I painted the concrete floors in my kitchen with a concrete paint purchased from a local hardware store. I primed the concrete before painting. The problem is the paint won't stay and it chips very easily. Would applying a topcoat to seal the paint help? Also, I'd like to paint some designs on the concrete floor because it seems a little plain.


Your problem indicates that the concrete was not porous enough to accept the primer or paint – a very common issue when painting concrete. Sealing the painted surface may help, but it does nothing to fix the real problem, which is poor adhesion between the paint and the concrete. Because a kitchen is a high-traffic area, the paint will continue to fail in short order, even with a sealer.

I recommend stripping off all the paint, and preparing the concrete properly. (See Concrete Surface Preparation.) Then you can apply a stain, tint or dye that penetrates into the concrete. You can use stencils or faux finish techniques to create designs. Finally, seal your work with a good sealer, followed by a finish wax designed for stained concrete floors.

Author Chris Sullivan, technical expert and vice president of sales and marketing for ChemSystems Inc.