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Painting basement floors

Posted by Ed Parker on February 6th, 2000 09:52 PM
In reply to basement floor by Conrad Walpot on February 6th, 2000 04:38 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi Conrad,
Before painting a basement floor it is imperative that the floor be checked for moisture migration from below. Too much moisture will cause the paint to fail and lead to an ugly mess. Try waiting until after a rainstorm and placing a sheet of plastic down with a flat heavy object over it. After a few hours, remove the plastic and see if a moisture spot is left. If there is, I'd advise against the painting. If not, you can proceed. In cleaning the concrete, you are trying to remove traces of lime and dust that will affect the bond. There are special concrete cleaners on the market, even Home Depot, but unless it's very chalky, you might be able to get away with a good rinsing with lots of clean water. Let dry thoroughly before proceeding, probably several days. Purchase a paint from a reputable paint store, like Bejamin Moore, that will specify "Porch and Floor" paint. It should be a one-part epoxy or oil-based product that has the necessary abrasion resistance needed to withstand foot traffic, etc. No latex product will withstand the abuse taken by a floor. Typically, you'll need to make a primer by diluting some paint with thinner and applying it with a roller to the entire floor. The thinned paint will enter the porous surface of the concrete to seal and bond, thus allowing a second coat of unthinned paint to have a good sound substrate. You must allow proper ventilation and cure time between coats and after painting, as oil paint obtains its abrasion resistence only after appropriate curing. You will then have a painted floor that will last indefinitely. Good Luck.

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