Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Faux Stained Cement Floor

I had the brilliant idea to put laminate floors in the downstairs bathroom when we ripped out all the carpet and put in the new floors. That was a while ago, but it took about six months for the toilet to overflow and ruin the floors completely. I ripped them out, drank a glass of wine and stared the floor down for a good 20 minutes before I decided what to do with it. I couldn’t bear to tile it. I had spent way more time than I want to admit breaking up the tile in the bathroom and ended up having to have a friend’s Dad come and lend me his hammer and some expertise.

So, I went with plan C. I had some cement leveler & skim coat from another project. I figured regardless of what I did with the floor it was going to need to be level so I started there.

First, I removed the toilet. Then I stirred the leveler and spread it across the floor. The leveler was smooth and filled in all of my uneven areas with just a little help from the smooth end of a trowel… a 12-inch drywall knife would work here as well. Our house is built on a slab, so if yours is not, start by laying some cement backer board down. You can find an online tutorial but basically, it’s a cut and screw down sort of thing.

Once your leveler is down spread it around smooth, clean up your mess, wash your hands and carry on with your day. Once it’s dry - the fun part begins. I didn't like that my area wasn't as smooth as I wanted, so I ran an orbital sander over it a couple of times to make sure it was flush. The sander actually polished the cement and gave it dark and light areas from burnishing... and even a little shine.

If you don’t know by now, I’ll tell you. I have a lot of faith in clear glaze and acrylic paint. I’ve used it here, and then here again. I did spend some time looking at stained and colored cement floors online so I knew which direction I wanted to go.

I took a few plastic party cups and poured about a third of the cup full of glaze. I mixed about two tablespoons of brown and a few drops of black (dark brown) into one, a few drops of yellow, orange and brown (rust brown) to another and then more brown again, this time in more of a medium tone. I’ll tell ya’, I was nervous because I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off or not. Turns out, it wasn’t that hard in fact… a kid can do it. I know this because I wanted something random and I have a tendency to over think things… so I called the then, 8 year old in the room and had him dip a brush in the paints and dribble them on the floor. From there, I grabbed a large painters brush and some of the plain glaze and went to work. I dripped the uncolored glaze on the floor and took the brush and swirled it around.

The floor wasn’t perfectly level which worked out great. You can still see the grid-like pattern from the cement board that was removed, and it looked cool so I left it.

Once the floor was done and dried, I poured floor sealer over the top of it. You can purchase this type of sealer at the grocery store or you can over it from Amazon here.

Clean the floor as you would a regular tile floor and every year or two, add another coat of floor wax like this one to keep up the shine.

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