Basement floors usually have concrete surfaces as it provides a strong foundation but requires very little maintenance. Paint is applied on this concrete surface to make it look more attractive. Now, the need for removal of paint from basement floor may arise for many different reasons. Suppose, you have to repair the concrete floor surface. Then you cannot start the repair work unless and until the old paints are removed from the floor.
Similarly, if you are planning for a basement remodeling by adding some fresh, new colors to its floors, then it is essential that you remove all the existing paints. Or, you may want to go for basement floor paint removal simply because you do not like the unattractive old, flaky paints on the basement floors. Whatever be the reason, one thing is for sure that you have to work really hard to get rid of those paint colors from the concrete floor of your basement.
Removing Paint from Concrete Basement Floor
The most popular method used to remove paint from a concrete floor involves use of paint strippers. These are chemical based solvents that can loosen up the bonding between paint and the underlying floor. If you are not too keen to use harsh chemicals in an indoor area and are looking for a safer option, then you can purchase a soy-based paint stripper. The main steps for removing paint from concrete floor in basement are as follows:
Step #1: The first step involves a good amount of preparation. Remove all the objects that occupy the floor surface to make your work area free so that you can move around freely. Next, sweep the floor properly to get rid of loose dust and dirt from it. You also have to wash the floor with warm water and mild detergent in order to clean up loosely bound paint, greasy stains and other such stubborn marks from the concrete floor. After a thorough floor cleaning, you must check out for any cracks and holes on the concrete surface. If you find any, you must repair them with patching compound. Otherwise, they would look prominent after the paint job.
Step #2: The next step is preparation of the stripping compound as per the instructions provided by the manufacturers. There are a wide variety of stripping agents available in the market. In some varieties, there are two components which need to be mixed before application. In other varieties, you have to mix up some water with the stripping compound. There is also a premixed variety, that can be used directly on the concrete floor and does not require mixing of the compounds.
Step #3: Before applying the paint stripping agent, you must divide the floor surface into small sections and work on each section at a time. Start from any one corner of the floor and proceed towards the exit. This will make the job much more convenient for you. Apply thick coat of paint stripper gel with the help of a paint brush or paint roller or sprayer. Keep it untouched for some time so that it can saturate the paint properly. The waiting time for the paint strippers is provided on its label by the manufacturers and you must strictly follow it.
Step #4: Now, it is time to scrape out the loose and dissolved old paint from the basement floor. You can use a thick plastic scraper or putty knife or wire brush for this purpose. Just make sure that the tool you use for scraping paint has a long handle so that you do not have to bend down again and again to carry out the task.
Step #5: In case, there is a thick coat of paint, just one application of paint strippers may not be enough and you have to re-apply it all over again following the same technique. Once the floor paint is completely removed from the first section of the basement floor, move on to the next section for application of the first coat of paint stripper in the same manner.
Step #6: After the old floor paint is removed from all the sections of the basement floor, it is time to clean up the floor. Collect the paint residues in a bucket or trash bag which have to be disposed off in a safe location as per the instructions of the waste management team of your city. Any residue paint particles left behind from the floor surface should be scrubbed off with a stiff bristled nylon brush. It should be followed by thorough washing of the entire floor with mild soapy solution. Allow the floor to dry up properly for the next 24 hours before you walk on it or repaint it.
There are some precautions that need to be taken while working on basement floor paint removal. Most of the strippers contain toxic chemicals which need to be handled with great care as they can cause burn or skin irritation. For this reason, you should protect yourself with full sleeved clothing, rubber gloves and goggles. Keep your work area ventilated by opening up the windows and using fans. Some paint strippers contain inflammable substances. Therefore, you must turn off the lights and avoid smoking in the basement area to prevent any outbreak of fire.