Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Birdhouse: DIY Stained Concrete Floor

We purchased a home earlier this year. And we have three children. This means we will be broke untillllllllll...forever. So when we want to do projects around the house, we have to find an economical way to do them.

The main bathroom and the laundry room had old linoleum on the floors. It was not attractive, and it was lifting in some areas due to water damage. The master bathroom had CARPET in it. WHO DOES THAT? Carpet in a bathroom should seriously be illegal.

The toilet in the master bathroom leaked the week before Easter Sunday. We talked about ripping up the carpet at the time of the leak, but didn't really have a flooring solution. We waited until Easter Sunday morning. 7:30 a.m. on Easter morning is a good time to do home improvements. Right?

We did not feel capable of installing new flooring, and we cannot afford to pay someone else to install new flooring. So I did some googling (duh), and found this. What a great set of instructions! Here are the steps we took, which are somewhat modified.

Just like a recipe, PLEASE read the instructions from beginning to end, and gather all of your ingredients BEFORE you begin this process. I don't do that with my cooking. Or with this. But I think YOU should.

Ingredients
Various tools for floor removal (screwdriver, exact-o-knife, hammer, sander, mask, etc.)
Broom, mop, vacuum
Painter's tape
Several paint brushes and/or paint rollers of various sizes
Paint trays
Gloves (so you don't get stain on your hands)
Leftover paint, or purchase some paint. This would be a great time to buy reduced priced remnants, returns, or samples from the home improvement store.
Semi-transparent concrete stain (see note in Step Seven regarding color)
Pet hair (trust me)
Concrete sealant

Directions

Step One:
Remove all furniture from the room. Rip out carpet (or linoleum).


Step Two:
There was a second set of linoleum beneath, so we had to rip that out as well. There was glue stuck to the concrete. We chiseled it, and my husband used a sander (please wear a mask if you do this) to get down to the actual concrete slab.


In the carpeted bathroom, we had to remove the tack strips. You may need a crowbar for this.

Step Three:
Repair floors. We enjoy the industrial look of the concrete. We didn't care about little chips and cracks. So we left it the way it was.


Step Four:
Clean floors. We swept and mopped the floors.

Step Five:
Tape baseboards and around the toilet. The stain still splattered EV-ER-Y-WHERE.

Step Six:
Paint floors. We used leftover exterior paint. It was a tan-ish color. You could use gray, white, anything really! This gives the floor a uniform base color.


Step Seven:
Apply semi-transparent stain. We used a small roller brush. The blog I referred to earlier has a different method. Try a small area to make sure you like the application.

Here is a note to make when purchasing your stain. You mix it, like you would to get a paint color. I did not know this. We bought the semi-transparent stain and took it home. We opened the can and it was a murky opaque color. I thought, maybe it changes color when you put it on the concrete. We applied it to the concrete. We watched. And watched. It did not change color. We went back to the store and asked an employee. They informed us that a color must be chosen to mix with the stain.

We went back home and got the stain. I also grabbed some dog hair. Stay with me on this. At the store, we were presented with color options. I threw the dog hair on the samples, and chose the sample that hid the dog hair the best. Laziness at its finest, people.

Now that our stain color was mixed, we can actually complete Step Seven.


This is two coats. One coat would have been enough. But do you see that seam down the middle of the floor? It was much more prominent with just one coat. We were trying to cover that up with a second coat. It doesn't bother me, I like the imperfections that come along with this concrete staining process. If you don't, beware that the stain dries quickly, so uniformity may not occur.

Step Eight:
Apply sealer. Roll it on the floor just like you did the paint.

You will have to figure out drying times based on your climate, the current weather conditions, and dry times noted on the products you are using.

You are done! Put your furniture/appliances back and enjoy your beautiful new floor!!!



As you can see, this room quickly went back to use. Ah, well, I will pick it up tonight during my Daily Zone time!

The first time we did this project was in the master bathroom. The entire process took 4-5 days from start to finish. This was not a large area to complete, but we were inexperienced. We also allowed generous time for drying. We were unable to use that bathroom for the whole week. Keep this in mind before beginning your project.

The main bathroom went much faster, 2-3 days. And for the laundry room, I left for work Monday morning and the project wasn't started yet. When I came home from work on Tuesday, the project was totally complete, dry, washer and dryer working, etc. This can be a very fast, easy, and cost effective project once you get the hang of it.

This project cost less than $100 total for all three rooms. That's a steal! Eventually, I want to do the kitchen and entry way. But not being able to use my kitchen for two days is definitely not an option right now.

As a final note, I used a lot of "we" throughout this post. Really, my husband did 99% of the work. I did things like stand nearby and watch. Emotional support is important, too.

Have you ever stained concrete? Share your work!

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