Monday, October 26, 2009

There... in black and white!

A couple weeks ago, I decided to paint the concrete floor in my laundry room. Now, this was by no means a snap decision. The floor was installed with radiant heat two years ago and over the past couple months I vacilated over installing vinyl, stone, or porcelain tiles—all of which are compatible with a radiant heated subfloor. But in the end, I decided to take a simpler, more economical approach. I invested in two gallons of water-based Floor & Porch Paint from Ace Hardware (having them custom color a Canon Ball black) to create a basic black and white checkerboard painted finish.

Since the concrete was never sealed and in an area of the house that would only recieve moderate foot traffic, the only prep I needed to do (according to experts at Ace, Home Depot and Benjamin Moore) was clean thoroughly using a solution of water and ammonia and remove any raised surface irregularities—like drops of paint and drywall—with a scraper, sandpaper or hand-held rotary sander. If you were painting a previously sealed floor, a basement floor where moisture was an issue, or a garage floor where oil and chemical spills might be evident, you would have to consider additional steps like an acid wash to etch the concrete for better paint adherence or an alkyd or oil-based paint for better paint saturation and surface wear.

To create my pattern, I followed the advice of tile installers: finding the center point of the room and radiating the pattern outwards from that point. I was careful to see how the squares would butt to the baseboards as well. Once determined, I used a square and metal ruler to plot out a 16" x 16" grid pattern. To get a clean edge, I taped each square with painters tape. I gave each square three coats of paint, allowing sufficient dry time between coats, before removing the tape. The tricky part is lifting the tape without lifting some of the paint. If anyone has an alternate suggestion on how to get a clean line without applying tape, or a better tape choice, let me know. Although it took time, the floor looks better than I imagined it would. The test will be how well it stands up to foot traffic and cleaning. I'll let you know.

1 comment:

  1. Trout House Diaries
    What a great name for such a delightful blog .
    As to the black n white checkered floor , my my it certainly looks like it was a bear to tackle , but the return of the finish look is exceptional , even with the experience of over 30 years in the painting field setting up an finishing out such a dramatical difference between black n white with such definition an refined edges this task must have been up there on the patients scale , of course as age whittles away at our patients an the keen details get to be a extreme on such a endeavour my hats off to you an your accomplishment . Oh how you have made it look so easy . but of course in such old age as I am trudging on it is certainly a quest of adventure to tackle such an extreme detail oriented extravagance . maybe it would be easier to go with the reality of a refined edge by going with tile instead of paint in leau of the realities of redecorating my laundry room in the event of tradgedy or the moving about of the washer n dryer tile may certainly hold up in my case but the ponderance of tackleing such an endeavour is or was a goal to of achieved . once again my hats off to you n your final photo of the finished work congratulations !
    Cheers Dirtdog