The Kitchen Staple You'll Want On Hand When Painting Cement Floors

Let's face it, cement floors are drab. They are gray, dull, and utterly forgettable. One cheap and easy way to liven them up is with paint. However, while paint can brighten and enrich a space, painted floors are much more likely to chip and get scratched up than walls are. Because we're constantly walking on them, our floors take a beating from shoes, pet claws, furniture scrapes, and any outdoor elements that make their way inside. Luckily there's a way to protect your cement floors from becoming prematurely marred and worn – prime them with vinegar.

Cement is very porous, meaning that dirt, grease, and grime can seep into its cracks and crevices to stay forever. Vinegar — particularly white vinegar — is exceptionally acidic. That's what makes it such a versatile cleaning tool. The acid content of the vinegar dissolves all those impurities from the cement, ensuring they won't be able to eat away at the paint from the underside. In addition, the vinegar's acidity evens out the surface of the cement floor, allowing your paint to go on smoothly and evenly and adhere to the cement better than it would otherwise.

How to prime your cement floor with vinegar

Just like priming a wall, priming a cement floor entails brushing it with a coat of primer before painting. In this case, however, the primer is not the kind that comes in a paint can but a bottle of white vinegar. This kitchen staple can be applied with a roller, a sprayer, or a mop cloth soaked in the liquid.

Simply apply plain white vinegar (not diluted) to the entire surface area of the cement floor you intend to paint. Wait for it to dry completely, the same way you would with a regular primer. Once dry, paint the floor as directed. Please note, though, that both vinegar and paint are accompanied by intense fumes. Wear an air filter mask and keep your area well-ventilated to prevent headaches or other maladies caused by breathing in those vinegar and paint smells. When you've finished your job, the paint on your refreshed cement floor should last for years without cracking or peeling as easily. This will lead your room to look newer, cleaner, and brighter longer.