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Basement floor epoxy with a twist

I recently lost my black light carpeting to water damage. (Black Light carpet bites the dust!) It just couldn’t survive the last soaking, so it was time to pull it and search for another option.

naked floor

I hunted online for ideas and decided that epoxy floor covering would be my best option. Easy clean up in case of water and it wouldn’t impact my already low ceiling height. The only problem is that plain epoxy is boring, so with some help, I worked up some stencils. We took other steps to combat the water issue, installing glass block in the window wells and moving two downspouts out into the yard to help with the hydrostatic pressure. I was hopeful that I wouldn’t get water again, but the epoxy wouldn’t care anyway. The first step was to clean and patch the floor. All the nails and misc debris were removed and any cracks or loose jif set was patched to provide a solid base for the epoxy.

With the floor ready it was time for the first coat of black epoxy, yes black. The contractor I chose did some spot painting with the epoxy to help fill some of the existing hairline cracks, unfortunately it didn’t work and the cracks were very obvious. They also missed a bunch of raised bits that would be hazardous to have sticking up on the floor. So after the first coat dried, they came back to scrape and fill the floor before doing a second coat. Of course they brought Bondo to use as a filler and had NO IDEA HOW TO USE IT! So guess who got to explain it to them? Yep. Nothing like showing your contractor how to use their own materials.

Now for the fun part. The floor design I planned was a simple pac-man maze that would wind around the walk way on my game room floor. I forwarded the sketch along with some artwork supplied by Brian Jones (gamestencils) to Rich of this old game. (thisoldgame) He sent the completed stencils in about 4 days for a great price and kept me on schedule. Thanks guys! I didn’t trust the contractor to lay down the stencils so I did the whole thing myself. The room walls were not square and the vinyl was not cut square due to plotter drift, so I had to use the registration marks and a set of templates I made to speed up the work. My wife Lisa helped with the final step of laying down craft paper to protect the floor a bit from over spray. It took me about 5 hours total to get the first set down and ready for paint.

Once the stencils were in place I shot the first color. I decided to use white for the maze borders, dots and the ghost eyes. White for the border would show up much better than a dark blue, plus color selection is limited with spray enamel. It made one heck of a mess spraying all that white indoors! I let it dry for about 30 minutes and then removed all the taping, paper and white layer stencils. I took my time so I wouldn’t mess anything up.

I let the white layer dry overnight before I tackled the rest of the colors. In general the stencils were very easy to work with. I did have some alignment issues, but I’ll live with it. The only stencil that gave me a really hard time was the pink faces for the blue ghosts. I ripped it, creased it and messed it up and still managed to get a good result. With all the colors in place I’ll let it dry overnight. The floor contractors will be back tomorrow to put on a final clear coat of epoxy and that should be it.

It’s been over a month since my game room was hosed by water and I’m looking forward to putting the games back in place. Just in time for our first annual Halloween Arcade Party! Hope to see you there.

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