I haven't put together my complete buildout plan yet, but I expect that most of the preparatory steps are the same regardless of where I'm going with it. The space is approx 100'x100'x16', and contains a grid of alternating concrete and steel columns. It has seen decades of use as an industrial space, leading to a very rough floor, chipped walls and columns, etc. There are also sections of raw cinder block wall in some places.

What general steps should I look to take first? I know I need to pressure wash the floor. If I pressure wash the walls I expect the paint to start peeling. What's the best type and method of painting to cover that much surface quickly? Is there something I can do to the floor to fill in all the chips and scratches, without adding a complete new surface? .1/8" of leveling compound across 10k square feet promises to be expensive and time consuming, especially if the floor isn't level to begin with. Whether I fill in the chips or not, should I seal or stain or otherwise treat the floor to make it more durable?

Are there any obvious things that I'll regret not having done six months from now?

photo of warehouse space

  • are you going to need to remove, redirect, or add any services (ie Electrical, Gas, Water)? Is there any damp you need to deal with? What condition is the roof in?
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


A layer of leveling compound will result in a very clean look, but it may not withstand the abuse that it will receive in an industrial environment. The result could be a lot of chipping of all your hard work, making it look worse than before you started. If you're just patching, make sure to clean out the divot in the concrete to get the sides clean and vertical, if not a little past vertical, so that the patch can't pop back out.

When power washing indoors, make sure you turn the electricity off first.

For painting the walls, a paint sprayer will get the job done the fastest. Just get some coveralls and respirator.

For the floor, I would look into an anti-skid sealer that will look good, improve the durability, and keep you safe.

  • @Sparr, totally agree with @BMitch about staying away from leveling compound for your particular situation (would end up being a total waste of time & money).
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 3:42
  • 1
    BMitch is right on. Before you power wash any painted surfaces, be sure to do lead checks first. Painting with a high volume, low pressure sprayer is the only way to go here. Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 9:17

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