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basement floor prepping for paint

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  • basement floor prepping for paint

    1940s poured basement floor, float finished glass-smooth with 50+ years of dirt/paint/etc on it.

    If i want to paint (epoxy?) the floor, how do i go about prepping it for best results? Various directions call for acid etching/pressure washing, but being this is my basement, im not sure about a pressure washer down there..suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Doug

  • #2
    Re: basement floor prepping for paint

    I wouldn't be scared of a pressure washer if you can have a second person using a wet vac to suck up the water as you go.

    It will take while to dry out afterward though. Remove as much water as possible and let a fan work it over.

    If I saw what you are working with I might feel different, but I can only go of what you say.

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    • #3
      Re: basement floor prepping for paint

      If there is paint on there now and you are trying to remove it, a pressure washer will dig in around the areas that are down tight, plus it will be a ***** to get dry as the pressure washer will force water deep into the concrete. For a basement floor that is only going to receive light foot traffic, go over the paint with a linoleum scraper after mopping to remove the grease, etc. The scraper will get the thick peeling stuff off. Then rent a floor buffer and get a hold of some 16grit stripping discs. They look like pea gravel on a sandpaper backing. They will clean up the floor pretty good. Any paint that isn't taken off by that is down pretty tight and you should be safe going over it. Mix up a little of your epoxy and do some compatibility tests if you have a lot of paint left on the floor - if it blisters or does not dry, dont do the whole floor. Assuming your floor paint is a solvent base, ventilate, and kill the pilot lights. If you have gas appliances in the basement with auto ignition, turn them off. Most epoxies are thinned with a mix of tolulene, Xylene, Acetone, etc. All kill brain cells and all go boom if ignited! If adequate ventilation is difficult, a dust mask does nothing, you need a specialty mask. Be careful.

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      • #4
        Re: basement floor prepping for paint

        good idea on killing the pilots...never would have thought of that...thanks!

        I think i am going to skip the power washer...i think it would take forever to dry, and the excess humidity would attach everything down there (exposed floor joists, steel beams, etc.

        I think the combo route of cleaning/sanding is a good idea and ill probably go down that route...

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        • #5
          Re: basement floor prepping for paint

          Why not just clean the concrete as you say, and leave it like that? I never like painting concrete, sooner or later, it will flake off and will have to be repainted. Really concrete was never meant to be painted.

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          • #6
            Re: basement floor prepping for paint

            Esthetics, less dust, easier to clean up if it is a workshop. I have put down Epoxy and acrylic roll on floor coatings in Factory environments with forklift traffic, and had them last for many years. Surface prep is the key. If paint peels, it didn't stick, generally due to bad surface prep, not the failure of the coating. If it is a workshop, it makes it easy to sweep/mop and brightens up the work environment.

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            • #7
              Re: basement floor prepping for paint

              Moisture was always the killer when paint flaked off concrete from what I saw.

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              • #8
                Re: basement floor prepping for paint

                moisture occasionally appears on the surface of my basement floor after a rain. if i put down epoxy while it is DRY will the moisture cause problems in the future?

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                • #9
                  Re: basement floor prepping for paint

                  Originally posted by billynoah View Post
                  moisture occasionally appears on the surface of my basement floor after a rain. if i put down epoxy while it is DRY will the moisture cause problems in the future?
                  If the water is coming from beneath the slab it will probably blow the paint off. A 2 or 3 mil thick coating will not stop hydrostatic pressure. If you have moisture issues under the slab you are better to fix the problem than treat the symptoms.
                  If the floor is sweating (water condensing on it) during a high humidity situation, you may be ok, other than you better put lots of non skid (fine sand) in the paint. A sweating, painted floor will be slippery as all he!!. The other problem is that whether the floor looks dry and is dry enough to coat are 2 different things. I don't know if the drylok type paints that you can use on damp walls have anything similar for floors or not.

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