Our ugly basement bathroom makeover is finished with a chalk paint stenciled concrete floor and new wallpaper.
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Have you ever had a project you really wanted to do but were a bit intimidated about it?
Seriously, the idea of painting a concrete floor and having it look good AND hold up over time is a bit daunting.
Not to mention all of the different products available to use for this type of project or the vast majority of vinyl stencil designs to choose from.
Not knowing exactly how to start this project was one thought.
And then there is the skill level required and the tedious task of applying each layer of the paint.
What if I didn’t like it or the paint bleeds underneath the stencil and ruins the whole design?
These were just a few of the thoughts running through my mind whenever I considered painting this floor.
So I kept avoiding the project.
That is until a few weeks ago when I was given wallpaper from Photowall.com to feature in a area of my home. I finally had to face down the mental questions and just go ahead and paint the basement concrete floor! The painted floor is part of a trendy makeover for the basement bathroom.
Of course I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and instructions to finally get this project done.
My decision to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for this project was because it was what I had on hand and I knew how to work with it.
The paint colors I had also worked well with the color of the new wallpaper. Their website is also filled with lots of tips and guidance on any type of project you want to try out.
The basement bathroom is not a large room. It also has several angles to work around with the location of the shower and the vanity. The large scale patterns of some vinyl stencils just wouldn’t work well in the space.
I finally found a small vinyl stencil at Michael’s craft store that I liked and would be easy to work with on my first attempt at painting a concrete floor.
We are considering painting the concrete floor in the renovated sunroom later this year so starting on a smaller project like the basement bathroom floor was a good project to learn on.
The original paint on the basement concrete floor is a dingy brown from the 1970’s. Not really a pretty color. It had worn away in several places, especially in front of the vanity. The first thing that the bathroom floor needed was a good base coat of paint – after a thorough cleaning of course.
I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen for the base coat of paint. It took two layers of this paint to completely cover the bathroom floor. I waited 24 hours between each layer of paint before proceeding with the stenciled design.
The stenciled design needed a starting point. I wanted the floor design to be centered on the door as you walked in to the room. So, I found the center measurement on the back wall of the room and aligned it with the center measurement of the door to the room.
Thankfully my husband has a six foot level that made this part of the project easy to do.
I made small pencil marks along the center line from the door way to the back wall to align the first few stencils on the center of the room.
Once I had the center measurements marked off on the floor from the door to the back wall, I aligned the vinyl stencil with the first measurement mark, taped it down with painter’s tape and painted on the first stenciled design.
To paint on the stencil design, I used Annie Sloan Pure White Chalk Paint, a small stencil brush and paper towels.
The secret to keeping the paint from bleeding underneath the stencil design is to wipe off any excess paint on a paper towel before applying the paint to the stencil design.
This technique made this project so much easier to do with cleaner lines in the design.
Apply the paint to the stencil pattern in a circular pattern to fully cover the design of the pattern to the surface.
After finishing the first stencil, I removed it from the floor, aligned it up with small details on the edge of the first painted design, taped it down, and painted in the next stencil pattern.
I repeated this pattern many more times to fill in all the sections of the floor.
At this point I turned on a good audio book and just painted each stencil one at a time.
After about 9 or 10 painted stencil patterns, I would have to take the stencil to the sink and wash off the excess paint that would build up on the stencil. Cleaning off the paint build up just required warm water and a washcloth. This kept the stencil design clean and crisp throughout.
Another tip is to take breaks so that the chalk paint can dry and you can move along the room without smearing the painted designs.
Even with a small room, this project still took me several days to complete.
I was either waiting for the stencil to dry off again or taking a break from sitting on a cold hard concrete floor for too long. The next time I paint a floor I will have knee pads and a small stool to make the project easier on my joints.
Once I was finally finished painting the entire concrete floor with the stenciled design I allowed it to dry for about 48 hours. The final step was to apply two coats of Annie Sloan Lacquer in Matte Finish.
The lacquer was easy to apply with a sponge roller over the entire floor.
After the first coat, I waited 4 hours before applying the second coat. I then allowed the entire floor to dry out for 24 hours before walking on it again, installing the new white molding, or adding the small rug.
Of course I can see every mistake I made in this my first attempt at painting a floor with a stencil.
Mistakes where I didn’t align the stencil up exactly perfect for the pattern. Or when I had too much paint on the brush. Or the paint had built up on the stencil and altered the shape of the pattern just a bit.
Of course, I seem to be the only one who notices the imperfections anyway.
I learned a lot working on my very first painted stencil floor design. In the end I love the transformation it gave this small basement bathroom on a budget.
If you have ever attempted a much larger stenciled floor project I would love for you to share any tips you have before I try this again.
John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”