I was asked to post some pictures of the process we went through staining our basement’s concrete floor. This was not difficult; but it was a lot of work on our end just for the prep.
I cannot stress enough the prep time. If you want the floor to turn out beautifully, take the extra time to prep the floor properly. If you are having to pull up carpeting from concrete do not be surprised if the concrete is stained with drywall mud and paint. This will need to be removed. Scrub brush, drill with scrubbing disc’s, however you want to do it….take it up. Now there are chemical etching solutions that can do it for you, but the product we used needed to be safe for our environment. We wanted something that was friendly to our children, pets and grass. We found it in this product from…..Mason’s Select Transparent Concrete Stain.
The first step was to empty the room. This was a monumental task!! What could be stored outside under the patio was placed there and covered with several large tarps. That consisted of all the desks, book shelves, metal art shelf, chairs etc. The weather sensitive material was stored in anther room off the hallway that wasn’t being stained. We emptied an area approximately 500 square feet. This is also a great time to purge…. 😀
I have a friend who has 8 children. They range from 18 down to 12. They had a blast doing the demo. They helped us pull up all the carpeting, take down two small walls located at the bottom of the steps and pull and patch all the holes from the tack strips where the carpeting had been laid. The tack strips left little divots in the concrete that had to be filled.
Once all the carpeting was removed, the floor was swept several times and mopped. My husband went through and patched all the holes in the concrete using concrete patching material. You need to allow that to cure.
Once the floor had been cleaned of all the drywall mud, paint, holes patched and cured we taped up the walls. This was to prevent the walls from getting wet from the water hose and possible spray from the stain.
Next, you will use the etching solution that cleans the floor and etches the concrete to take the stain. This is the most important step. When we do this again, which we will if we ever move. We will probably triple the amount of etching solution we use. We could have used more than what the product said we would need. Our floor was really in a mess. It would be a good idea to get one of those brooms or floor squeegees. You will need it to help contain the water. After the solution sits for the required amount of time (you will also be scrubbing the floor with the etching solution) you will take the water hose and hose the floor off. We had the kids in front with the floor squeegees keeping the water from running under the baseboards. This also helps pull the water out. We also used the wet/dry vac and placed several fans in the basement to help the floor dry.
We wanted to disguise the areas with the patched holes so we taped a diamond pattern on the floor. My husband’s idea…..borrow, beg, rent a mechanic’s creeper. It is a flat thing padded with wheels that mechanics use to crawl under a car that is not on a lift. It will save your back and knees. If not, buy a pair of volleyball or soccer knee pads. I found those more comfortable than the mason’s knee pads. You will need this while taping the floor.
After the floor was taped we applied the first color. We used the terra cotta as the first coat. We wanted the diamond pattern to stand out so that section was given an additional coating of stain. This is why it appears darker in the later pictures. When that was dry, we pulled up all that tape that we just put down! Then painted over the entire floor with the sandstone. You will also need a decent pump sprayer. Buy a couple back up nozzles. The stain will clog the nozzle if you go cheap. I know this for a reason….. 🙂
After all of that has dried you add your clear coat sealer. Once it is done you have a gorgeous looking floor. The stain picks up the swirl patterns in the concrete and using the two colors gave it a marble looking effect.
My husband sat and laughed at me when the floor was finally finished. I would just go downstairs and stare at the floor. I hated bringing anything back in. I didn’t want to cover up all that hard work we had done. That is the schooling area. The entire downstairs is set up for schooling. It is divided into different areas and we are blessed to be able to have a room we can dedicate to home schooling.
Now for the pictures…..the person in the pictures is one of my friends who came over to help us with the floor.
These two pictures show the floor before it had been cleaned, along with the wall that had been removed and our dog who was really enjoying the coolness of the concrete.
This is looking down the hallway and the rest of the rooms. There are two more rooms off to the left and a full bathroom on the right and laundry room. The stairs lead to the upstairs part of the house which is laid out along the same floor plan.
Here you can see the pattern that was taped on the floor. The plastic taped up to the wall comes in a roll that you can purchase.The spraying part goes very quickly.
The first coat has been sprayed on the floor. After it dried we removed the tape from the floor exposing the diamond pattern.
The above pictures show the entire floor when it is completed. The sandstone went on and then the clear coat. The area at the bottom of the steps got a different pattern due to the amount of patching that was done in that section. We had taken down two small walls and removed some tile from that part of the floor.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures.