There’s a good reason why professionals perform cement floor refinishing – and that’s because this is one hefty job! Just one little mistake during a crucial step of the entire process could require that the whole job start from the beginning. So take heed to the following cement floor refinishing advice.
Protect the Walls First
Using protective tape, cover the bottoms of the walls surrounding the cement floor that you’re refinishing. Because you’ll use a lot of wet materials, paint, and dangerous (acidic) chemicals, a little splashing is not only unavoidable, it’s damaging to the objects that they touch. Of course that means you too, so be sure to wear protective gloves, boots, glasses, and clothing.
Remove the Old Coat Second
To remove an old coat of finish, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the floor first. But we’re not talking about a regular soapy water mop job here. Cement floor refinishing requires cleaning with muriatic acid or sulfuric acid and the whole process is called, “etching.”
After cleaning (or etching) the floor, you’ll need to use a squeegee to soak up as much cleaning solution as you can because you won’t be able to move onto the next step until the floor is thoroughly dry.
In fact, you may have to wait eight to ten hours for the floor to dry. As part of the cement floor refinishing process, you’ll need to check and see if your floor is ready for a new finish several times with a moisture meter.
Let’s Get To The Paint Already
Cement floor refinishing paint is a combination of polyurethane (with a color or no color at all) and a hardener. Starting with the edges of the floor first, apply this mixture with a paintbrush. Then take a twenty-four or thirty-six inch roller and really press hard to bond the mixture onto the floor.
It’s imperative that the paint be rolled on with great pressure because if it isn’t, the thick mixture may bubble when it dries. In the cement floor refinishing industry, dried bubbles are known as “fish eyes” – a rather unattractive sight!
If bubbles form and dry into the floor, you can sand them down. The thicker the paint – the more bubbles there’ll be so you can appreciate why it’s so important that you really push that paint into the floor.
If an entire floor is covered in paint that’s too thick, not only will it need to be sanded down, it will also need to be stripped down and refinished from the beginning! It will be as if the cement floor refinishing never even happened.
First Coat Down – One More To Go
It’s surprising that regardless of how thick this paint it is, it dries extremely fast. So you don’t have to wait that long before you can sand the coat that you applied earlier with a buffer. Remove the dust created by sanding with a dust mop and light solvent. This part of cement floor refinishing also dries rather quickly.
Apply the second coat in the same manner as the first and when dry, pull off the tape that you used to protect the walls. There is no need to apply a finish of any sort to cement floor refinishing – this paint will shine all on its own.