Does anyone have any experience with painting concrete floors?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Spanky Deluxe, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #1
    The floor in my flat is coming apart, it was here when I moved in and is some kind of wicker like stuff. Basically its a pile of dog's doodoos and has literally been coming apart. I always wanted to put wooden flooring in but simply can't afford it right now and besides which apparently its not practical on concrete floors. I'm looking at possibly putting in decent laminate flooring but even that is sounding rather pricey at the moment. I was chatting with a neighbour yesterday and he had the though of just ripping up the carpet and painting the concrete beneath. I don't know what kind of an effect this could produce, does anyone know? Does it look good? How easy is it to do?

    My flat's pretty modern and unique and it would have to go with that. Has anyone ever done anything like this?
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #2
    There is specific paint for using on concrete floors. Check your hardware store. The key is to etch it first if it is a really smooth concrete finish.

    Just make sure to use a grey/white/easy to look at color.

    Also remember that concrete is cold. ;)
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    Wicker stuff? Sounds like sisal or coir...

    Wooden flooring is perfectly OK for concrete floors but it's usually done with what's called a 'floating floor'. I used to work for a flooring company so know a little about this subject.

    As far as painting concrete, use floorpaint. It's a lot tougher and won't chip off so easily and pay attention to surface preparation. It can be alright with a rug across it, otherwise the acoustics can be a little harsh.

    It's ridiculously easy to do but floorpaint — although touch-dry within hours —can take 3-5 days to harden completely so you have to take it easy for the first day or so, not exposing it to too much wear.
     
  4. Spanky Deluxe thread starter macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #4
    Hmmmm... I might have to consider doing this. I don't care about the coldness of the floor, in fact it'll be a welcome addition since my flat gets *boiling* hot particularly in he summer - lots of glass.

    I'm not sure about what kind of colour would work. My walls are all cream and my furniture is black leather / dark wood, basically all modern. The hessian like (i think that's the word) carpet that I have at the moment does have the same kind of tone as wood, which is nice.

    Can painted concrete floors actually look *good* though? I know it would be a cheap-o option but would it *look* cheapo. I already have lots of nice rugs (mainly to cover up the holes in the carpet now) that could go on top of it.
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    It's pretty glossy stuff but utilitarian... the best (affordable) selection is at HomeBase unless you feel like springing for Colefax and Fowler or other more expensive boutique brands.

    My bathroom floor is painted black with floor paint until I get a new floor put down (but only after the plumbing is done). Does the job although I'm not sure whether I'd like it in my living space unless it had rugs on it.
     
  6. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #6
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    If you paint it a solid colour, I'd paint it a grey (yes, I know that concrete is already grey in colour ;) ), or just apply a finish onto it. Some shade of brown-red is good.....the type found in terracotta pots.

    And I actually think concrete will look extremely modern....much more so than carpets, rugs, etc. It'll be pretty sweet.

    My parents painted the concrete in our basement because we heard that concrete becomes a bit "powdery"(?) after a few years and creates a lot of dust and such in our basement. It was painted some hideous dark red, but it's still ok, and I can imagine it looking quite good in the right room, or with the right colour.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    My only advice is to start painting at the corner of the room furthest from the door.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #9
    Some clients of mine have a condo with polished concrete floors. They have a clear acrylic type finish on it. Personally, I hate the look.

    One thing about painting concrete- you have to re-paint the traffic areas every 5 years or even more often. There is no kind of paint that will stay on concrete when walked on.

    Even worse, if you have any wicking of moisture (are you in a basement flat? Or is your floor actually a concrete pad on the earth?) then it will blow any paint right off the concrete. Concrete acts like a giant blotter, and any moisture on one side will migrate to the other. There is a type of crystalline sealer that can help somewhat on this, but the only real solution is to have a proper moisture barrier on the other side of the concrete slab -- yes, the part you can't get at now.

    Concrete is absolutely unforgiving in terms of dropped items, or for standing around on your feet, or coldness when jumping out of bed or out of the shower.

    If it is just temporary, there are some interlocking vinyl-tile or carpet-tile systems that will give you some cushioning and warmth.
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe thread starter macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #10
    Haha!! I was thinking of starting at the edges and painting in big spiral inwards, good plan? :p

    The idea's growing on me, I wouldn't want any funky patterns just a solid colour I think, something pretty neutral. I'm finding it quite hard to imagine what my flat would look like without a light woodish coloured floor!! Its been like this since I moved in and all the rooms are the same.
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    At least you wouldn't be "painting yourself into a corner." Unless you have a chandelier at the center of the room from which you can swing yourself Tarzan-like towards the door (or window, if you have a real flair for the dramatic), I'd have to stick with my earlier suggestion. ;)
     
  13. Spanky Deluxe thread starter macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #13
    It would only be a short term thing (a year or two). I've found some hard wearing paint stuff that could do my whole flat for about £60 which sounds like a bargain to me. Even cheaper end laminate flooring would cost me about £800 to do the whole flat which I simply can't afford right now. :(
     
  14. dcv macrumors G3

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    #14
  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #15
    Just make sure the product you choose is specifically for concrete floors.

    Once you have the floor done, indulge yourself and do a bit of stencilling on it. Find some patterns online, enlarge them and print them on cardstock, and cut them out with a craft knife, then go to town around the perimeter of the room.
     
  16. ghostee macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I used to work at a Home Depot, and we sold Rustoleum kits for painting concrete floors. I believe the process involves etching, priming, and finally painting. Will it look good? Well that depends on your technique as well as the quality of the paint. I've heard of good results with those kits, but you can probably find something more industrial strength if you want it to last longer. Good luck! :D
     
  17. cc bcc macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Painted concrete floors are nice IMO, even when the surface is a little bumpy. There is a design furniture shop where I live, expensive stuff, but some of their floors are simply painted concrete, dark grey. It's really nice, looks modern.
     
  18. jakochampolska macrumors 6502

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    #18
    my dad painted our drive way infront of our house and it turned out really chalky :/
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    Well first I would say it depends on the condition of the concrete under your current flooring. If that is satisfactory then you may proceed. If not, you will likely have to bring someone in to polish the floor to the point that it is smooth enough to walk on.

    Secondly, I would avoid painting your concrete. Paint will wear off. A stain on the other hand will last for a long time because it actually penetrates the concrete as opposed to sitting on top of it like paint would.

    There are many types of stains out there for concrete.

    Personally I think it looks good if it's done right. I did a house for one client that had brown stained concrete floors with a hydronic system for heat - well beyond what you can do with a retrofit - but the light brown stained concrete looked quite nice with the other darker accent wood throughout the house. Plus there are no worries about damage to the floor from kids/dogs/dropped objects. As mentioned however, a concrete floor is brutal on anything that drops onto it.

    Also, as mentioned, there is no reason you can't 'float' a wood floor above a concrete slab. You just put down a pad and set the wood flooring on top of that.
     
  20. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #20
    I've done in this in my living room after I ripped up the carpet. The hardest part is etching the concrete with acid, which must be done to ensure that the paint will adhere to the concrete. Make sure to let the concrete dry, and use a paint designed for concrete floors. And, as suggested above, make sure the concrete is fairly clean and doesn't have any large cracks.

    I've found this is a pretty cheap solution and with a well-placed rug under the couch area is nice even in the winter, although I've had my toes get cold when sitting on the floor in the winter. Staining the concrete is better, but more work and expense. The one thing I've noticed is some water accidentally spilled behind the couch, damn cat!, has made the paint peel, but I was able to just repaint that area and it looks fine.
     
  21. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #21
    That sounds like a cool idea, maybe I'll do it in the bedrooms.
     

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