What to do with rust brown wall-to-wall carpet and yellow linoleum floors? Spend the time stripping it down to the concrete slab and add color plus art! Having never down this type of transformation before it was a little daunting to say the least. With more spare time than money it ended up being a very unique way to add personality to our first home.
We decided to have concrete floors in all the high traffic areas – hallways, dining room and kitchen. Very practical I know, but allows you to spend your spare time elsewhere instead of cleaning. The main area of the living room and 3 bedrooms received the carpet treatment. Time investment was pretty intensive due to the linoleum flooring being glued to the cement. It’s a nightmare I don’t wish on anyone. Taking up the carpet in specific areas a breeze by comparison.
Top 3 Advantages to Concrete Floors:
1. Keeps the house cooler in the summer (no difference in the winter if you were wondering, but then again I live in Southern California so winter can be 2 weeks at 40 degrees)
2. Great for clean-up! less stress less time (especially important if you have a zoo of animals and family)
3. A fun conversation point! (have also found it useful with young kids for homework – each point of the kitchen sun become a stopping point for learning a spelling word or math fact)
What to consider to make concrete floor work for you?
- Find a tile at a store you really like to have a ready-made pattern and set of colors
- If you want art (and not an artist – I am not) – make it simple! Being beach people, the Mr. and I decided on a sun in the kitchen and a dolphin in the entry way of the front door. Be on the lookout where ever you are for art inspiration. The Mr. and I were enjoying a cup of espresso at our favorite spot and spied our art inspiration on a set of ceramic mugs! Yes a quick napkin drawing or phone photo will help.
- Be comfortable with imperfect. Your paint job won’t be perfect and with regular use of your floors you’re bound to get a few small imperfections – but think of the imperfect as a great story. The spot where your favorite dish broke on the floor and made a ding. The new couch that made a small scrape when you found its perfect spot and your perfect spot on the couch.
The concrete floor art was pretty straight forward with a heavy dose of patience!
Here’s the short version of how to do concrete floor art (porch paint was used):
1. After the floors are all prepped (really, really clean and any cement patching dried), put on the base coat (porch paint was used here) with a roller.
2. Draw in the outlines of your artwork and paint those areas first. Be sure to erase your pencil lines if they still show.
3. We used the rag rolling technique for the top color. Do one coat then after it dries you’ll want to decide if you need to fill in anywhere. This is where it get completely subjective – how much top color you want and how much you want the base coat to show through. We ended up with doing 2 top coats and added back in a little of the base color where it was needed.
4. Seal the floors with either Varathane (yellowish base) or Polyurethane (completely clear). We used 3 coats of Varathane applied with roller.
Voila! Great concrete floor art.
Enjoy your spare time!
p.s. no my kitchen counters do not look this clean on a daily basis.