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Thursday, June 4, 2009

$65 Flooring

When we moved into our house a year and a half ago, our master bath floor was not finished. Rick and I had stained the concrete in most of the lower level of our house, and had the same intent with the bathroom. When we were moving in, however, there was still work being done on the house so our tile guy was in the bathroom. We thought, "We'll stain this floor soon." Well, soon came and went. Rick did, at one point, decide to stain it. But the stain had collected condensation and he didn't have enough. So he did what he could do, but then the stain wouldn't dry right. For about a year we had newspapers on the floor just to keep our feet from getting stained. We couldn't decide if we were going to buy more stain to finish it, have it tiled, or what.

Well, the "what" is what we decided on, or at least it was what I decided on. I decided I wanted to paint the concrete and then do a faux finish over it.

Since my surgery got postponed until next Friday, I thought, "I'm going to take advantage of this time. Everything happens for a reason, so there's a reason why my surgery has been put off for a week and a half." The floor was something I really wanted to have done before our Brokers' Open House that we are having on Tuesday. If I would have had my surgery yesterday as planned, I wouldn't have had the physical ability to do the floor. On that note, I wouldn't have been able to have cleaned the house the way it needs to be cleaned either. So, I embraced the extra time I was given and got started on the floors yesterday at about noon.

I had bought all of the supplies, including brushes, rollers, tape, etc., for $65 total! That was for TSP cleaner, primer, paint, stain and lacquer.

Here's the before picture

First I cleaned the floor with TSP. (And no I wasn't afraid of catching the swine flu .. I was just trying to protect myself from the fumes!)

Second, I taped off all of the woodwork.

Third, I painted the floor with a basic interior primer. (I could have done a second coat, but decided it was a waste of time since I was going for a swirly look anyway.)

Fourth, I put on two coats of a light goldish floor paint.

Fifth, I took a wood stain and worked in sections. I would brush the stain on, then wipe it in a swirly motion with a rag.

Then I waited for it to dry ...
... and waited
... and waited
... and waited
(have I told you how impatient I am and hate to wait??)

And then let it sit overnight.

But, it was still tacky/sticky even this morning! Gads!

I was a little stressed. I had intended on using a glaze over it, but couldn't find what I needed in the time I was shopping for it. Apparently wood stain does not completely dry on painted concrete.  Ooooooops!

So, I decided to test an area and apply the lacquer on top of it to see what would happen. Well, it hardened right up .. tackiness/stickiness gone!

The only problem with this is that I am having to do reachable sections, then wait 30 minutes before it's safe to put paper down on it to move to the next section. This will take me all day. But, it's working. And, it looks so cool!!!

** A tip about putting the lacquer over the stain. When you brush it on, be careful not to push too hard on the paintbrush because it will dig into the stain and leave brush marks. Take your time and do smooth, easy strokes.

We could have purchased more concrete stain for over $100. Or we could have spent a few hundred dollars to tile the floor. Instead, I spent a total of $65 to give it the exact look I had envisioned! And I felt pretty good about the fact that I had created it myself and had been frugal in the process!

I've got the complete first coat of lacquer on now. It looks great and seems solid! I'm going to wait two hours and then put one more coat of lacquer on the whole thing. Then I'll take off the tape. I'll post the full "after" photo once the tape is pulled and the bathroom is put back together.


  1. You did AWESOME!!!! and should be OHHH SOOOO PROUD!

    cant wait to see the final outcome!

  2. wow what a great job! can't wait too see the final after picture!!

    I was thinking of you this morning keep us posted on your open house and surgery!

  3. You crack me up! When I buy a house I'm going to fly you in for a month to help me! :)

    Awesome job


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