about spills or accidents.

The floors went from looking like this:

Update your basement concrete floors with this budget-friendly DIY | Building Bluebird 
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To this:

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #painted floors

I absolutely love how the floors turned out and excited to share how to paint concrete basement floors with all of you. Let’s get started!


How to Paint Concrete Basement Floors

*To find a full source list of the materials used for this project, scroll to the bottom of the post.

Step 1 | Measure the Room

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Measure the size of the space to determine the number of kits to purchase. My basement was roughly 1,500 square feet, so I purchased 7 kits and used 6.

You can find the Epoxyshield Garage Floor Coating kits at your local Home Depot. Before leaving the store, choose a tint color on the side of the box and ask the paint department to tint each kit. I chose New Concrete for our floors because it is a light, neutral color that will go nicely with all of our furniture.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
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**I accidentally forgot this step and used an entire untinted kit before noticing that it was not the correct color. I don’t think it registered right away because I chose such a light tint. I took it all back to Home Depot and the nice woman at the paint desk let me know that I essentially painted a can of glue on the floors!

Each kit includes one base gallon (Part B) , one quart of the activator (Part A), a mixing stick, a bag of concrete etch and decorative chips.

Step 2 | Thoroughly Clean the Floors

I began by removing all items from the concrete floor and thoroughly sweeping the surface with a broom and shop vacuum.

Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

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Cleaner & Degreaser

Next, I used the Rust-Oleum Cleaner and Degreaser solution to remove as much dirt and grime as possible. I followed the instructions on the bottle and mixed the solution with water in a large bucket.

Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

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I worked in sections and poured the solution onto the concrete. I used a deck scrub brush to clean the surface to remove as much dirt as possible. Sometimes a section of the concrete would begin to dry up before I removed the dirty water, so I would pour more water over those sections.

Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #budgetfriendlydiy
Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #budgetfriendlydiy

Squeegee and Vacuum Dirty Water

Next, I used a floor squeegee to pool the water together and vacuum up the dirty water.

Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #budgetfriendlydiy
Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #budgetfriendlydiy

This process took a full day to complete because of the size of the basement (1,500 SF) and the process of carrying the shop vac upstairs and dumping out the water.

Step 3 | Etch the Concrete Floor (Optional)

Disclaimer: Etching the basement floor adds durability and increases adhesion, but this step is not required. If you are using his product on your garage floors, etching is an important step for durability with cars driving on it.

Mix the bag of concrete etch provided in the kit with 2 gallons of water in a watering can until it is dissolved.

Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

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Pre-wet the floors using a hose and evenly distribute the etching solution over the floor. Vigorously scrub the floors with the bristle brush to loosen dust and dirt. Once you have finished scrubbing, use the floor squeegee to pool the solution together and remove it with a shop vac.

Step 4 | Rinse the Floor & Dry

Rinse the floor with water one more time to remove any remaining etch solution. Use the squeegee and vacuum to remove the water from the floor. Once the floor is dry, rub your fingers over the ground. If dust or powder comes off, repeat scrubbing and rinsing until the floor is clean. Turn on a few fans and allow the floors to dry for 24 hours.

Update your unfinished basement by painting the concrete floors | Building Bluebird

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Step 5 | Mix Part A & Part B Together

To activate the epoxy, mix the two cans in the kit together.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
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I poured Part A, the activator, into the gallon can of Part B, the base. The two cans should be mixed thoroughly for 3 minutes. I tried the stir stick with the first kit and quickly upgraded to the paddle paint mixer attachment for my drill.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

I purchased the Rust-Oleum Anti-Skid Additive and added it to the epoxy mix. This helps to prevent slipping when the floor inevitably gets wet. When the paint is mixed, it has been activated and should be applied within the set time frame indicated on the instructions.

Step 6 | Apply Floor Coating

When you are ready to begin, choose the furthest corner of the room and work your way towards the exit.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
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Working in 4×4 sections, use a synthetic paintbrush to trim the edges of the room.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

Use a ⅜ inch nap and 9” roller frame to apply the floor coating in the 4×4 section.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement
Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

Continue brushing the edges and rolling the paint until you complete the room.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
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For the basement design, I decided to skip adding the decorative chips and only apply the paint on the concrete floors. This product only requires one coat of paint, however, you may be able to see dark blemishes with the lighter tints. Before painting our floors, I filled a few cracks with a dark gray epoxy crack filler. You can see where I filled in the cracks with a single coat of epoxy paint.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
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I applied a second coat of paint to this area and the darker blemishes went away!

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

There were a few small spots on the floor that would not take the epoxy paint. I must not have removed all of the gunk from the concrete.

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

Once the first coat of paint dried, I fixed these spots by painting a second coat on the areas where concrete was showing. It was an easy fix and they blend seamlessly into the floors!

After my touch-ups, I allowed the floor to dry for 24 hours and then put the basement back together!

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

After | Painted Concrete Basement Floor

Doesn’t it look so fresh and clean?!

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

Here is another angle of the basement before the makeover:

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

And the same area after!

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement
Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

Before painting the concrete basement floors:

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

After:

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

Before the painted concrete basement floors:

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

After:

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

This was a pretty physical DIY project, but totally worth it to get these results. I hope you found this tutorial on how to paint concrete basement floors helpful and it gives you the courage to try it yourself!


Materials Used:

Pin the Image Below to Reference Later!

Update your basement concrete floors using Rust-Oleum's Epoxyshielf Garage Floor Coating | Building Bluebird 
#rustoleum #epoxyshield #basementmakeover #paintedfloors #unfinishedbasement

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