More and more these days, the use of basement concrete floor paint is becoming a preferred choice among the variety of options in how to make a basement space more enjoyable. Floor paint is relatively easy to apply, produces a durable, waterproof surface that can take a lot of punishment, makes for a very appealing appearance when it is done, and is extremely easy on the budget.
Not only does painting a basement floor cost far less when compared to other methods of fashioning this space, it lasts for a very long time. In some areas, this job can be performed in completeness for as little as $40 and as much as $200, depending on your choices. Additionally, with a few extra tools and some creative artistry, there is tremendous flexibility in creating a variety of faux finishes. The project is only as limited as your imagination and your willingness to play.
Just to give you some ideas, during the process of painting a concrete basement floor, you can use feathers and sponges to effect marbling using different colors that can be veined across the surface. Get creative and use your imagination to introduce patterns – everything from abstract to geometric, or you can depict a fake brick road, faux tiles or stone finishes, and more. Of course, this extends the time it takes to finish as art is something to enjoy. In general, however, a basic concrete basement floor paint project can be expected to take a weekend and perhaps one more evening for completion.
First Things First
Before you even begin painting a basement floor, there are some primary steps to take to ensure that water or moisture are not an issue. Given that the floor is concrete, typically there may be seepage or water that accumulates. Check for puddling or damp areas. Use of a dehumidifier can be helpful. Sometimes the presence of moisture is so slight that it is not easy to identify without a test.
The simplest test you can perform is to lay down plastic sheeting on the concrete floor and tape down the edges. Leave this sheeting in place and undisturbed for at least 24 hours and then lift it to inspect the results. If moisture is present then you know you have to solve this situation before proceeding. Without attending to this problem, you only compound the dangerous effects to the health of occupants as trapped moisture produces mold and mildew. Further, it will undermine the paint and cause the surface to peel over time.
When you can determine that water is not coming up through the concrete, you can take a look at filling any cracks or crevices that exist within the concrete surface. This is essential to ensure that the surface is even and flat all the way across with no voids. Get this first part of preparation right and you can rely on a job that is done right the first time and will last for a very long time to come.
Tips to Divert Water
Have a look around the property. Ensure that rain gutters are kept clean and drain spouts extend five feet away from the foundation of the house, at a minimum. Also, make sure the yard slopes away from the house. You can check plumbing for any leaks, check the walls and consider waterproofing them as well. In some cases, installing a sump pump can prove to be most helpful.
Of course, it is possible to call in a professional to evaluate your particular situation and offer advice. It is something to be vigilant about as the location of a basement tends to put the interior environment under the threat of moisture. Once you have established an environment that is moisture free, then it is time to prepare the surface.
In order to apply concrete floor paint, the surface needs to be cleaned and free of any debris. You are endeavoring to create a perfect seal between the epoxy and the concrete surface that will ensure no failure through future use. This is not difficult to achieve, but critical to the success of your project.
Using heavy duty sandpaper, the surface can be smoothed down, eliminating any rough areas or “terrain” that might exist, preventing an even surface. Vacuuming away all the debris and dust and using a damp cloth to get the finer stuff is important for making sure there are no particles remaining on the floor. Some people have used muriatic acid to clean the surface; others have used a bleach solution.
Remember the basement is an enclosed space making it critical to use a proper breathing apparatus when using any toxic solvents to clean the surface or to remove previously existing floor coverings. The effects of these chemicals on the body are insidious and have a way of sneaking up on you. Its best not to wait until it’s too late to avoid the effects.
Whatever method you decide on, be sure to follow label use instructions to be safe and avoid harm or injury. Once these preliminary steps have been taken, this floor is primed for the primer.
Epoxy paint is the best option when it comes to painting the floor as it is formulated to withstand pressure; it will resist water, oil or grease and is tough enough to endure some of the worst treatment for a very long time. Further, it is easy to clean up after the job of painting is done. There are kits available in the hardware stores that come with everything you need to complete the job, or you can choose to buy the specific items by themselves.
Using a paint roller, apply two thin coats of primer to the clean, dry floor, allowing the first layer to dry before applying the second. Having the dehumidifier handy can certainly speed up the drying process. After the primer, it is a good idea to apply a stain blocker using a fresh roller. Not only does the stain blocker protect the primer layers, it will provide the “teeth” for the paint layer to adhere more strongly.
Once the stain blocker is dry, it is time to apply the paint using another fresh roller. Apply paint evenly in a thin coating, allowing it to dry before going over it again with a second coat. You certainly can add more paint layers, if you want, just make sure they dry between.
In the kits, there are some decorative dots that you can scatter across the floor as you are painting. Using your hand to toss these dots out across the floor, you can deliver an even scattering – avoid depositing clumps or piles of them. This is part of the kit and creates an attractive appearance. Painting a basement concrete floor is simple and fun. It is one of those amazing experiences that once you’ve finished, you are so pleased with the results and how easy it was to accomplish.