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See all Floor coating how-to »

Preparation of Uncoated Concrete for Paints & Stains

Skill:  Intermediate DIY'er

A great looking finish begins with the right start. Following the proper prep procedures will dramatically affect the look and longevity of your finished project.

For Best Results:

Before you start, make sure you wipe up any oil/grease spills and scrape and sweep away any dirt or loose contaminants.

New concrete must cure for 30 days before you can apply any floor treatment.

Suggested Supplies

  • Bucket
  • Broom (Stiff Bristle)
  • Brush (2"-2½")
  • Bucket Grid
  • Chemical Resistant Gloves
  • Extension Pole
  • Hose
  • High pressure Nozzle
  • Mop
  • Paint Can Opener
  • Paint Tray
  • Paint Tray Liner
  • Protective Apparel
  • Pump Sprayer
  • Rags
  • Roller Cover and Frame
  • Stir Stick

How to Clean and Etch a Concrete Surface

Step 1

Use BEHR PREMIUM® Concrete & Masonry Cleaner and Etcher to properly prepare your surface. This product will clean your concrete surfaces and ensure penetration and adhesions of paints, stains and sealers.

TIP:
For your safety, please wear protective clothing, eye goggles, and acid-resistant rubber gloves and footwear.
Step 2

Use a plastic watering can to evenly distribute the cleaner and etcher product on your concrete surface.

TIP:
For best results, apply the product onto a dry surface.
Step 3

Spread the etcher on your surface using a stiff bristled, non-metal brush or broom. Allow the product to stand on your surface for at least 10-20 minutes. Then scrub vigorously using the broom.

TIP:
Ensure the cleaner and etcher does not dry on the surface. Mist with water as needed.
Step 4

Thoroughly rinse the concrete surface with clean water using either a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle or a pressure washer. Prevent all rinse solution from entering the storm drains.

TIP:
Use a non-metal squeegee or mop to help remove excess water from your surface.
Step 5

Allow the area to dry. To ensure the surface is clean of all residue, rub your fingers over the surface. If residue is visible on your fingers, repeat the rinsing step.

TIP:
The surface is ready for priming when it feels like medium-light grit sandpaper and no residue or loose concrete remains.

How to Prime a Concrete Surface

Step 1

Once the surface is cleaned and etched, it is ready for the bonding primer. Apply the bonding primer using a high-quality pump sprayer, 1/4 - 3/8" nap roller cover, a nylon-polyester brush, or pad applicator.

Step 2

Apply BEHR PREMIUM® Concrete & Masonry Bonding Primer to the surface. This product will enhance the adhesion of the topcoat to the surface.

TIP:
1 gal will cover approximately 350-500 sq. ft.
Step 3

The bonding primer will dry to the touch in approximately 2 hours. Allow for longer dry times in cooler temperatures and higher humidity.

Apply a topcoat after at least 4 hours but before 30 days.

TIP:
Use this product when air and surface temperatures are between 50-90 degrees F.