A quick tutorial of how we painted our basement tile floor.
Wow, I attempted to write the word write, right, wright before I got it right. It must be one of those days, oh wait every day is one of those days where my fingers are trying to keep up to my thoughts and things are just not connecting. Well here goes anything, hopefully this post makes sense…but it probably won’t.
I’ve been dying to write this post for a long time. I’m one of those people that reads every possible article they can find about a subject before starting. And then once I’ve started, everything I’ve read goes out the window and just starting making stuff up. Well this was not the case with this project. I couldn’t find blogs about painting floors so it led me to painter forums about what type of paint and sprayers to use. And I’m so glad it did or I wouldn’t have discovered PPG Paints. I’m now a firm believer in using high quality paints, it will save you time and money if you just use them in the first place. I’m also a firm believer in getting samples before purchasing a gallon or any large quantities of paint. I’ve been burned by this too many times to count and its just not worth it. So don’t do it! PPG doesn’t sell sample sizes so I got my PPG colors swatches made into samples from Home Depot. I’m sure the gal at Home Depot loathed me entirely after making 17 samples but you know what…I don’t care. I don’t care about returning 17 items to Target either. I’m not a dick I just feel like I spend enough money at these stores, they can do a little leg work for me. Ya feel me?
Anywho lets get down to business. Today I’m sharing how I painted over our nasty, probably asbestos filled, tile in the basement. This is what you need and how to do it.
Before I get started I want to talk a little bit about the materials needed. I bought a paint sprayer specifically for this project. When I purchase a new tool I want it to be high quality without breaking the bank. Meaning, I want it to last a long time, give great results but be cost effective. I could’ve bought a more expensive sprayer but I’m not a professional and I don’t plan on using it everyday so I figured this would meet my needs and it definitely has. The reason I did not get a hand held sprayer that has a canister attached to it is because they are heavier and only holds a limited amount of paint. This is ok for small projects like painting cabinets. But since I was painting about 800 sq ft. I wanted to be able to finish it all at the same time so it could dry evenly.
And secondly, I wanted to touch on the reason I chose PPG Breakthrough. I found one article where this lady had painted her wood floors with breakthrough. After I did some research I found that this paint should stick to anything and was especially good for floor applications. It is a little pricey but this project was much cheaper than installing new flooring or hiring a professional to do it, so it was well worth the cost.
1. Clean Surface
You’re going to have to get out the old mop and bucket. I used a degreaser since the last time the floor was cleaned might have been when Bush was in office, and I’m not talking about George W. Make sure you go back with just plain water to get any of that degreaser off the floor. This was a very important step. There was one area where a large shelf was sitting and I couldn’t move it until our first coat was dry. I forgot to clean under the shelf and the paint did not adhere properly, so make sure you clean your floor well! Let the floor dry completely and move onto the next step.
2. Prep and Patch Paint Area
When we purchased our home, the previous owners were still moving out after closing. Which isn’t ideal, we told them we wouldn’t release the funds until they had all of their stuff out of the house….and it was a lot!! We didn’t know until after closing that there was a giant area rug hiding missing tiles in the basement. Since we were moving from another house in the same town I had a few days to come up with a solution to patch and paint the floor before moving in.
I set out to my handy dandy Home Depot about 10 minutes away to figure out what to do. I found some laminate tiles that were 12”X12”, much bigger than our current tiles, but I figured they’d do the trick. I got 2 cases of the tiles (25 pieces each) and got to work gluing them down with some subfloor adhesive we had on hand.
Sidebar- I did have to pull up some of the chipped old tiles and Nic was not happy with me. I had mentioned to him how there was probably asbestos in the flooring and once I mentioned the word asbestos, I never heard the end of it. He told me not to remove the chipped pieces because I would die a slow horrible death (and who knows maybe I will) but there was no way the floor would flow if I didn’t pull them up and put the new tiles down. So what did I do?? I did it anyway. I have this complex that if someone tells me not to do it, I have to find a way to do it. I think the word I’m looking for is Stubborn. I knew it was going to piss him off and boy, did it!! Way to break in the new home by having our first fight. Not.
Anyways, after I had glued down the new tiles in the middle and a few around the outer edges I started taping for the overspray. I had heard this word before: Overspray. And I want you to hear it from me again…Don’t under estimate the overspray! Does the sprayer not only spray outside of where you want it to, the particles in the air travel EVERYWHERE. And I mean EVERYWHERE. We had a layer of blue paint dust upstairs in our kitchen. So if you have air vents or doorways, tape them off so that you don’t spend the next two weeks cleaning paint dust from your entire house.
I used plastic on the walls and taped them down with frog tape (my fav) to get a nice crisp line. A trick to using frog tape is to take a damp sponge and run it along the tape so it activates the tape and makes a nice seal.
3. Put on Protective Gear
Ok, I’m reflecting back on this project and realizing that all of these steps are really important. All I can say about protective gear is that it may or may not help, paint is going to find a way in. I wore a bandana, mask, googles, long socks, leggings, long sleeves and gloves and I still had paint in my nose and all over my hair. It’s inevitable.
4. Strain Paint
When using a paint sprayer you have to strain your paint first. I didn’t realize this beforehand but paint is imperfect and has a lot of lumps and chips in it. In order to prevent blocking your sprayer you have to strain your paint through a fine mesh before using it in the sprayer. Some people even suggest straining multiple times. I didn’t do that, I just strained it once into another bucket that I had the sprayer hose in.
5. Set Up Sprayer
This was a big learning curve for me since I had never used a sprayer before. I read the manual 6 times over and I still had an “Ah ha!” Moment. You know that moment when everything has gone wrong and you can’t figure out how to fix it and you’ve only done 82 things to remedy the solution and then you finally figure out you’re an idiot? Yeah, well that was me with the paint sprayer. I realized that after the initial priming of the sprayer I had not switched the Prime/Spray Valve back up afterwards. Duh!
So my set up consisted of a cleaning/rinsing bucket, my paint bucket with the strainer, and my gallon of paint. You can read your manual to figure out how to set it up but I’ll give you a quick run down just in case you’re having any issues like I did. You prime water through the whole system and then you prime your paint until you start discharging paint out of the tube. Once that starts happening you put your discharge tube in the same bucket your tube sucking up the paint is in. Basically, you’ll need to backwash some of the paint occasionally (if it gets stuck or whatnot) and this way you don’t waste paint, it just goes back into the same bucket your paint is in. Hopefully all of that made sense, if not, read your manual and watch some youtube videos. If you hear a loud whirring noise that wasn’t happening before you’re probably running low on paint or the mesh piece on the end of the tube is clogged. I would just switch the prime valve back on and backwash the paint out.
6. Spray! Spray! Spray!
Now for the fun part! Luckily, I started in the closet so my poor paint job wouldn’t be seen by anyone. After I figured out how to properly spray I started in the far corner and sprayed strips about 3 feet wide and half the distance of the room. I overlapped my strips slightly. This is a tedious, slow process but it’s much easier than rolling all of this by hand.
Another big reason I chose this paint is because it isn’t tacky after drying (there’s a proper term for this but I can’t remember what it is). Basically, it dries in an hour or two and you can walk on it immediately without pulling up the paint or leaving marks in it. I read that some painters like to use this on doors since they can flip them over so quickly without compromising the finish. You also don’t have to thin this paint at all when spraying since its very thin already. I used a finish tip that the pros recommended and it was perfect!
I sprayed two coats and used about two and half gallons and part of that was waste by running it through the sprayer.
You can see in the photos that we sprayed teal in the finished part of the basement and in the unfinished part we sprayed beige. We also used flakes in the beige, like the kind used in garages, since the concrete was varying shades and had old spills that we couldn’t clean up. We bought the flakes at Home Depot and watched a simple tutorial of how to throw them up in the air so they would land evenly. This was Nic’s favorite part of the whole process. We should’ve applied a clear top coat of the flakes so that they held better but we really didn’t care since its an unfinished basement. I believe we bought a whole case of flakes but only ended up using 5 bags, it really depends on how thick you want them to be.
7. Touch Up
If you have read anything else on my blog you’ll know that we have two bat shit crazy dogs. If you haven’t read anything else, well, now you know. We still love them and all but they’re a little intense. Our basement is a walkout basement, if you haven’t already noticed. So as the months have passed, they have ripped down the stairs, through the basement and out the dog door many, many times. Just like they scratch our wood floors they have also made a few scratches to the painted tile. But to my surprise they haven’t scratched it nearly as much as I thought they would. I had the paint open to paint the stair risers and decided to touch up a few spots while I had it out. I just used a cheap brush and you can’t even notice the difference. This paint is the tits.
I hope you enjoyed reading this schizophrenic post in all its glory. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
XO - Erin