Now we’re talking

Posted by Nate in Home Improvements.
Sunday, December 3rd, 2006 at 7:42 pm

Well, the tide has turned in the battle against the basement floor: I’m winning.  In fact, it’s a route.  I am so happy with how it’s turning out so far I really can’t wait to finish it and see the whole thing.  And I know Karen really can’t wait to have the laundry room back – it’s currently full of everything that used to be in our basement, and has been for the last… oh, two months.  Way too long.

So here’s the rundown:  Tuesday after work I rented a 5" hand grinder.  11-30-2006-9-03-49-pm_0027.JPGI’d decided to grind the parts of the edges and corners I’d missed with the previous (second) rental of the walk-behind grinder, and then chemically remove the last bits of pain.  (the second time I used grinding stones which worked pretty well but again couldn’t negotiate the bumps and curves of the floor)  After doing the edges and seeing how good it looked, I had to do the whole thing: 7 hours of horrible hands and knees grinding, shaking out and emptying the shop vac every 10 minutes, etc, etc.  But it looked great by Wednesday morning!!  It also removed the whole top layer of discolors cement and roughened up the surface enough it would take the stain really well.

12-2-2006-1-36-21-pm_0001.JPGVarious busy-ness and mishaps kept me from getting back to it until the weekend, and early Saturday I was off to buy the stain and some masking tape.  The taping actually took a lot of the day (see at right), but I wanted to get it right and have an even pattern.

12-2-2006-5-10-38-pm_0004.JPGBy Saturday evening I had about a third of the main pattern in place, and it was looking very good.  I was tempted to press on, but my back was killing me from all the bent over work and spraying and taping, so I called it a night.

12-3-2006-12-35-49-pm_0001.JPGSunday Karen had off work so she came down to help and it started going much quicker.  She would use the cardboard masks to shield the edges up to the tape, spray a base coat using a hand-sprayer, reposition the masks, etc, until the square was filled.  Then I’d come in with my accent colors – dark and light – and rag roll / blot in some texture and pattern.  12-3-2006-6-29-48-pm_0003.JPGAs the afternoon progressed I started doing some touchup on the last night’s work and found a really nice "vein" pattern that looks sort of like granite or marble.  Really sweet.

At left is where things stand tonight.  I’ve still got to go down and tape the edging for the next round – we’re filling in the grey with a really nice deep red, "Terra Cotta" it’s called.  I’m going to leave a 1/4" overlap of unstained cement, which should look like a grout line in tile, I think that will help the pattern pop a little more.  12-3-2006-6-29-36-pm_0002.JPGFinally the intersections will be stained a dark grey or black, which will also help provide some visual contrast.

Did I mention I love it so far?  I love it.  I’m going to make out with the floor when it’s done.  You can come watch.  $5 at the door.

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7 Responses to “Now we’re talking”

  1. mps Says:

    It is looking soooo good! It’s too bad it was such a struggle, but we all knew in the end who would win (and it wasn’t going to be the stupid floor and some stubborn paint). The darker strip you plan to put in between the big color blocks is going to really add a lot, too. I can’t wait to see it in person!

  2. Q Says:

    I’m holding you to that. I’ll come with $5 just to see you with a raw tongue after making out with your beautiful floor.

  3. Q Says:

    Hey, and what is that bulgy thing in the corner there the kegenator usual goes? Just a drain or something?

  4. nator Says:

    re: bulgy thing. Yeah, a drain or something. Not really sure, and I guess this would have been the time to figure it out and address it, but basically it looks like a big iron pipe coming out of the floor with a rubber o-ring and screw cap. Maybe a previous plumbing something? Who knows. We’ll put furniture or the kegenator over it – or, hell, maybe I’ll rig up a drip tray for the kegenator and run the excess down the drain!

    Thanks for the encouragement – the taping for the next step is taking way longer than I though due to the 1/4″ fiddling I’m trying to do. The intersections end up overlapping the area I want painted so I’m having to cut tape out and lay in a new offset square. A hassle, but hopefully worth it. Whew!

  5. Mary Jo Says:

    Well we all knew the floor didn’t stand a chance against you. It’s looking great–anxious to see it when it’s all finished.

  6. troy Says:

    Looks good buddy! You know, if you like that pretty kinda thing. Put me down for $10 at the door. Anyone can kiss a floor once, I want to to see a back for seconds!

  7. spaceman Says:

    hey! i just found out that since you switched your site, i can access it from work! guess who’s gonna get spammed everyday during the hours of 7am to 5pm?

    groovy floor — super happy that it turning out for you after all the initial work.

    re: the bulgy thing. obviously, that’s where you make out with the floor.