Removing old paint from your floor
One of the most common types of flooring is paint. Especially actively used this material for staining boardwalks in Soviet times.
Oil paint was the most affordable in all respects, so you can still find floors painted with it.
Whatever the composition used in finishing, the coating eventually falls into disrepair, and there is a need to replace it, and with it the question of how to remove paint from the floor, what methods of removal to use.
When is it necessary to clean the floor of the old coating?
Paint stripping is an unattractive task, and it’s not surprising if you want to do it without this time-consuming procedure. Here are cases when it is unavoidable:
the material has yellowed and begun to flake, or peel off during cleaning or any other mechanical action;
- There are cracks on the surface;
- Bubbles have appeared;
- The paint is very thick and has begun to peel off in places.
If any of these signs are present, the old paint must be removed, or a fresh coat of paint will not last a year.
Important: for subsequent tiling of the floor, it will not only have to be completely cleaned but also leveled.
But before laying linoleum, it is not necessary to remove the paint. In order to ensure that the floor is even, often before laying linoleum is used in the form of insulation and fiberboard.
If the floors in the apartment were painted not very long ago, and the coating is well preserved (you just want to freshen it up), you can apply fresh paint composition directly over the old, pre-washed, and degreased surface.
Ways to remove old paint
- To remove old paint, you usually choose one of three methods:
Mechanical – for poured, concrete and wooden floors. Clean painted linoleum or tiles with this method, without damaging the substrate, it is almost impossible. The method is used to remove all kinds of paints: oil and alkyd paints, enamels, varnishes, acrylic compositions, and water-based coatings.
The thermal method is suitable for all surfaces, except concrete and thick metal – it is very difficult to heat them to the desired temperature, as well as plastic and poured epoxy flooring (the material will melt). The method allows you to get rid of a thick layer of oil paint rather quickly, it is also suitable for the removal of other materials.
The chemical method is almost universal.
Let’s consider each separately, taking into account the features, advantages and disadvantages.
Removing old paint from the floor is carried out with the following tools:
- a grinder or drill with special attachments in the form of rigid iron brushes, abrasive circles, or metal crowns, as well as flat grinders;
- sandblasters (fine abrasive particles are fed under high pressure along with a jet of air or water and are directed to the surface to be cleaned);
- trowels, scrapers, chisels and hammers, abrasives, and coarse sandpaper.
In the first case, the removal of paint from the floor is quite effective and with a minimum of physical energy, which is undoubtedly a plus.
The disadvantage is that the amount of construction dust generated is very large, and after every minute spent on the work, you have to wait for about half an hour until the cloud settles if the household does not have a household vacuum cleaner. In any case, you need to protect your eyes and respiratory organs.
Note: Before you start sweeping the floor with power tools, make sure there are no nail heads protruding over the surface. If there are any, they must be “sunk” to avoid damage to the device.
In the second case, it will be convenient to remove paint even in hard-to-reach places, and on the floor beforehand you can not wash it: the dirt will come off together with the paint, but after working with a sandblaster you will have to clean it very carefully.
In the third case, removing paint from the floor will be physically difficult and time-consuming, but financially almost free. The process with a sharp spatula or chisel, clean up sandpaper can be any “nooks and crannies” that are inaccessible to, for example, a grinder or drill with a nozzle, but overpower by hand the old layer of paint in a large room or several is very difficult.
The mechanical method of getting rid of the outdated coating is considered the most affordable and safe for your health. You only have to watch out for accidental injuries.
The thermal method
A good way to remove old paint is to expose it to a high temperature. The coating will begin to soften and bubble up, after which it must be quickly peeled off with a spatula. Devices such as a construction hair dryer, blowtorch, iron, or gas torch are used.
Important: if you overdo the heat source over the surface and do not remove the paint in time, it can “bake” in this area to such an extent that it will be extremely difficult to get rid of the remains.
Usually, the procedure is as follows: in one hand hold a heating device, directing the heat stream to the coating, and in the other hand hold a spatula, which removes the bloated soft layer. This method gives very good results, allowing you to clean the surface almost perfectly. It is good if there is an opportunity to work with a partner, it is much more convenient, and the process will go faster.
The main disadvantage is the fire hazard, especially when working with an open flame, and the risk of getting burned. Taking care of protective clothing (first and foremost – gloves) is essential. Without a special mask, too, do not do, because the melting of most dyeing materials releases toxic substances. The room must be constantly ventilated.
Using a household iron is not as effective as the other tools listed above and takes longer, but it is also possible. The heat will have to be applied to the surface through a sheet of foil.
The Chemical Method
If you’re not too worried about saving money when deciding how to remove obsolete paint from your floor, then perhaps chemical strippers are your option.
These compositions corrode and swell the layer of coating for a fairly short period of time (from five minutes to half an hour), after which all that is left is to scrape off the residue from the surface and wipe the cleaned floor with white spirit. The caustic agent can be applied with a broad brush or paint roller.
Safety precautions must be taken:
- Respiratory and eye protection;
- Clothing that completely covers the body, gloves;
- Active ventilation during and after work.
It happens that the product does not cope with a thick layer (or several layers) of paint after the first application. Then it is necessary to repeat the procedure.
For the removal of oil or alkyd paint, you should choose the organic solvent-based paint remover, and the alkaline one will cope with water-dispersion paint. When buying, read the information on the label carefully, and before using – the instructions.
Water-based paint is rarely used to cover floors, but if necessary, it can be cleaned with an aqueous solution of a cleaning agent with a stiff wire brush. It also comes off well with a solvent (white spirit is usually used).
So, you’re likely to be able to remove the old paint yourself by any of the described methods. But there are cases when none of them still does give the desired result. This is possible if the paint has penetrated too much and the base is already worn out. This means that it is time to think about replacing the floor.