By Gene and Katie Hamilton
If you use the word "dungeon" to describe your basement, consider giving it a facelift --starting with the walls. You'll be amazed at how easily a fresh coat of stain or paint will transform the space. We suggest concrete stain instead of paint for the rough surface of dry concrete walls because it not only adds color but seals and protects the surface. Staining is a multi-part process that begins with cleaning and de-glossing, followed by etching and priming so that the final topcoat of stain can penetrate the concrete and provide lasting protection.
This multi-task project is labor intensive so it's a good one for a handy homeowner. A painting contractor will charge $1480 to clean, prepare and stain 500 square-feet of concrete wall. This includes labor and material. You can do the job for $500, the cost of the materials, and save 66 percent. Since there is drying time required in-between applications, a homeowner can plan the job and schedule the various phases and applications.
To find out if any masonry surface is clean enough to paint, use this simple test. Put a strip of masking tape on the surface and then peel it off. It’s clean enough to paint if the tape has stuck and doesn’t peel up immediately. It’s still dirty and requires cleaning (before painting) if the masking tape can be pulled up easily and has paint chips or dirt stuck to it.
You'll find concrete cleaners, etchers, primers and stain sold at paint retailers and in the paint department of home centers. Follow the application directions carefully.
Before you can begin, however, there's the job of cleaning out th basement so you can find the walls, clearly the most difficult part of this project.
Rather pay than paint? Find a painting contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right. Click
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HouseLogic has this advice Simple 5-Step Guide to Concrete Painting.
Now you know the average cost to paint concrete block walls, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020