There were many things that I had planned to do with my family room floor, one of the choices was tile. However I could not find a tile that I loved, I mean really loved. I kept buying a few tiles and laying them on the floor for a month or so and after a while I was thinking if I kept that tile, I would need to gouge my eyes out soon. This went on for three years. In the meantime the cement floor was looking ratter and ratter. The old stuck on glue was retaining dirt and the cracks were standing out more and more. Time to do something, anything. Then I lost my job. Damn. Ok, don't panic. There must be something that I can do to the floor to make it, well, not so ugly. I decided to paint it. After reading blog after blog on how to paint a cement floor, I kust decided to go for it. One of the things they all had in common was to use the garage floor paint. Did I listen to that sage advice? Noooooooooo, why would I? This will surely bite me in the ass sometime down the line.
What I did do though was spend a week scraping off the old glue. My house was built back in the mid 1970's and the carpet, every square inch of it, had been glued on. Oh my gosh, it was the ugliest carpet you had ever seen. Don't believe me? Just see the first picture below. It had been in the house so long that it was shedding the fiber from underneath. There was also an ugly carpet on top of the glued down one. Why did I scrape off the old glue? I really didn't want to use acid in the house. My son and I have to live in the house. The problem with using acid are the fumes and the fume retention. I've used acid on a floor and it can take a few days before the smell really goes away. You really should leave it opened up for a few days and since we have had two attempted break-ins, no thanks. To get the glue off, I used boiling water in about 2 foot sections. I poured the water on, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then used a scraper. It does take some elbow grease to get it off though. It took longer to get the hideousness that was the carpet up then it took to get all the glue off, which is actually a good thing. The rooms over all dimensions are 33' x 17', it's an odd room.
The ugly aqua carpet was on top of the orange awfulness . Every square inch of the orange awfulness it was glued down.
Sorry for the bad picture but hey they ain't all good. This is my son helping to scrap the stuff up.
After getting all the glue up, I filled in cracks and all the holes where I had to knock out the nails that attach the rug. I used a cement filler in a, believe it or not squirt bottle. Let them dry for a few days and then I sanded these down. Next I washed the floor, swept it, swept it again, vacuumed it and damp mopped it again. Then I didn't let anyone into the room for 48 hours because I needed the concrete to be absolutely dry. Tape any areas that you do not want the paint to get on. Do not allow the tape to overlap the concrete, you don't want the tape to pull up the paint when you remove it (use an exacto knife or sharp blade to cut away the tape when you are finished).
Now was the time to paint. I used a white cement sealer for the first 3 coats. The sealer was to stop any mold and mildew and hopefully from stuff soaking into the cement. I let it dry at least 4 hours between coats.
Now for the design. I did not want to paint patterns or use stencils, I'm basically lazy. I wanted something that would pop but I could put down fast. I had quite a bit of left over paint from the bar area (some how I had ended up with two gallons of it) and I thought that I would use that. This is where I made my mistake. That is a latex paint and meant for walls, not to be walked on. Not thinking about it, I grabbed a large spackle tool and my paint. I then poured in an arc the white paint cement sealer and then much less of my tannish paint.
In the above photo you can see at the very top the paint that has been "blurred". The bottom of the photo shows the poured paint. I then took the spackle tool and used it at a 45 degree angle and made a rough arc, sweeping back and forth. I didn't press down as I wanted only to blur the two together without completely mixing them. I did this in 5' x 3' sections at a time so that the paint above it and next to it would not be dry. You really have to make sure the temperature out is not hot and not humid. If it is above 80 degrees F out side the paint will dry much too fast. Also, no direct sunlight while you are applying the paint. My entire floor took me about 45 minutes to complete.
Moments after application
Prior to the top sealer going on. Do not drag anything across it, the paint needs to cure!
I let this dry with no one walking on it for 3 days. I then used the appropriate top clear coat meant for garage floors. I applied that over two days, 3 coats with 8 hours between coats. At this point I realized the problem with the latex paint, it might not dry hard. I let the whole damn thing cure for 30 days. We did not walk on it or use it at all. Now the paint is not "even" like you see on a wall. I left it more "marbled", meaning there are raised areas like with tile. You can see it in the next picture.
I can say that we have been walking on it for six months now and no problems. It cleans really easy and no scuff marks. On the bottom of all the furniture I have placed the soft pads so that it doesn't scratch the floor. The room is so light now. It is still is not done. I am about to build the book cases and the TV stand for the room, I also want to put in crown moulding. Once those are done, I will post the finished product! Oh and yes, the baseboards are in. I still haven't decided what to do with the double doors (you can see in the top photo the doors are still unfinished). One idea is to take the doors out and build a swinging book case. The doors lead into my living room. I really like the "hidden" door idea but will have to wait a bit to buy the hinges which are kind of pricey.
I hope that description was not too confusing! If you have any questions, please email me or leave a comment.
Thank you for stopping by and remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,
The floor with the top sealer drying
This is when I was starting the baseboards. Probably the easiest part of the entire job!
I have my art table and office desk set up in the other half of the room!