Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cheapy McCheapskate Strikes Again - Concrete Floor Staining

Concrete Floor Staining.

We finally did it. We've been talking for years about ripping out the carpet in our living room and staining the concrete. And over the past few months, it became a reality. Since I've had so many people ask me about it and so many wanting to do it in their own homes, I thought I would give a play-by-play of how it really works...then you can decide whether to DIY or hire someone.

FYI: Our home was built in 2000 as the model home in the community. We purchased it in 2001 as the builders were closing out their part of the community.

At the first of August, we took up the carpet & padding (and pulled up all the carpet tack strips) and hauled it off to the dump - $Free (of course, it cost gas to get there).

But the builders had so kindly left such a mess on the floor. Gross. So we borrowed a friend's shop vac and got busy cleaning the dirt and loose yuk off the floor. Then we discovered that the padding had been glued to the concrete in certain areas so there was glue and padding residue on the concrete in addition to the paint spills, texturing overspray, plaster piles, and whatever else they decided to drop on the concrete. In researching cleaners for this, I discovered you must be careful what you use as not to use something that will leech the lime from the concrete - this is what the acid stain will react with. We settled with a product from Behr - Concrete and Masonry Paint Stripper. I think we ended up using 4 bottles of this at $27 a bottle...yeah, I know, ouch, but I wanted to clean the concrete without stripping out anything that needed to stay in the concrete.

To clean the mess, I worked only in small sections. I would pour a generous amount of the product on the section and leave it for an hour or so. Then I would use a paint scaper tool to scrape up whatever would come up and dump in the trash whatever I scaped up. After this, I would pour a little water on my section and vigorously scrub with a stiff brush. Again, a rinse with water, clean up with old towels and voila! Section done. It was a workout to do those small sections. Musician Hubby has Radial Tunnel syndrome in his arms and wrists, so I didn't ask him to do much of this. Gotta protect those hands, you know!

There were delays with young boy going back to school and with me starting part time work at young girl's pre-school - and of course the week and a half that I had vertigo, so it took us over two months of section by section, little by little to clean, clean, clean the concrete. And then with the concrete being so pretty and clean, we decided - after 8 years of me asking - to paint the living room. Yea!! Of course, with not having an abundance of cash laying around to use, we made the trip to hit every Lowe's, Home Depot, and Walmart paint department in about a 15-20 mile radius of our house to look for "oops" paints in colors we thought would look good in our house - basically, various earthtones. We found a 5 gal unopened bucket of a nice beige color at Home Depot for $15. Walmart had cheap paint gallons in a chocolate (accent walls in living room) and carob (accent wall in master bedroom) =$20. Another trip to the Depot garnered us another gallon of pretty color for the kitchen for $5. I had some paint supplies in the garage including paint for the trim, but others were picked up on the cheap at these stores, so in all for supplies for three rooms of painting was around $30 (I use the foam/sponge brushes and rollers, plastic tray liners, and the Sure-Line Paint Edger - LOVE this tool).

All the painting was done (three large rooms done at night - finished in one week!), we decided on the upcoming long weekend to stain the floor. We went to Lowe's to purchase the Quikrete Concrete Stain in Tan and the Quikrete Premium Clear Epoxy Coating (interior use). Both of these items were about $72 each - both covering 300-400 sq ft. And we used every bit of both. We covered the walls and trim with tape and contractors paper (about $10 for both).

Before staining, the floor must be cleaned with a TSP soloution ($5 Lowe's) scrubed on with a stiff brush. The floor has to be wet, but not standing water to apply the stain. So I would run in front of Scott and water down the floor and then squeegee up the standing puddles, just making sure the floor was wet. Using a garden sprayer ($18 at Lowe's), Scott sprayed the stain on the floor. It was a little freaky in that the stain looks green when wet. But by the time we got through and to the door, we could see the brown/tan spots. Then we left for the night.

We returned the next morning and had to clean the residue from the floor using a baking soda and water solution and scrubbing with a stiff brush. This took a few rounds of cleaning to make sure all the residue came up. We would walk around and spot check the floor and if any color came up on our hands, then we would clean again.

After all the cleaning was done, it was time for the Clear Epoxy Coating. This mixed up and painted on white so you could see it and make sure to cover everything. After the coating, we backed our way out the door and left for the night again. The next afternoon we came in and started putting the living room back together again. As you can see in the picture, it looks great and we are so happy with it.

I don't know if I would do this again, but maybe. It looks great and I'm loving sitting in my nice cozy looking room.

And if you are figuring out the costs, the floor plus three rooms painted was about $375. Not too shabbby, huh?

Thanks for all the compliments and I hope your rooms turn out great, too!!

1 comment:

javadork said...

We just did our floors with the same product, but a few areas are getting milky or cloudy where we have mopped on the floor with water. It's really odd. Have you noticed this with yours?

Nice floors, you did a great job!