I honestly didn't want to worry about messing it up if I dropped paint on it. My idea was to stain the concrete and thankfully, I had a good resource for information. My friend, Cecilia, at My Thrift Store Addiction stained her concrete floor. She assured me it wouldn't be hard so I decided to go for it.
I was fortunate I didn't have carpet to remove like Cecilia did. I just needed to clean the floor really good first - you can see from the picture how dirty it was. So I began by sweeping then vacuuming all the Sheetrock and joint compound dust up. Next I pulled out my wet vac and gave the floor a good scrubbing. I let it dry overnight.
The next day, I looked to see what kind of stain I had. I found a quart of Minwax Early American wood stain that was almost full. I figured I'd try it out so I started in the back corner using a foam brush - I figured the stain would soak into the raw concrete. And it worked beautifully! I brushed it on, let it sit a short time then went back over it to get the excess up.
I worked in about 2' sections making sure to feather my edges so I wouldn't have hard lines. It actually went pretty fast but since I used foam brushes to apply it, I was on my knees all day. Trust me when I say a foam kneeling pad can be a life (or knee) saver for this.
|(The black spot is from oil from a vehicle parked in here back when|
it was just a barn. I scraped and cleaned as much off as possible.)
By lunchtime, I was close to finishing but almost out of stain so I took a much needed break. (I met a friend for lunch then ran to Lowes to get a small can of stain).
Upon returning, I poured the small can into the larger one and mixed well. Then I finished the floor, making sure I ended up at the door (you don't want to paint yourself into a corner!)
Someone asked if I was going to put poly over it. My answer is no. We don't know if the slab has a vapor barrier under it (it was already there when we purchased the farm) and thought if it didn't, sealing it would keep it from breathing, and the finish would flake off. And no, the stain doesn't come off on your feet. It dried nicely just like it would on wood.
I absolutely love how it turned out! If I drop paint on it, I won't be upset or worry about it like I would if we'd put conventional flooring in. And it looks great with the varied shading.
Next time, I'll be sharing a sneak peek at some of the studio. I'm starting to set it up and I'm super excited. I have quite the checklist but with Bruce's help, I'm getting it done!