After we pulled up the carpet, we were left with those annoying tack strips. Under our carpet is the concrete subfloor which is our concrete foundation for our house. That's how they build 'em around these parts.
Those strips are nailed into the concrete and have a gazillion little nails sticking up.
So, I pulled all the tack strips up. If you use a flathead screwdriver and hammer, you can gently but firmly hit the end of the screwdriver and often pop up the strip and concrete nail. If you just try to pull up the strip only, it will come up but break and leave the nail in the concrete which is then harder to get out.
After all of the strips and nails are removed, you are left with this new eyesore.
It's a bunch of holes, some itty bitty and some are ginormous gouges.
oh, and you may have some cracks in the concrete running around. These tiny hairline cracks just freak my husband out. He thinks the foundation is falling apart. Some tiny cracks are just fine and expected. If you have a huge one, especially running from end of the room to the other and cracks in the wall, then you have a right to freak out because you probably do have foundation problems.
So, next step is to get some concrete patch and a putty knife and fill all the holes and cracks. Now, I must admit, I enjoy this part. I love patching concrete or spackling walls. I like the sound of the knife whisking along the surface. It's just fun and I'm a little weird that way.
All of the holes and cracks are filled and smooth and ready to go.
I should be ready to paint my floors here but then I got a wild idea.
See the tile in front of the fireplace?...on the floor? There are two little rows of tiles (10 total) in front of the fireplace. I hate them. I love an old hearth but we don't have that. We have tiles that look to me like bathroom tiles. One of the tiles had a little crack so on a whim I decided to take them all out.
You are not having a stroke, it is a blurry picture because I'm not a photographer. Back to the tile: I actually liked using a chisel and hammer and "demo..ing" the tile. But I have to be honest here, the junk left under the tile that also had to be removed nearly ruined my marriage. That was painstaking work and I HATED it. I begged my husband to help and it took him all day but he got the rest up.
You can rent a big motorized tool (I call it an electric chisel) that would make this much easier and faster. We only had 10 little tiles to pull up so I thought we didn't need that tool. We did.
So, tile and residue are up, tack strips and nails are up and all holes, cracks and whatever else are filled. The concrete floor is clean but it is not perfect.
It has issues. So there is a decision to be made here. Do I stain or do I paint? Paint covers these imperfections well and requires less prep but it doesn't hold up as well with heavy traffic. Since we have painted our concrete floor in other rooms, I decided to continue the same paint in this room since it connects to the other painted rooms.
Now, if you are looking for a perfect tutorial on painting concrete floors, then this blog is not for you. I never do anything the way I should. I like instant gratification yesterday. My way has worked for me just fine so this is how I do it.
Epoxy-Seal concrete and garage floor paint in a dark brown.
I also use one of those paint edger thingys to apply it. I use this because I like to apply the paint in freeflowing circular motions to create an interesting finish; more like a loft feel. You can use a roller if you want a more uniform look.
Using this approach, I just "wipe" on the paint. The whole room took less than 45 minutes.
All done! It's still wet. I'll have to give it a few days before we can walk on it. It is dry within about an hour but it needs a few days to set. Since it is an epoxy paint, it doesn't need a sealer. However, if you like a shiny look, then you can roll over a coat of poly after it has dried.
Next step: add the small quarter round trim moulding to the baseboards since there is now a gap between the baseboard and floor. Then, I get to start on the fun stuff! Hopefully over the next few weeks, you can see my plans for this room.
I may share this at some of my favorite link parties listed in my page above or below on the right.