The beautiful weather over the weekend gave me the chance to tackle a few projects around the house that I’ve been putting off until I could open all the windows, and painting the living room floor tiles was #1 on my list. Despite ripping out all of the carpeting throughout the rest of the house, we had previously kept that living room carpeting intact while we decided what we wanted to do with the floor in the long run. It was in decent shape and wasn’t horribly offensive so I was ok with it in the interim.
We knew there was some sort of concrete/tile flooring underneath the carpeting, as the space was originally an open-air porch before it was enclosed, so I was hesitant to expose what would be freezing cold floors beneath the carpeting during the dead of winter. But, now that the sun has been shining and the temperatures rising, I knew it was time to get moving on this project.
We ripped out the old carpeting to reveal…wait for it…wait for it…
Olive green 1950’s asbestos tile! Yay! Is the sarcasm reaching through your computer screen and slapping you in the face? #LongLiveTheChevron
While I can definitely appreciate a… let’s call it “vintage” flooring option in the right context, this baby wasn’t doing anything for me, not to mention the fact that it didn’t go all the way to the wall in places where we ripped out the old paneling as well as a few little damaged spots around the perimeter.
We’re definitely not ready for the permanent flooring installation quite yet, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with the current flooring for long so I decided to use some of this Behr Porch & Patio paint, that we had previously purchased at our old house but never used, to give the dated floor tiles a face-lift.
We had originally considered ripping out the old porch tile and painting/refinishing the concrete below, but once the carpeting was up, we realized we were dealing with what was, most likely, 1950’s asbestos tile. Truthfully, just the word ‘asbestos’ scares me, but we were informed by a Environmental Monitoring specialist that it is perfectly safe to live with as long as materials are in good condition and the asbestos cannot be released into the air. This was the case for us, so rather than delve into the asbestos removal process, especially since this was going to be a temporary aesthetic fix before a more permanent flooring solution, we decided to simply paint and seal the tiles themselves. **I definitely suggest getting a professional opinion before dealing with any materials you think could possibly contain asbestos.**
I decided to paint the floor in 2 phases rather than all at once in order to keep some semblance of normalcy in our life during this project. The paint recommends 72 hours of drying time before returning to normal use so this is what made the most sense for us. After the first side has completely cured, we will move the room over to the painted tile and finish phase 2.
The preparation is probably the most important part of this project. It’s UBER important to have a clean and dry surface free of any dirt and dust in order to get the best results.
Now, I’ve done A LOT of painting since we’ve moved into this house and, let me tell you, painting the floor has been BY FAR the most enjoyable paint job so far. It’s just so much easier and faster than painting any other surface. I might even go so far as to say I enjoyed it.
Just quickly go around the room and edge along the walls with a paint brush.
Then, using the floor as your paint tray, roll the paint over the surface with a roller on an extension pole. The only thing you really have to be aware of is not painting yourself into a corner, literally. Just start in the farthest corner and work your way to the exit/entrance of the room.
After about an hour, the paint is dry to the touch with a really nice eggshell sheen to it but you should wait 72 hours before returning to normal use.
Once that time is up, we’ll move the furniture over and paint the remaining side. The pictures don’t really do it justice but it looks SO MUCH BETTER. The subtle tile lines are actually really nice in person and almost give the feeling of a dark stone tile. The paint also does a great job of disguising any damaged areas and has me excited to move onto some other finishing touches in this room.
We still have yet to establish how the paint will stand up to those 2 crazy dogs running around the house. The only concern is how the tile themselves will take to the paint, since it’s obviously meant specifically for concrete or wood surfaces, but only time will tell. I’m debating whether or not I should try some sort of extra sealer or just wait and see how it goes. Fingers crossed.
It may be a temporary fix but it’s a temporary fix that’s really nice on my eyeballs. I hope to be back with Part II of this post later this week once it is all completed.
Until then, have a great Monday!