Faux Painting for Basements

Faux painting techniques have taken the home decor scene by storm, extending even to faux painting for basements. You can turn that dull, dingy concrete floor into a work of art with a little hard work, a couple gallons of paint, and these basic tips.

The Cleaner, The Better

For the best results in faux painting for basements, thoroughly clean the concrete floor as your first step. There are many products on the market for cleaning concrete either via the Internet or at your local hardware or home improvement center.

Some do-it-yourselfers advocate using a simple solution of vinegar and water. Use a stiff brush, along with this homemade cleaner and lots of elbow grease, and concrete floors almost always come out looking great. Starting with a clean concrete surface facilitates adherence of the paint you will be using.

The Background

Paint over the entire concrete floor with a neutral color, such as tan, beige, or grey and allow to dry. This step in faux painting for basements creates the illusion of grout lines once you are finished. Like a painting done on canvas, this is the background and must be done first.

Use as high a quality of oil-based, exterior paint as you can afford. Good paint takes less to cover and lasts much longer than poor-quality paint. The best brands usually run around $30 a gallon, but often can be found on sale for $25 or less per gallon.

Painting the Bricks

Unless you are very good at drawing bricks freehand, use stencils. Brick stencils used in faux painting for basements can make the job go much faster plus give you a much more uniform design. Stencils made to look like brick can be purchased online, or you can even make them yourself from stiff cardboard, Mylar, or poster board.

If you buy them, look for those that come with self-adhesive backing so they will stay on the concrete floor easier while you are applying the paint. Otherwise, tape them to the floor with masking or painters tape, leaving ¼ inch spaces between so the faux grout shows through.

The next step in faux painting for basements involves the artistry in painting the faux bricks. The paints you choose for your bricks (again, oil based and exterior) should simulate real bricks, so choose a color like terracotta, dark red, or a stone color. You also should add another color to add touches of accents to them, such as black or dark brown.

After thoroughly mixing, pour the two paints in two different paint trays. Using a large sponge, dip it first into the main color and then into the accent color and apply to the stencils, going over the entire floor.

After allowing to dry overnight, mix the two paints and, using an artist's brush, paint a slim line along one long side and one short side of the bricks (all on consistent sides of the bricks, of course) to make a shadow. This will add a measure of authentic depth and detail. Allow to dry.

The Final Touch

With a brush roller, paint your new brick floor with up to three coats of polyurethane as your final step in faux painting for basements. Polyurethane not only gives the surface of your new floor a shiny finish, it also works to seal and protect it. Make sure you allow thorough drying time between each coat. That is all there is to it! Now, step back and enjoy your beautiful, new basement floor!