July 7, 2011

DIY Painted & Stained Concrete Living Room Floors


***This has been my most popular post, with many comments and questions.  I try to respond to everyone but many times I can’t because the email address for the commenter is listed as “”.  Here is a tutorial from another blogger that will show you how to fix this problem so I can respond to your comments:  Cinsarah's Tutorial.  

I mentioned in my last post that my mother in law is coming to town this month and we are trying to complete 1 zillion projects before she arrives.

Our carpet was absolutely horrible, disgusting, gross, vial, and any other gross words you can think of due to the addition of 2 wiener dogs to our family.  The carpet HAD.TO.GO! 

Rip Out Carpet

We don’t have the funds at this time to install hardwood floors so after pondering our DIY options we settled on staining the concrete slab. 

****NOTE****  We broke every rule there is regarding prepping and staining concrete floors.  Normally I would not do this but a friend of mine took the same steps in her kitchen (a few years ago) and to this day her floors are holding up perfectly!

Step One:  Rip Out Carpet

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room

After the carpet was removed we realized our floors were in really bad shape.  The concrete has chips, cracks, mastic overflowing from the kitchen tiles, different textures and varying colors.  You can see the variation of concrete in this picture:

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room

Step Two:  Remove Tack Strips

These things are pure evil.  I used a flat head screwdriver, hammer and a LOT of elbow grease to get these up.

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room

Step Three:  Repair Floors

After removing all carpet and tack strips we were supposed to fill in any holes/cracks.  Since this is a “temporary” fix we skipped this step.  The cracks and rivets will add character!

Step Four:  Clean Floors

They say you are supposed to remove all grease and grime with a special cleaner but since my friend skipped this step and her floors are still great we skipped this step also.  Instead we swept, vacuumed and mopped the floors with a damp mop.  We saved money and time!

Step Five:  Tape Baseboards/Walls

You need to be very careful with the stain because it is very watery and splatters quite easily.

Step Six:  Paint Floors

The workers at Lowe’s and Home Depot will tell you that you cannot paint the floors with a solid color and then put the semi transparent concrete on top of the paint.  They are wrong!  We used Valspar exterior satin latex paint color matched to Mega Greige by Sherwin Williams.  This was paint we had left over from previous projects.  Painting the floors served two purposes: (1) it provided us with one uniform color to work with and (2) adds depth to the floors when the semi transparent stain is applied. 

This is our hall after we painted the floors. 

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room

Step Seven:  Apply Semi

Transparent Stain

This process took a lot of trial and error.  We are working in sections so we painted a small area to test different methods of applying the stain.  We originally bought Quickrete semi transparent stain from Lowe’s but felt the stain wasn’t transparent enough so we switched to Behr’s semi transparent stain in the color Lodus. 

We first tried spraying the stain on the floor with a spray bottle then used a Wal-Mart bag and/or rag to dab the stain around.  It was very hard to get a somewhat consistent pattern and realized how much time it would take to achieve the look we wanted so we kept trying different methods looking for the easiest and fastest way to apply the stain.

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room

We found the easiest and fastest way that achieved a great look was to roll the stain on top of the painted floors with 3/8” white woven fabric interior wall rollers.  This allowed us to layer the stain in light layers to add color, depth and dimension.  I used a paint brush to get the sides where the roller could not reach.  It is best to roll as delicately as possible in varying directions to prevent noticeable “roller marks”.

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room

The semi transparent concrete stain dries EXTREMELY FAST so you have to work fast to prevent noticeable “seams”.  If you do get seams in the stain then you can keep going over the different sections layering color to make it look more natural. 

Step Eight:  Apply High Gloss

Sealer or Polyurethane


***UPDATE***:  (5/3/2012):  Please note with this step I am now suggesting to only use Polyurethane.  I used a high gloss sealer by Quickrete, that was fast drying, after a year we have random chips appearing everywhere.  My friend who has done this to her kitchen (a few years before I did) used polyurethane and has never had a chip in her floors.  The poly does take longer to dry but in the long run it is worth using it!

We used Quikrete’s Wet Look High Gloss Sealer from Lowe’s.  With 4 kids and 2 dogs running around we don’t have time to wait on polyurethane to dry so we went with the concrete sealer to finish the floors.  To apply the sealer we rolled it on the floors with the same type of roller we used to apply the stain.  This product also dries very fast so we were able to apply 1 layer, let it dry to touch and apply a 2nd layer in about an hour.


 DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room



DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room 

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room

DIY Stained Concrete Floors Living Room 

Has anyone else attempted a project like this? 

I would love to hear your experiences!

I link to these awesome blogs: Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T., Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative, Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou, Show Me What Ya Got at Not JUST a Housewife, Get Your Craft On at Today’s Creative Blog, Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design, Whatever Goes Wednesday by Someday Crafts, Hookin’ Up with HOH at House of Hepworths, {LTC} Link Party at Lemon Tree Creations, Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple, Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Free For All at Young and Crafty, Frugalicious Friday by Finding Fabulous, I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom, It’s a Hodgepodge Friday by It’s a Hodgepodge Life, Remodelaholic’s Anonymous at Remodelaholic, Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots & Jello, Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different Act Normal, DIY Project Parade at The DIY Showoff, Sunday Scoop at I Heart Naptime, Catch as Catch Can at My Repurposed Life

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