Concrete Paint Catastrophe: Ignorance is bliss…

I have continued my relentless research on products for the concrete floor.  Wait – I know what you’re thinking: why don’t you use epoxy?  Three reasons: 1) I’m holding onto it as a card up my sleeve, 2) my intentions are to paint some decorative stencils on top & 3) It’s expensive.  Well, at least it seemed so at the beginning of this process compared to other possible options.  Items purchased to date include 2 gallons of Benjamin Moore’s Latex Porch and Floor Paint, (One that has been applied.  One unopened, purchased since first can did not coat entire floor – adhesion complications unknown at time of purchase.), 3 bottles of Citristrip, 1 aerosol can of Citristrip,  2 wire brush attachments for our electric drill, and the destruction of the handheld stainless steel brush we already owned.

All the bristles used to be the same length!

Damage done so far (monetarily, not physical labor or emotional frustration! ):

Benjamin Moore Paint @ $60 per gallon, x’s 2: $120

Citristrip bottles @ $14 each, x’s 3: $42

Citristrip aerosol can: $11

Wire brush attachments @ $4 each, x’s2: $8

Stainless steel brush (replacement): $9

Damage Total (at least to this point anyways): $190 – Same price(ish) as epoxy!  Of course, that would depend on the quality of epoxy purchased, but you get my point.  And still, the floor is back at square 2. (Square one was fabulous blue carpet on top of terracotta tile.  And, in some places carpet adhered directly to the floor, which required a chemical and hard work to remove the adhesive product).

Zinsser 1-2-3 PrimerValspar Oil Based Porch and Floor Paint

My recent internet reading has lead me to consider these two products: Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer, and Valspar’s Oil Based Porch and Floor Paint.  I stumbled across Zinsser (a product made by RustOleum) when I read this post on Yahoo! Answers.  I was so excited – I really thought I had the answer to my problem!  One lesson I have learned while attempting to paint this stupid floor is to call the manufacturer of a product and ask lots of questions.  So, that’s what I did.  And, to my dismay, this product is not made for use on floors.  :(  I was told that over time, the wear and tear of foot traffic would break down its bond to the surface underneath it.  Bummer.

On to Valspar.  A blog that I check in on often, Young House Love, had also taken on a similar project.  They seem to be pros at this stuff, and so I am inclined to trust their choice in products.  If it worked for them, it should work for me, right? Ha!  Another lesson learned about concrete, is just because it worked on one concrete surface, doesn’t mean it will work on yours.  Each concrete surface is different in its physical properties, surface history, age, etc. all of which affect what products will or will not work on it.  Again, I called the manufacturer of the product.  Valspar was very helpful, and I picked up another two pieces of information I did not know before.  1) To determine whether a concrete surface is old and breaking down on its surface, apply duct tape in a few different areas.  Press it firmly onto the surface, and quickly pull it off.  Look and see what it pulled up – if it seems like pieces of your concrete, you are SOL.  Nothing will adhere to a surface that is breaking down.  I immediately went and tried this.  Conclusion is undetermined at this point. Was it pieces of concrete?  Dirt?  I will conduct this test again after the floor has had its thorough cleaning on Saturday. (Which, by the way, it passed!)  Second tidbit acquired: I should not use the Urethane Clear Gloss that I have already purchased on top of Valspars paint.  Honestly, I don’t even remember the reasoning.  (The Urethane is to apply after the stencils, to protect them from wear and tear.)

Don’t these people know they are really throwing a kink in my plans?  Trying to do things correctly is really beginning to become a problem…

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