I need to level a cement floor but it has been painted with oil base floor paint. Do I need to remove this paint? If so, what would be the fastest way to do this?

  • How much leveling? Does the new surface also have to be concrete?
    – DA01
    Feb 16 '12 at 16:18

Yeah, unfortunately, you're going to have to strip it up.

The two ways I can think of would be to use a concrete grinding machine to chew up the surface. Just a light chewing/scarification will do. You should be able to rent a machine that will do it from your local tool "we-rent-it" type of place... or they would know who to talk to. By far, a machine will be the easiest to work with, even with all the dust.

If you have to go the chemical route, muriatic acid (available anywhere pool chemicals are available) would work, but you have to be 100% sure that you clean up all of the acid when you're done... it makes a HORRIBLE mess and the fumes are a beast to deal with. I would choose the grinding machine any time before I would choose acid or a stripper.

After either step, be sure that you wash the floor thoroughly to get any dust or residue up and then coat with two coats of the recommended same-brtand primer (if you use Custom SLC, use Custom's primer -- if you use Mapei's SLC, use Mapei's primer) before you apply the self-leveling cement.

  • I wish I could do a Tim Allen "more power" grunt for the grinding machine. Diamond coated blades, all going different ways...I've seen them and that's the way to go, that's what we used 5 years ago and the floor looks new, when we clean it. They used a belt sander in the corners where the grinder couldn't get. Where we did the floor is the lobby of our warehouse, which gets high traffic. They put a little texture to keep the floor from being slippery and it works, just makes it harder to clean,
    – lqlarry
    Feb 19 '12 at 16:51
  • I leveled over a 1960's bathroom with small tiles. It was only about 100 square feet, so small next to yours. I did it with a 4" grinder, a half face mask, earplugs,safety glasses, a wet rag to remove dust from my face, a shop vac with a drywall/hepa filter. And a wife willing to bring a beer from time to time. (Motto - never drink while operating power tools, (I am safe and turn the tool off first.))
    – Some Guy
    Mar 18 '15 at 12:33

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