You CAN paint concrete floors.
More Info: You can paint concrete floors, in fact many paint companies manufacture special paint just for this purpose. In order for the paint job to be successful, the concrete must be carefully cleaned of oil, debris, and efflorescence prior to painting.
Difference between Staining and Painting a Concrete Floor
The difference between staining and painting a concrete floor is that paint only covers the surface of the floor, while stain runs throughout the entire thickness of the concrete. This provides for a deeper, more lustrous appearance that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve with just paint. In addition, the intrinsic variation in the stain application gives the floors a more natural, organic look. In fact, modern staining practices can create floors that closely resemble other natural flooring materials such as polished marble, hardwood flooring, natural stone or even tanned leather.
Benefits of Staining a Concrete Floor Instead of Painting
The benefits of staining a concrete floor instead of painting it are that stain offers a more subdued look and lasts longer than paint. Concrete paints and stains come in many colors. Paint provides a bright look; stain is more subtle. Paint will cover the surface of the concrete but stain will absorb into the porous concrete, which helps it hold up longer. Concrete paints have been known to peel and wear down quickly but stain does not peel.
“Concrete Painting | Concrete Paint Tips, Photo & ideas – The Concrete Network.” Concrete Design Ideas, Contractors and Pictures – The Concrete Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/decorative/painting.htm
“Staining Concrete- The Unique Effects with Color, Mottling and Variegation – The Concrete Network.” Concrete Design Ideas, Contractors and Pictures – The Concrete Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. <http://www.concretenetwork.com/staining-concrete/unique-about-stained-concrete.html>.
“Concrete Staining vs. Painting: Finding the Right Option for You | Concrete Ideas.” Concrete Ideas | Concrete Contractors, Suppliers, Decorative Concrete and Construction. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. <http://www.concreteideas.com/concrete/interior-floors/colored-stained-concrete/concrete-staining-vs-painting-finding-the-right-option-for-you>.