So, our new house has an unfinished basement. I have a thing about bare concrete. Outside, it's fine, but inside it kinda gives me the heebies. I hate how it feels on my feet, or even if I'm wearing socks, I hate how it smells, all dusty all the time, I basically hate it.
Well, since we're wanting to use the basement for more than storage (Exercise room, indoor playground for the kids in the winter, and an office of sorts, plus this is where all the food storage will live, and where I will grind my grains to make my bread (I sound like the little red hen right?lol)), we wanted to do a floor treatment.
We chose to do a concrete stain because it looks cool, and it's inexpensive.
The whole thing cost us about $85
So here's how we did it...
Step 1: SWEEP
Our basement was FULL of super fine dust/dirt. My SWEET Mom and Dad, who happened to be in town, and my sister Stephanie helped us get it all swept up. This was the most difficult, the photo below was taken with a flash because it was dark down there, and the flash caught all the dust in the air. We had a pretty good method where we worked together, to sweep piles, adn then my Dad came in behind us with the shop vac. We worked HARD sweeping for like 2-3 hours straight trying to get up all the dust.
Step 2: Clean/Etch
We used Quikcrete Bond-lok concrete cleaner, degreaser, and etcher, this was recommended at Lowes. We used one bottle for the entire basement, it cost $18. The reason you need to etch the concrete is because it opens up the pores of the concrete so it can absorb the stain. Follow the directions on the bottle.
This step takes about an hour to scrub all the floor and clean it up afterwards (rinse it). The rinsing was a challenge in the basement, we had to mop and rinse and mop rinse... and mop. You have to wear rubber boots and gloves, this stuff is nasty if you get it on your skin.
Drying after it's been etched:
Then, you have to let the etching dry overnight. This is the bare, dry concrete before the stain:
Step 3: Stain
We followed the directions on the can, get the concrete a little wet, and then apply the stain with a pump sprayer. This is kind of like water color painting. You know how when you paint with watercolors, you get your paper wet first? That way the paint will spread, and flow? Same kind of thing. We ran into some trouble with puddles because our floor isn't perfectly flat. Puddles are bad news.
This is the Vaquero Brown color we chose in Semi-transparent stain. Here is a link to all the colors available. (we bought ours at Lowes, I think around $25-28 a can, we used 2 full cans for our 900 square foot basement)
John, filling up the pump sprayer. We bought this pump sprayer at Lowes for $13, the lady said we should just throw it away when we're done with it. (I was so relieved because I thought we were going to have to buy a real paint sprayer for $100! Phew :)
John let me spray the stain while he went ahead of me and got the concrete wet. (We wished we had bought a second pump sprayer to distribute the water better, we used a bucket of water and a push broom to spread it around, I wouldn't recommend that method...next time....