I'm an insane lady. The grand pooh bah of tweakaholics anonymous. A crazy woman who can't leave well enough alone. The leader of the "I'll just do this little project and then take a break for a while" club. HA! Any DIY'er, fixer upper or quasi perfectionist knows exactly what I'm talking about. Can I get an amen?
One of the latest projects I finished at our house nearly finished me. Being Miss Independent and an "I'll do it myself" kinda gal gets me into these situations sometimes. And I just don't understand how some of these projects seem to take on a life of their own.
The painted floor project wasn't really a big project, it just took a long time making it look the way I had envisioned it. But the end result turned out even better than I had hoped. And, somewhat like giving birth, you forget the pain eventually.
It all started when our
Anyway, the basement floors in our house are hideous. They are some type of poured epoxy and colored flake floor. The bedroom, office, and hallway have an ugly cobalt blue and white, but luckily the living area and kitchen have a goldish color that's tolerable. This type of floor was popular in the 60's when the house was built. It will NEVER wear out. I gotta give them credit there. But that doesn't mean I have to like it or live with it.
I decided the most economical and durable fix for the floor would be to paint it. Having a solid color paint on the floor didn't appeal to me, so I decided to faux paint it in 4' x 4' diagonal tiles. I cleared out both closets that had all of my off season clothes, removed all of the furniture from the room, cleaned the floor, and went to work on making the room look better. Did I say that the floor was hideous?
Here's the "before" picture. Lovely, no?
Here it is getting a coat of primer. INSLX Aqua Lock primer. Available at most Benjamin Moore stores. Adios, ugly floor! I let this dry for a couple of days.
Next I applied a coat of Benjamin Moore Floor and Patio finish, tinted to Pashmina. It looks better already. This will be the color of the "grout lines" at the end of the project. It's a light taupe color. I let this dry for 2 days.
Next step, measure and tape off the squares. The tapes lines will be grout lines when the tape is removed at the end of the next step. I recommend using 1/4" pin-striping tape for the grout lines. I couldn't find it and went to a local auto shop and bought 1/4" masking tape and it didn't remove well.
We chose to do 48" squares, mainly because it took less time than taping off 24" squares. We had to re-do some of the the tape lines at least once because they weren't straight. Not fun. I also taped off the baseboards with Frog Tape to prevent the glaze mixture from getting on there.
Next, I started painting the faux squares around the edges of the room. I mixed a dark taupe, satin acrylic finish paint with a clear, low lustre acrylic polyurethane for the glaze mixture, using a ratio of about 1 part paint to 4 parts polyurethane. I brushed it on, one square at a time, and then immediately began using a damp sea sponge that I had dipped lightly in an off white and black and just "pounced" the sponge on the floor until it produced a pattern that I liked. I used the black and white very sparingly, just to get some variation on the colors and to make it look more realistic. Note: if you're doing large squares like I did, don't paint the glaze over the entire square at once or you won't be able to reach all of it. Work your way across each square, then start the next one.
After the far edges of the room were completed, I then did the middle squares until I worked my way out of the room. Be careful and don't literally paint yourself into a corner (now you know where that phrase comes from). I would recommend removing the tape while the glaze is still wet. I had to touch up the grout lines, but it wasn't too difficult. I just used and artist brush and the "grout" color which I had painted the entire floor with.
The finished floor. We've got some of her things moved down there, but still have some finishing touches to do. She hasn't moved in yet. Her dad thinks she will never actually move down there. I've threatened to claim the room for myself if she doesn't move in soon. It would make a great space for our new treadmill and exercise bike since it has two windows. We'll see.
My husband wanted me to paint the entire basement like this when he saw how cool it turned out. I'm pretty sure he got a not-so-nice response from me, but I won't repeat it here.
I like the way the texture looks on it. Everyone who sees it thinks we had giant tiles installed.
Word of advice, wear good knee pads. I have good knees and this project was somewhat painful. Or you could use a kinder-mat if you have one. Just fold it up as if you were putting it away and kneel on it while doing the painting. And go ahead and schedule a massage while you're at it. Anytime you're working on floors is just going to make you sore and stiff. And you always need a massage anyway, right?
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