I’m breaking down how I got a polished concrete slab prepped for paint – and the mistakes I made painting the floors.
Ugh, carpet. So gross. Escepically the carpet in our den. The previous owners had dogs. We have dogs. Our dogs are house trained, however…they didn’t like the last dogs stains….and you get the picture. The carpet had to go. I loved the look of polished concrete floors, and I probably should have stopped this DIY after I polished them because I’m not loving the paint. But more about that later. First, let’s take a look at how disgusting that carpet was.
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No kidding, that is after having it professionally cleaned like 5 times. Actually, this whole room renovation started back in October (yes, I’m slow) when we were having friends come into town. I couldn’t stand for one more second to have that carpet back there, so they day before they arrived…I ripped it up. The hubs came home like “oh my…”. I stripped it down to the bare concrete.
Pulling up carpet is a bit of work. It’s heavy and awkward and gross. I had to use a razor blade to tear it apart so I could move it outside. After pulling up the carpet and the underlying pad, you are left with carpet tacks. They have to be pried up or cut down. I pulled them out, but in retrospect it would have been better to cut them and sand them down. Would’ve left less of a mark.
At this point, I need to sand and polish the concrete. After checking out the rental equipment, I realized it was going to cost us around $200 a day to rent a big sander/polisher!! I wanted to try and find a different way. So, I grabbed my angle grinder, put on a flap disc grinding wheel sander. I took off the protective cover and got to grinding.
It was a lot of grinding, but not to bad. You can sort of feel it with your hands as you go and just keep working it until it’s smooth and all the grease and grime and old paint are gone.
I’m honestly not sure about this technique. It worked – the floor was smooth and polished and beautiful, but it was a MESS. It took forever to get the dust off everything in the house. I’m not saying I recommend this option…I’m just saying it is an option.
Can you tell what that is? That is the den. If you are going this route, I would recommend opening all the windows and doors you can, use fans and a shop vac to suck the dust out and make sure to use an air filter and googles.
Now, at this point I should have just stopped and put a sealer on. Honestly, I’m not loving the finished product. I wanted to cover the little holes where the carpet tacks pulled some concrete up. So I filled the holes with Quikrete FastSet Repair Mortar mix and sanded them down.
I wanted to try the a concrete finishing stain. It looked so nice in the catalog. It was a two coat process. I put the first coat on and it was looking pretty good.
Once again, I should’ve stopped here. It was when I tried to put that top coat on that things started to go south. It was so dark and looked awful.
So, after much deliberation, I decided to paint over it. I could’ve sanded it down and started over, but there was no way that I was going to put up with that dust again. Not at this points anyway. So, painting seemed to be the only option. I rolled on a coat and went through with an old rag and smudged it around and smudged it up a bit as I went.
After I was done, I put on a couple of coats of sealer. And this is what we have now.
It’s not perfect, and I’ll probably do something else soon, but it’s soooo much better than the carpet. And it fits with the modern, sleek look of the room.
So, the den is coming along. I am redoing this kids rec room/den as part of the One Room Challenge. See all the posts related to the room below. Three weeks down, three to go!!
DIY Desk Build (coming soon)
DIY Magnetic Calendar (coming soon)
Polished Concrete – Slab Prep – Week 3 *you are here
Week 4 (coming soon)
DIY Wall Art (coming soon)
Week 5 (coming soon)
Final Reveal (coming soon)
Shop the Space (coming soon)
Be sure to stick around and follow me on Instagram for more on this den project – it’s a doozy!
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