Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Questions about doing a floor that had carpet before.

Ask a Pro

   Q. -  We are planning on staining a basement bedroom floor, using Concrete Camouflage products, and have a few questions.
Hello Kimberly,

   Answers follow the questions.
1) Is the only difference in the Artist grade and the standard (1 coat needed vs. 2)? How many coats do you recommend?
    A. - Yes, that is the only difference, The Artist grade is a one coat stain (although you can do additional coats for a darker look) and the Standard grade requires two coats minimum. Other than that, the only other difference is the color choices.

2) The concrete was poured in 1968, will there be enough lime left to stain nicely?
    A. - There should be, though you never know for sure without doing a test area first, like in a closet or an out of the way place. You could purchase some sample sizes first to test not only the chemical reaction, but also the colors. Due to the age of the concrete I would suggest only using the Artist grade concrete stain by Concrete Camouflage for sure. 
    When you do your tests, do one test with one coat and also one test with two coats, of each color that you're testing, to see if one coat will be adequate or if it will require two coats due to the age of the concrete.

3) What is the best way to remove some paint spots from the concrete?
    A. - You can use a citrus stripper, paint stripper, paint thinner, or Xylene(though it's very flammable and requires adequate ventilation), or you can use a heavy duty glue remover which also works well. You may still need to lightly sand the floor and if so, you can use a small belt sander, a rented floor sander like they use on wood floors, or even a floor buffing machine with the sanding disks.
   NOTE: If the paint spots are small and only a few, then you may want to just strip them as well as you can with a citrus or paint stripper, and then if you do still see the paint spots after staining, then you can use a children's water paint set (like you get at the dollar store for the water paint coloring books) so that you can mix the colors to blend with the stain and then lightly paint over the spots and feather it in to camouflage the spots. Then seal over it to lock it in and complete the camouflaging technique. Once the sealer and wax is on, then the colors will blend underneath and look natural. Simple and inexpensive camouflaging that works well.

4) Do you recommend the C5p32 degreaser instead of a local hardware store brand?
    A. - I would only use degreaser if the floor has oil or grease on it and/or in the pores of the concrete. Otherwise just cleaning it well with T.S.P. (tri-sodium-phosphate) will be enough. If there's no oil or grease, which you can usually tell by wetting the floor down to see if the water soaks right in or beads up or just kinda sits there awhile before soaking in, and also looking for discoloration. If you do decide to use a degreaser then I would suggest that you use Concrete Stain Prep (C.S.P.) by Concrete Camouflage, as it was designed to be used specifically when using concrete stain. It not only degreases but also cleans, strips, and removes dirt, light duty glues, water base paints, and more, that other degreasers can't touch. It can even be used to remove tire marks from rubber tires. It will outperform all other degreaser products, and it's inexpensive as well. Regardless of which degreaser that you use, you will still need to final clean with T.S.P. and then final rinse a couple times with clean water.

5) What is the best way to hide tack strip holes from carpet? We will be using concrete filler to fix the divets. We were thinking we would need to use a darker stain. Any suggestions would be great. We are debating between Canon or Maya stone for the main part of the floor but not sure what to do around the edges for the tack strips. We are also going to use the cc3mt tape to make lines.
    A. - Using a darker stain color is a great idea, and a common practice, as the concrete patching material will most likely stain a different color. You should use some of the patching material on a piece of cardboard to make some sample boards of the material. Then when you do the color tests on your concrete, you can also do color tests on the patching material sample boards. Then you will see how much, if any difference, the patches will be from the floor. It may be that doing a second coat on the patches helps it to blend, or vice versa, or it could be that a different patch material works out better, or you may see that you need to really darken out the border area. Also, you can always use the water color paint trick, mentioned above, on the divots if needed too.
   Just a personal opinion, but when using Canyon or Island Sand, the Honey Oak or Leather Brown looks great with it. The Coffee also works well for a much darker color and camouflaging or darkening out.
   If you do use tape to make lines for the border, then it's important to try and keep the stain from getting under the edge of the tape, which it will try to do. So, brush on the border color using a brush and bucket. Dip the brush, tap out the excess stain in the bucket, and then place the brush in the center of the border area or near the wall. Brush in a circular motion towards the tape so that once you reach the tape, the stain is out of the brush and you are dragging the stain to the tape. Additionally, if you spray over tape, then be sure to not spray at an angle, but rather spray directly down over the tape. Also, it's better to do a couple light misting coats than one heavy coat. Remember that the stain is liquid like water and will want to get under the tape if possible.
   Finally, you can do the border first in a darker or even the same color, and then spray the entire floor, including the border, with the lighter color.

6) If we seal the concrete after the stain, will we need the wax?
    A. - You should certainly still wax it. The wax is the best part. It's the sacrificial coat. Top Shield by Concrete Camouflage lasts for quite a long time in high traffic areas and when it does start to scuff or dull you just apply a fresh coat and it's back to new. It makes the cleaning a breeze and maintenance easy and inexpensive, while ensuring that your new stained floor stays looking new, and when maintained properly will ensure that your stained floor lasts indefinitely. Also, the Top Shield floor wax comes in gloss or matte finish.
   Also, by sealing and waxing both, you are layering in clear coats that will add to the depth, luster, and appearance of an expensive floor.

Thanks in advance for your help. We are excited to get started but we need to get our questions answered first so we know what to order. Kimberly
I hope this helps,
800 650 1157
Earl Choate, Ph.D.