I painted my basement floor and now just 3 weeks later my washer leaks and the paint is peeling off. I also put some water down on a spot and when I wiped it up you can scratch the paint off. It is durable when dry but as soon as it gets wet it comes off. Why and what can I possibly do now?

  • If at some point you want to strip it and start over, alcohol will dissolve dried latex paint (it's also a simple test to see if unknown dry paint is latex). Use good ventilation, though, for that much alcohol. Hot, slightly soapy water will also usually dissolve it, but it's hard to keep water hot for long on a concrete floor. Let the floor completely dry before repainting with oil or epoxy point.
    – fixer1234
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 16:46

6 Answers 6


First it sounds like you used a latex paint which for a basement floor is not a good solution. You need to use the messier, oil based paint. This will soak into the concrete a bit and are a lot more durable. This paint will continue to have problems when wet - especially with hot water or when scraped by something sharp or heavy.

Also at the 3 week period I doubt your paint has fully cured in a basement environment. Once it cures it will hold better but probably not up to your expectations.

  • How long can it take to cure before I know if it will be ok?I did use a latex for concrete. It is getting better when I run my nail through it but when I put water on it it completely lossens it up. I am hoping this will improve.
    – sharon
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 22:26
  • I use the bargain $2 gallons of latex to paint basement floors all the time. The paint will scratch up and enough water will cause it to peel... I wouldn't worry about it. It is a basement. You messed up on the paint choice but of all the things in the world to mess up on its probably paint on a basement floor. My advice - don't think about it. Then if it starts looking really bad just scrape and paint.
    – DMoore
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 6:16

Sounds like you didn't use a concrete floor paint. There are only a few kind of paints that can stand up to the harsh conditions of a basement floor. Best thing you can do is try removing what is there and then applying the proper type of paint. What you have will just continue to peel.

  • There are plenty of latex paints sold as "concrete floor paint/epoxy" that are basically grey paint. This is probably what she used.
    – DMoore
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 18:48
  • I did use a latex for concrete floors. I am wondering also how long it takes to cure.
    – sharon
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 22:23
  • 2
    Latex paint will never fully cure on most concrete floors because the concrete acts like a sponge and sucks up moisture from the ground. I used an epoxy floor paint last summer and I haven't had any problems with it. Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 22:46
  • Now that I have just painted it is there anything I can do without having to strip it off? I t looks very nice but I am afraid what it will end up looking like down the future now.
    – sharon
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 23:13
  • You might get lucky and have it hold out in places where the floor is dry. I wouldn't get your hopes up too high since the likelihood of having the paint last a long time really isn't very good. Over time, it will most likely peel. It will probably be pretty easy to scrape it up once that happens. Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 18:17

It will say on the can of paint what the cure time is. The concrete has to be cured about 30 days to apply concrete paint. But the room also has to be dryer than a normal basement. I would run a dehumidifier for a week or so before you paint or if you have heat in the basement turn it on. Some concrete paints need to have a primer/sealer put down if it hasn't been painted before. I have done this on 1 year old concrete with great success-no peeling even with occasional puddles and one flood. I would us a high quality paint-research Consumer Reports to find the best ones.


The two key steps in painting cured concrete are proper surface prep; etching, and using the correct paint. Etching opens pores in the concrete providing something to bond to and removes the alkali salts that will prevent good adhesion. How do I prep my houses exterior cement walls for painting?


I have had good experience with Epoxy paint on the garage floor. if applied correctly as per instruction on the can, it is durable and scratch resistance. The prep of the floor is extremely important.


We have the same problem for several years now on screened porch, patio and front entry way which is a covered porch area. The water based paints do fine as long as not used walked on or get wet but we live here! It gets dirty and you try to wash it the paint comes up and you get to start all over again.

Am going to an oil based paint said to be for concrete to see how it works. It only makes sense to me that if cleanup is warm soapy water water will take it up.

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