Level of difficulty - painting unfinished, unheated concrete part of basement?


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Old 10-23-16, 05:29 AM
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Level of difficulty - painting unfinished, unheated concrete part of basement?

Our house has an enclosed space under the stairs of our front porch. It has a glass, exterior door that opens into our finished, heated basement, but it is not heated or finished itself. It is primarily below grade, and the walls and floor are bare concrete. The original owners intended it to be a wine cellar or root cellar of some sort. We only use it for storage of things that can withstand being in there during cold OH winters.

Unfortunately, it is positioned off a prominent place in our basement so is an eyesore, especially to potential buyers down the road. So we had thought of painting it. We are not going for anything fancy - just want it to look cleaner and less dungeon-like.

We thought this might be an easy job, but the more I look into how-to tutorials on painting concrete, the more intimidated I get. There seems to be a lot more considerations on what to do with respect to prepping the surfaces, sealing, priming, type of paint, etc. than with other types of painting projects.

We are newbies when it comes to any type of DIY stuff. We are willing to put the work in and learn, but not if we are going to be way over our heads and screw this up, potentially costing more time and money down the road.

Can anyone give me a sense of how difficult this would be? Would we be better off hiring a professional, or can beginners really take this on?

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-23-16, 05:37 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

No reason you can't diy if you want to
Do you want to just paint the walls or the floor also? Just to be clear, it's a poured concrete foundation wall and not cinder block ?? Is there any effervescence on the walls? [white powdery stains] how old is the house?

Generally painting below grade masonry walls dictates using Drylok [or similar] as a primer. The top coat can be any type of latex paint that suits your fancy. I prefer not to paint basement slabs and when I do, I prefer a solid concrete stain. Moisture migrating thru the slab will cause paint to lift.
 
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Old 10-23-16, 06:19 AM
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Thanks so much for the quick response, marksr! The house is 10 years old, and the walls are poured concrete. As far as I can tell, there is no effervescence, but it's a little hard to tell because the poured concrete is light gray so I'm not sure how well the stains would show up.

We would like to do something to the floor but your point about staining versus painting is well-taken - we would certainly be happy with stain.

Hopefully it's OK to post outside links here - one of the most straightforward tutorials I've found for the concrete wall painting is this one: https://www.houselogic.com/remodel/p...rete-painting/

Do you feel like this is a pretty good guide?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-23-16, 10:20 AM
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Some of the things I took issue with in that article,

TSP is a great cleaner but must be rinsed well as any residue that is left can cause adhesion issues! I only use on the exterior.

Elastomeric paint is only for exterior use! It will prevent moisture from entering thru the coating from the top side of the coating but won't prevent the paint from peeling if the moisture comes from from beneath. Masonry paints are generally a cheaper grade of paint. On exterior masonry I've gotten longer lasting results using a quality house paint rather than masonry paint.

I've never used Thoro-seal but it has a good reputation. On bare block I've always used blockfill above grade or Drylok if below grade. On concrete it depends on how porous it is. If it has a fairly slick finish most any primer will work - still need a moisture sealer if below grade.

Effervescence sort of looks like a white mildew.
 
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Old 10-23-16, 05:53 PM
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Marksr, thank you so much for all of the helpful hints and advice - I really appreciate you being willing to take the time to share your experience and expertise. I feel more comfortable taking on this project now - we will see how it goes!
 
 

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