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Painting or Staining basement

Our house is about 100 years old and the basement has a concrete finish to the floor and walls. There is some efflurescence which I have worked out how to solve.

I would like some recommendations on paints for the walls.

I would also like some feedback on concrete staining for basement floors. I would like to do this by myself, but I have read a lot that looks like a 2 man job. Is there a way this can be done alone?

Re: Painting or Staining basement

You can stain, surface paint, or penetrating paint. What's the difference?
Stain goes into the concrete... it stains the surface and top layer. It is great but fades over time. Most concrete stain over time turns to a brown, grey, or black cover (read the manufaturer's website). It will need to be reapplied, but since it's stain you don't need to scrape (like you would paint). However, since the color is different from raw concrete your reapply color will be different (darker).

Surface paint is like a coat that can be scratched or scrubbed off. Easy to touch up with more paint. Cheapest option. And definately a one person job.

Penetrating paint is like stain yet doesn't penetrate as deep. It's pigments are the same as paint pigments, they are usually oil based. Take a while to dry (especially in a basement). However, Apply like paint... one person job.

There are "green" options I have seen done that are one person options and cheap. I don't know how well they work and I would do some research on them... but one I know of is getting leafs from trees and you must get them flat (press them, but try not to dry them out) Then you spread them over your floor and use apple viniger in a spray bottle and generously spray them down. Apparently the breakdown of the leaves and the acid in the viniger react and stain the concrete... Wait until dry. Tones of browns, reds, and oranges.

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