How to Add New Life to Your Unpainted Concrete Floor

Unpainted concrete will normally appear to be very drab and uninviting and will take away from the overall appearance of a room. You can transform the floor and with a fresh look with some hard work and a coat of paint and it will provide a beautiful and unique finish that will last for many years. Painting your concrete floor is a great way to upgrade the appearance of a garage or basement at a very affordable cost. It is also a project that the average homeowner can complete with very little training and just a few tools.

Although painting concrete is usually more difficult to paint than sheetrock, it is still a relatively easy project. The tools and materials that you will need to complete the job are a mask, a pair of gloves, eye protection, concrete paint, concrete primer, a paint tray, a paint brush, etching acid, tri sodium phosphate (TSP), hydraulic cement, bucket , mop and a scrub brush. All of these items are readily available at your local paint or hardware store.

To begin, thoroughly clean the surface of the floor, making sure to remove any grease or oil from the floor. The is a very important step in the preparation process. You can use kitty litter to absorb larger oil or grease stains.To clean the floor, mix the TSP cleaning Concrete paint solution according to the manufacturer’s directions. Using your mop,clean the floor well using the TSP solution. After mopping the floor, rinse thoroughly and allow it to completely dry.

Use hydraulic cement to fix any holes or cracks in the concrete and allow the cement to set up before proceeding to the next step. If you cannot find hydraulic cement, you can also use caulk which is specially formulated for concrete.

Mix the etching acid with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to mix the etching acid thoroughly before you begin to use it. Make certain to wear your eye protection, gloves and a mask when you are using the etching acid and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Failure to take proper safety precautions could result in serious injuries when using etching acid.

Place a small amount of etching acid on the floor and use your mop to spread the acid to a small area. Continue to apply the etching acid until you have completed etching the entire floor. Once the etching acid had fully dried, use the shop vac to clean up all of the dirt and etched concrete from off of the floor.

After you have completely etched and cleaned the floor it is now time to apply the primer. Stir the primer thoroughly to make certain it is mixed well. Pour some of the primer into your paint tray. With your paint brush, cut in around the entire perimeter of the room and around any other fixed objects in the room. Once you have cut the room in, use the roller and paint tray and apply a coat of primer on the floor in four foot sections. Once the primer has completely dried you can began applying the concrete paint. Use the same steps that you used when applying the primer to apply the concrete floor paint. Drying time will vary depending on what type of floor paint that you used. Be sure to apply at least two coats of a good quality concrete paint when painting concrete floors even if it appears that the additional coat is not necessary.

After you have completed painting your concrete floor, a polyurethane coating should be added for protection and maximum durability. Polyurethane coatings normally have very strong fumes, so be sure to wear a mask and keep the area well ventilated.

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