Decorative Cracks in the Concrete

The steamer works great to get the blobs of paint and dried compound off the floor. There were some unprotected areas like in this closet that really needed work.

Pantry closet floor before

Pantry closet floor before

I used one of the small bristle brush attachments to scrub with the steam and wipe the dirt away with a rag and it was not too onerous a task to clean it up.

Pantry closet floor after

Pantry closet floor after

While I was steaming the concrete floors I tried hard to get the white powder from drywall out of the cracks. But after it dried some white remained and I didn’t like the way it looked. So I wondered how to treat those cracks when refinishing the floor.
I looked up ways to cover and repair cracks in the stained concrete floor and found recommendations to accentuate the cracks to create a rustic old world finish!

This is just the thing for my design style so I bought some concrete dye at Home Depot and had it colored Cinnamon Brown. Once the concrete was clean and steamed, I used a lambswool dauber to draw a line over each crack and then rubbed the dye into the crack and the surrounding floor area to blend it in with the existing stain.

I have not etched the cracks first, but since they are cracks since the original sealer I was hoping the dye would stick to the inside of the crack and make them stand out. The effect is subtle

Concrete Dye

Concrete Dye in Cracks

After treating the cracks and rubbing dye on some of the stained areas–didn’t make a big difference there either, I re-sealed the concrete with the soy based sealer that was left over from the original job.

Sealed Floor

Sealed Floor

The final step was to mop on four coats of Zep floor finish. Although this polish is not recommended by the manufacturer for stained concrete floor, mostly because removing it might remove stain, it seems to work well over the water based sealer that I used. I believe the stain is more permanent on our floor since I have used the polish in the past and it came off without removing stain. I didn’t use the Zep stripper though. Just scrubbing and steaming. That and the wear it got from being down on the floor seemed to remove any shine from former applications of polish.

Four coats has given the floor a lovely shine. Too bad I know it will wear off and get dull again.

Four coats of polish

Four coats of polish

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