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The basement in my house I just purchased has remnants of paint on one half of the basement that is separated by a wall. The remaining paint is stuck down really well and I would like to paint over it. I have found some concrete paints at the store I could use, but was wondering if there was a cheaper and better option.

Before I get to the paint however, I need to clean the floor. There is a white powder on the floor that I can't seem to get up. I tried using soap, water, and a stiff bristled broom. I swept it all toward the drain, but apparently not enough or something. Now I see foot prints all over from myself as well. I'm wondering if the dirt is just being suspended in the water and isn't all going to the drain. Would doing the same thing with a shop vac be better? I'm looking for a cheap option because I have other projects in mind as well.

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Hard to tell what that white residue is from the description. It could just be old soaps or at worse efflorescence. Try using a mixture of 2/3 water, 1/3 bleach and some TSP. mix a small batch and test a small area. Be sure to rinse it well and see it that gets rid of it. If it doesn't do the trick, you may have to etch the exposed concrete with mureatic acid and rinse well before repainting.

Assuming you finally get it cleaned up, let it dry well. Use fans, dehumidifier or ventilation to speed the process. Then I'd really recommend a good bonding primer and overcoat with a good flooring enamel. You can use regular concrete paint if it is not a high traffic area, but I like using a strong bonding coat first.

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