Painting concrete floors

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WHILE some might consider painting floors sacrilegious, especially when beautiful wooden floors have long been seen as a chic staple, today many homes don’t have wooden floors anymore, and painting has become a trendsetting option.

The truth is people have been using paint on floors for ages. Plascon even has a special paint which promises characteristics including being hard-wearing and fashionable. The marketing documentation says it dries to a tough, abrasion-resistant, satin finish, is water based, resistant to water, oil, household acids, chemicals and detergents, and quick drying. It is best suited for interior and exterior use and is “ideal for concrete surfaces such as floors, patios, driveways, pathways and garages.”

BEFORE you begin make sure there is no water seepage on or in your floor. If your floor shows any signs of damp, source of the water must be eliminated before starting.

Also for safety’s sake, take due care to protect yourself from fumes as some of the materials used for this project might provide a breathing hazard. Read instructions and warning labels carefully before beginning to use any product especially in an area with limited ventilation.

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Step 1 Cleaning:

BEGIN by vacuuming and wiping down the floor thoroughly. This will let you see what you have to deal with.

Once you have removed loose dust and dirt, scrub the floor with a high strength degreaser to make sure all residue from previous floor coverings or cleaning products is removed and anything that might prevent the paint from adhering to the floor is long gone before you begin painting. Plascon has a product range called RemoveAll which includes a degreaser specifically designed to take all grease out of concrete floors.

Follow it up with clean water and allow to dry thoroughly before continuing. Prepare the clean floor with an etching solution to clear any metallic particles which might be left after the degreasing.

Step 2 Repair: 

ONCE you have the floor properly clean, check for cracks and damage. These can be repaired and filled with a plaster matching product to ensure you have as smooth and perfect a surface as possible before you begin your decorative job of painting.

Again, make sure you have set enough time in your timetable for any repairs to dry thoroughly before you begin to paint.

Step 3 Primer:

IF you want to improve adhesion to the maximum, it’s good to put down a primer first, although many people do skip this step with adequate results, the rule book does say it is recommended.

Again, speak to your paint expert in your home improvement or hardware shop about what they recommend for the paint you are planning to use.

Some products work well together and are better suited to certain surfaces than others. When in doubt ask first, it can save you make expensive mistakes.

Many primers and paint preparations require only one coat, but check the instructions carefully and allow enough time to ensure each coat of product is properly dry before you apply the next one.

Step 4 Non-slip:

IF you want a non-slip surface ask in the paint department for an additive which adds grip to the final coat of the paint. This is especially important if you are planning to have loose rugs on the floor. Remember to bear in mind the type of use the room sees regularly.

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