The battle rages

Posted by Nate in Home Improvements.
Friday, October 13th, 2006 at 2:09 pm

So far I’ve put both a chunk of money and a ton of time into trying to get the paint off the GD basement floor, and I hate to say it but the floor is winning.  Every few days I have a brainstorm and – sure I’ve solved it – hustle off to the hardware store to get the last thing I’ll need to finish this project…  And so far I’ve been wrong.  Here’s a quick list of what I know doesn’t work:

  • ReadyStrip paint remover.
    • It actually works really well — in the places it works at all.  There are as-yet (wait for it!) unexplained patches of the floor that simply Do Not Yield Their Paint.
  • Manual scraping
    • Oh, it works ok for a little while, until you realize you spent half an hour and have (maybe) cleared half a square foot.  Again, as with the stripper, there are DNYTP sections.
  • A big concrete surface grinder machine
    • I feel like this may have done a slightly better job with the diamond cutting blades instead of the carbide ones I got, but in the end it basically amounted to manually scraping the entire floor only much quicker.  Still patches that DNYTP and a few pits in the surface that the blades didn’t get to.
    • The machine was like this one but without everything in that feature list that says "new".  Must’ve been the old model.
  • 3M Safest Stripper
    • Like ReadyStrip but even slower acting.  Does a fantastic job on the paint that will come up at all, but at this point there’s really none left.

So…  That’s discouraging, to say the least.  You may be wondering, as I was, will anything get this paint off?  Well, I’m sure there is some Dimethyl Toxic Whatever horror I could use, but at this point I’m not sure even that would work.  Why?  Well, here’s one thing that works:

  • A Makita angle grinder Karen borrowed from work.

Sweet.  But the thing’s so small already and because it’s an angle grinder you can only hit about a centimeter at a time which makes for really slow going.  Also it’s darn near impossible to avoid uneven grinding, leaving little scallops in the floor (tiny, but still)…

266942435_23df6bffcb.jpgThe revelation for me while grinding was the depth I had to go down to in certain spots to eliminate the color from the paint.  I had read about it happening in concrete but hadn’t seen it, but apparently somehow the paint had sunk down into the pores of the concrete and bonded itself there instead of on the surface.  I’ve also noticed while scraping that there was in fact a layer beneath the orange, a gray gloss that must have chipped up in places before the orange went down – and the places that took the most grinding showed no evidence of this gray!  So…  Seems like the gray paint bonded nicely to the surface and those are the parts I can scrape and strip, but where orange paint hit concrete directly it made patches that DNYTP.  And that depth and bonding make me think even a crazy chemical stripper wouldn’t work and might even make the paint sink deeper into the concrete.

Whoa.  So now I’m planning to rent one of these and grind the whole floor down.  Or call around and see if I can find a stand-up version of that.  Hell yeah.  You haven’t beaten me yet, floor!!

Similar Posts:

4 Responses to “The battle rages”

  1. MJ Says:

    Well if that paint is that attached to the floor, can’t you just paint over it? Of course you could always put a thin layer of new concrete over the whole thing and then paint or do whatever you were planning on doing to the floor. Or you could always just lay some nice tile on top of what you have now.

  2. nator Says:

    Well, I want to stain the concrete with an acid etcher, like in these shots: final2.gif

    … so painting is out except as a last resort. I’m also not confident we could pour even a thin layer of concrete for two reasons: 1) the whole floor angles towards the drain, sometimes a lot, and 2) I’d have to roughen up the whole floor anyway with a scabbler or scarifier to get the new layer to bond properly…

    But believe me, all suggestions are welcome!

  3. Brent Says:

    Preasure washer? Like the shit they use to take paint off of roads. I’m sure it would work the only problem is I doubt it would leave the floor very smooth.

  4. mps Says:

    Interesting, the orange sinking into the concrete….. What a pain, but interesting. It does seem like grinding it out should work. Do you have any sense of how far down it goes? Whatever, that stupid floor is doomed, you will prevail. I think the links showing what you hope to do on the floor (once the stupid orange is gone) are great. I really liked the last one, especially.