What do you do when you need to replace carpet and feel like doing that is just not…creative enough? Well my lovelies, if you are anything like me you paint the concrete subfloor!!
I am going to teach you in 7 easy steps how to prep, paint, and finish concrete floors. And I would like to give a HUGE thank you to Sherwin-Williams for teaming up with me on this post!!
This is the picture that I showed you a few weeks ago of Ivie’s room:
Not so awesome. But I have big plans in store and it all starts with my personal White Box Challenge ala Design Star.
I DID NOT want carpet in Ivie’s room and our hardwood is discontinued (and expensive) so I said to myself “Self. Lets paint the crap out of that floor.” And that is just what happened. You can do the majority of project in a day for less than $150.00.
Painting concrete can be a little daunting. Especially because most of us have never painted a floor before. I was concerned about durability and finish. When I went into my local Sherwin-Williams, Sam the Manager was SO nice and patient and answered every single one of my questions. Twice. Because I am thorough like that.
When you are painting concrete the first thing that needs to be addressed is the carpet glue.
STEP 1: Remove Carpet Glue
Carpet glue is LEGIT. It is one of the strongest adhesives and can be really hard to remove. The best product to use is Lacquer Thinner. BUT it is extremely flammable. You will want to use a plastic brush and plastic scraper to get the majority of the glue off. Douse the glue with Lacquer Thinner and let it sit until it evaporates, this will soften the glue. Then douse it again. Use your plastic brush to loosen the glue and then scrape it off with your plastic scraper. Once the majority is gone and the lacquer thinner is dry go back over it with a floor scraper to remove any residue left over.
STEP 2: Remove Thick Areas Of Paint
Sorry for the awesome picture…you know when its 10:00 and your husband is scraping in a fury just so you will leave him alone and he is not wanting to be a blog model? Ya. Me too.
When the builder built our house they sprayed the walls and baseboard so there was a high concentration of paint right at the base of the walls. THEN when we moved in we sprayed the baseboard too. So there was at least 4 layers of paint and it was thick. We used a floor scraper to remove the thickest areas. YOU DO NOT NEED TO REMOVE ALL OF THE PAINT! We scraped off a good chunk of it and the rest we sanded so it blended into the floor and didn’t leave a lip (but we will get into that in a minute)
STEP 3: Repair Concrete
This step sounds WAY more daunting than it really is. If you have previously had carpet you will need to patch the holes that the tack strips left behind.
Simply mix some Quickcrete and fill the hole:
Use a metal scraper or putty knife to smooth it out as much as you can.
Then very gently using a damp rag rub the concrete smooth.
Let it cure per box instructions.
STEP 4: Sanding and Clean UP
This is a really easy step too. If you are painting an extremely large area you might want to rent a sander but for a room that is the size of Ivie’s (approx. 12×12) you wont need to.
All you need is a pole sander. A pole sander is a base that holds the sandpaper and attaches to a painting pole. Use 60 grit paper and go over your floor in this pattern. Sand in one direction, then sand in the opposite direction and then go over it again in the first direction. So you will be sanding the entire floor 3 times. Concentrate on areas with a lot of paint and where you just repaired the concrete.
Unless your floors are greasy you will not need to scrub them down (if they are or have grease spots use TSP). Alternate sweeping and vacuuming 4 different times. It may seem a bit like over kill but it is the BEST way to get all the dust off. If you get your floors wet after this point you will need to wait a minimum of 24 hours to let them dry before you paint!
Step 5: Painting
You never want to use a regular latex based wall paint on a floor. The durability will always come up lacking. To paint a concrete floor you need special floor paint or all your hard work will be in vain. There are a few different options when it comes to floor paint at Sherwin-Williams. They have a line called H&C that is made specifically for concrete. The concrete will basically absorb the paint . You can have it tinted to a variety of colors.
There is also Sherwin-Williams Porch and Floor Enamel that like paint, sits on top of the concrete. It comes in a satin finish. (This is what I used)
You will not need a primer when using the Floor and Deck Enamel because its self priming!! (YEAH!)
The colors I used on Ivie’s floor are Extra White (the whitest base they have) and Gray Clouds.
Ok, now this is where the tutorial may get a little hairy. See, after I painted it the first time I changed my mind and repainted it the opposite way… (and yes I did a trial run but changed my mind after seeing the entire room finished…such is the life of a DIYer.)
So the tutorial for how to paint the faux bois is color backwards. Don’t judge.
Painting the basecoat on the floor is literally the easiest fastest thing I have ever in my life painted. It took me under 10 minutes to do the entire room!
Start in the back corner opposite of the door (you don’t want to paint yourself into a corner!)
You don’t need a paint tray, just dump a small amount of paint onto the floor. You also need to use a roller with a 3/8 nap or shorter because you want the floor to have a smooth finish with as little texture as possible.
Then just start rolling!!
Depending on the color you may need to do a second coat. When I painted the floor gray I did not need one but when I painted the white over the gray I did.
The Floor and Deck paint is latex based so its not super fumy and let me tell you it is MUCH easier rolling a floor than rolling a ceiling.
Once your coat has dried for 4 hours you can start painting your faux bois (fake wood grain). And though this may look impossibly hard you pretty much cant screw it up.
Use a 1’” brush and paint a long slightly squiggly line.
Space our your next line and follow the same squiggle pattern. If you space your lines close together you will have a busier pattern. Where you have deep bends is a great place to add a knot.
Now I know what you are thinking. This is going to take forever! But I did both color options in one day (that included drying time) Because there is not really a rhyme or reason for this pattern it goes really fast.
Let this cure for a minimum of 4 hours before putting your top coat on.
STEP 7: Topcoat
This is what my floor looked like with and without a top coat:
I liked it before but with a clear topcoat on it it makes an enormous difference don’t you think? And it is so much easier to clean!!
Apply the topcoat the same way that you painted the floor. I did 2 coats of H&C Wet Look Concrete Sealer.
The only way to describe the difference is that it looks professional with the wet look gloss on top. Its SUPER high gloss and really sassy.
Now this is the hard part.
You have to let it cure for 72 hours before you can put anything on it.
This will cure it to the point that you a put things on it without damaging it BUT a full cure for Latex based paint is 30 days. It may feel a teeny bit tacky until that time has passed. This is totally normal, I would recommend using furniture pads underneath everything at least until the 30 day cure has been achieved.
There are so many decorative options when it comes to doing something like this! You could stencil, stripe, chevron, grid, polka dot the floors in your house and make it truly your own space! Just make sure that when you do you are using THE BEST product on the market. Porch and Floor Enamel and H&C Sealant from Sherwin-Williams. And if you have never ventured into a Sherwin-Williams store DO IT! The staff at the store in St. George are so knowledgeable and nice. They call me by name and check up on my projects. Sometimes when you are venturing into something unknown (like I was when I was painting this floor) all you need is reassurance that it will be as epic in real life as it is in your mind, so I would like to publicly thank the staff at my local SW for being rock stars!
Knowing what colors you are going to use is half the battle. I am OBSESSED with Chip It! Want to see some of the colors I am using? With fabric this bold how can I not have a white floor? (I cant wait to tell you all about the fabric next week!)
So what do you guys think? Do you love it?!
Love Your Guts, Mandi