Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cement staining ---again

So, after some prep work on our old (old old old) stained, paint dripped on, chipped up, bumpy cement floor----we now have put on our first application of concrete stain. (Shown in these pictures about 2 hours after and still drying)

Our prep work consisted of first using a window scraper blade to scrape off loose paint and carpet tack glue that had been dripped onto or applied to the flooring over the years. Then we hand sanded with some sandpaper and some water to keep down dust. We used a 35 grit paper made for a belt sander and a 50 grit disc made specifically for sanding cement counter tops. This helped to get up the rest of the paint and snap lines from old wall placements and some other oddities that wouldn't come off easily. We also had some cement "drips" that left bumps, so we smoothed them down too. Lastly we patched with cement (not concrete) the holes where we had removed nails from old wall sills and carpet tacking. Then we sanded those flush if they weren't already.

Now here are a few things I learned about applying the concrete stain. Yes, it stinks and worse---creates some fumes from the acid reacting to the concrete. So, use a mask suited to this and ventilate well---I didn't this time but will next time. I feel as if I have a bit of a catch in my throat from it--not bad but.... I of course was squatted down using the paint brush and pouring it from the bucket so I think I just got a bit more of it in my face since it fumed for just a bit after pouring. I was much more careful after the first couple of pours but will absolutely use a ventilator next time. Good thing the room wasn't large since it is important not to stop or you can get an very specific line that shows where stopping occurs. Notice the line we chose to stop at in the picture. It is where the sleeping part of our room moves into the sitting area so it was a good spot to stop. (We currently have all the bedroom furniture there so we can only do one section at a time).

Also, they say use an all plastic sprayer to apply it. We did not have one and so we used a paint brush to get up near the edges and an old broom to move the stain around with. As long as you keep a wet edge and a bit of puddling (they say wet---but no puddles) it is not a problem. We didn't have problems with the puddles (see some still in the pics where the floor dips) but they did take longer to dry.
Since I was using the Kemico brand---I mix it 50/50 with water for the first application. I can put on another application if I would like to darken it but I think, even after cleaning it when it dries, I will be happy with the strength of the color. We will then neutralize it with baking soda water and then seal it with something for a shiner look.
Overall---it looks "cooler" than I thought it would. I think I will like it and it does look as if the color matches the slate tile used in our hallway, which is good. If for some reason I decided I don't like it---tiles are in our future.
I will post pics after we seal it so you can see the final results. I think though that it is going to be pretty nice considering we started with such a beat up old floor.

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