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Prepping a Concrete Floor for Stain | Killer b. Designs



Prepping a Concrete Floor for Stain

When we moved into the home, the master bedroom had carpet flooring. I loved the way it looked, but not so much the way it smelled. The previous owners had dogs, and it was pretty clear that they had accidents. Lots of them. We had tried a couple different methods for cleaning it, but the smell still persisted in areas. Couple that with the fact that I have a boxer with an “Eating Problem” (i.e. she eats the most random crap) and the floor was in pretty bad shape. Imagine a bottle of doe urine being destroyed under the bed (hubs is a hunter, the scent is used to attract bucks). She also loved to sneak diapers out of the diaper pail to shred under the bed, the dirtier the better. It doesn’t help that the hubs has a red heeler with major digestion issues. I had to clean up dog diarrhea four times in the last two weeks of having the carpet. Seriously, that dog makes having a baby look easy. At least the kid uses diapers, I don’t have to clean smushy poop off the floor! Anyway, the fourth major poop incident was the last straw. It was everywhere! For some reason, they can’t just poop in one nice compact spot. She’s a Poop Walker. There were tracks everywhere. Fed up, I just grabbed the box cutter and ripped that shit right out of there. Literally. I enlisted spousal support and we took out all the carpet in one fell swoop.

Concrete under carpet isn’t normally in good shape. This certainly wasn’t. There were swirls of glue everywhere. Pulling up the tackboards left lots of divots.

Flooring is always a big job. This is no exception. Once we pulled up the carpet, we realized how gross the baseboards were. It took a good month of scrounging up the energy to prep the floors for the stain. You have to strip the glue, patch the holes, and clean clean clean! Here are a few tips if you’re thinking about staining your concrete floor:

Do your best to get all the glue up. I read online that the only non-toxic way to remove it was boiling water. That’s baloney. I didn’t want to rent a big sander, and then I remembered that I had a grinder with a Tiger Paw sanding wheel. It’s 36 grit, and worked perfectly to get the glue up. I couldn’t remove the marks entirely, as it had about 25 years to set in. I had to buy 2 sanding wheels, and they’re about $7 each. That’s better than the $50 it would have cost to rent the big sander.

Don’t use QuickCrete to patch your holes. I am lazy and cheap, and we had a bag left over from fixing our mailbox. It’s really gritty and there are a lot of pebbles in it. Most of the patches turned out pretty decent, but several don’t blend in well.

Take your time and tape off the room. Again, lazy. Since I planned to paint the baseboards anyway (as well as the wall paint right above it, since there was a lot of splatter from the previous poor paint job) we didn’t tape off. We just used a big piece of cardboard to block out important things like the windows, doors, and tiles from the bathroom. There will be a lot of touch up painting in my future. Save yourself from this pain if you can.

Last, here’s a step-by-step of the process:
1) Remove carpet, pull up tack boards
2) Use a grinder with a cutting wheel to cut any nails left behind
3) Sweep thoroughly
4) Use a grinder with a sanding wheel to remove glue residue
5) Sweep
6) Patch holes
7) Sweep
8) Mop

While the concrete is still lightly damp, it’s time to apply the stain! Ours is still drying, and I’m eager to see how it turns out. Hopefully we’ll only need one coat. If it completely flops, I plan to just paint it with the brown porch and floor paint we used at Grandma’s house with some wet-look sealer on top. Here’s hoping it turns out great!


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  1. Coasting anon

    Holy Lord, HOW do you have the energy…no really. How?! We tried to just tackle PAINTING our master bedroom walls and trim when our first was 3 months old and it almost ruined us. I give you so much credit. Very impressive. Can’t wait to see the results!!

  2. Maria

    I’m so excited to see the stain! I am totally a lazy prepper, too, especially with sanding. Booo sanding.

  3. Tsu Dho Nimh

    A heat gun and a scraper usually softens the glue enough to scrape it off.

    And latex-based concrete patching compound (comes pre-mixed because you only need a bit) is best for those shallow pits. You don’t want it flaking out of there after all the effort of staining.

    1. Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /home3/killerbd/public_html/wp-content/themes/graphene/includes/theme-comments.php on line 266

      Thank you for the tips! I actually tried a heat gun, no dice. The tiger paw attachment on my grinder did a pretty good job though.

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