Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stenciled Cement Floor

After removing the mudroom carpet, our mini mudroom space looked a little brighter and was more echoic. I decided to add more contrast to the room and opted for a bright white floor to pop against the wood louver wainscoting wall. When my 4-year old saw the white floor, she echoed out "Thank you for making it frozen, mommy!" Then, of course, we sang our own rendition of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" behind one of the doors, me being young Elsa with the one-liner "Go away, Anna." Har-har.

We lived a few days with our "frozen" floor to experiment with it. For one, I went against all the great DIY wisdom I had read and decided to try using paint I already owned first before buying a specialty enamel or floor/porch/cement paint. [I'll show you what paint I used that totally worked for us]. Secondly, this is a mini-mudroom, so I was wondering how the white would hold up. Let's just say, not only did the space echo a little, it also kept a record of every footprint that passed over it. I was torn, because I loved the white floor, something I hadn't entertained loving, so I decided to stencil a pattern on top that would help disguise the footprint-tracking feature of a white mudroom floor.

Painting this floor was totally free for me because I decided to be cheap like usual and used wall primer and paint and a quick cardstock stencil.
Wood materials icon
  • Zinser Primer (already owned)
  • Valspar Satin Latex (already owned)
  • Leftover teal and gray wall paint (already owned)
  • Paintbrush (already owned)
  • Cardstock (already owned)
  • Laptop and projector (already owned)
Saw icon
  • Pencil, scissors, tape (already owned)

Numbered Process

This project started with an experiment. I had two kinds of primer: one non-VOC Olympic primer and Zinser primer, that says it can be used over any surface, including cement. It's the same primer I used over the mellow yellow side table I found in family storage. I painted two areas of the floor with 1 coat of each primer, then I painted a stripe of two kinds of white paint I owned, Behr Exterior Semi-Gloss Enamel or Valspar asthma and allergy friendly non-VOC Satin Latex.

This is the non-VOC Olympic primer with Behr and Valspar top coats. I scratched different tools over it and the paint came off.

This is the Zinser primer with Behr and Valspar top coats. The Zinser won hands down, but there was almost no difference between the enamel and the Valspar satin latex.

Zinser Bullseye wins! I should have known - it does say "all surfaces." I just had to be sure there was a difference.

The Behr paint was leftover from an exterior project my mom hired out several years ago. I thought the exterior enamel would have been much tougher than the interior latex, so this was a shock. I chose the interior paint for its relative durability, non-VOC, allergy and asthma-friendly qualities. Also, I have been told it is not advisable to use exterior paint indoors because they off-gas more harshly than interior paints, but it was neat to see there was not a noticeable difference.

I applied two coats of Zinser Bullseye primer. The first coat vertically, and a perpendicular coat horizontally. I was halfway through the horizontal primer coat in this photo. I did the same 2 coat process with the Valspar white top-coat. It increases coverage, and the durability of the Zinser and Valspar together was fantastic on our cement floor. I totally recommend using what you have first before buying specialty products after this experience.

After the paint experiment, I tried making and using a card stock stencil, which worked for me too!

1 – Remove carpet
See these steps in Portable Document Format (.pdf)

The stenciled floor still looks about the same as the first day I painted it. I've scrubbed it, swept it, and mopped it, and none of the paint has come off yet. =D I'm so glad I did not have to buy floor/porch/cement paint to get the look and hopeful durability I want. I'm on the hunt for a cost efficient sealer to make the floor easier to clean and protect it for years to come.

Next, I'm showing how I changed the look of the lighting in the mini-mudroom using things already in our home.

May 2014


  1. Very nice! I love the design you chose. Your mudroom transformation is looking very good. I love what paint and trim can do to a place! :D

    1. I agree; paint and trim are so powerful and cost relatively little. :) Thank you for sending your kindness my way. It's always encouraging to receive a nice comment.

  2. Love this floor! What a great way to add glamour to a concrete floor! It looks like tile - so creative and beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Joanne. It has grown on me as well. Miss you!

  3. Wow, love how you were able to do this for nothing! Great thinking with the cardboard stencil - your floor looks beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. :) It's so neat how we both shared stenciling projects and can share back and forth. This blog world can be pretty amazing. =D

  4. You are one crafty lady, that's for sure! You make it look so easy, too! You must love your new space, it look fantastic!

    1. Thank you so much, Kim. I smiled opening the door for the first week or so, but I'm kind of used to seeing it now, and it's the new norm. I wonder if that makes sense? :)

  5. WOW! This looks amazing. I love that pattern and the colors you used!

    1. Thank you, Katja. :) It's a small little room, so I've decided to play a little with paint, since it's relatively easy to repaint.

  6. Thanks for joining the Say G'day Saturday linky Party I've just shared your post on G+.

    I know there are a lot of linky parties out there so I really appreciate your support.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    1. Thank you, Natasha. I appreciate that you reached out to me. :) It's so nice to feel wanted!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, Ashley! :) I'm glad you like it.


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