Copyright © 2004, Pamela Cole Harris
Home and Garden Makeover.com
The first time I saw a painted concrete floor, I was amazed! It was beautiful! It is the perfect solution for an inexpensive floor that will last and last. If you want to try this money-saving technique in your home, here's how (but I warn you, this is not a one-weekend project!)
1. If your floor is inside the house, do a little checking before you decide to paint your floor. Is the concrete damp? Are there puddles? (If so, then you have a larger problem than an ugly floor!) If so, contact a professional to take care of the water seepage problem. Let the concrete dry thoroughly before painting (this may take a l-o-n-n-n-n-n-n-g time!)
2. Thoroughly clean the concrete. If there is any grease on the floor (what have you been DOING in this room?), you must remove it before painting or the paint won't stick. To remove grease, put down cat litter to absorb the majority of oil, then scrub again with Goof Off. Then mix up a bucket of TSP and scrub the floor, rinsing several times, until your mop is clean (I didn't say this would be easy, did I?). Wait at least three days for the floor to dry.
3. Sand off any paint (have you done this before?) or bumpy stuff (such as glue or paint residue) with a hand sander and 80-grit sandpaper. Vacuum well. Go over the floor with a tack cloth (a sticky cheesecloth available at any hardware or home improvement store).
4. Use Cement Fixall to repair any cracks and holes, then let it dry completely.
5. Now we begin the painting process. Roll on two coats of Kilz primer and stain blocker. Let dry between coats.
6. Use a roller or a paint compressor, if you have one, to paint on at least two coats of a good latex flat paint. (Don't settle for the cheap stuff for this project!)
7. Now for the creative stuff! Use your imagination to come up with geometric shapes, the look of faux tile, faux stone, or even a faux yellow brick road! Let dry completely!
8. Roll on two coats of Breakthrough sealer with a 1/4" nap roller. You will need a respirator mask for this (cough! cough!). Let dry.
Now you have a beautiful concrete floor - indestructible and colorful! I just have one more tip - lay some nice soft rugs around, especially in the wintertime! Your floor may be marvelous, but it will be cold on those tender toes!
Pamela Cole Harris is an editor, writer and eco-decorator with over 35 years experience. Her website, http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.com is full of her unique decorating ideas and "how-to"s. Her new book, "100+ Wildly Imaginative Ideas for Creating Your Own Coffee Table - a Handbook for the Creatively Deficient Decorator " is available through her website or at http://www.lulu.com/pamelacoleharris .