How to Remove Vinyl Tile & Prepare a Cement Floor for Painting

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Painting concrete floors can add beauty to any space.
Painting concrete floors can add beauty to any space. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Painted concrete can be an attractive flooring solution when done properly. However, there is a good deal of preparation work involved if you want to paint concrete flooring after removing vinyl tile and its adhesives. Improper preparation and removal of old flooring will result in a less than aesthetically pleasing result for your new floor. Take the right steps, and you will have a durable, long-lasting floor that will require little maintenance in the years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat gun
  • Hand scraper
  • Muriatic acid

Use a heat gun and apply heat to the tiles individually. The heat gun works much like a blow dryer. Test each tile every few minutes until you can feel it has become loose. The intense heat will soften the adhesive and make it easier to remove the vinyl tiles. Scrape off the tile and any adhesive underneath with a hand scraper. Repeat this process for each tile until you have completely demolished the existing floor. If the adhesive is not soft enough to remove with a hand scraper once the tile is removed, you may need to apply a solvent to the adhesive. Do this according to the manufacturer's instructions to obtain the best results.

Clean the floor by sweeping and mopping all the remaining debris. It may be easier to use a vacuum on the concrete to dispose of anything that cannot be removed with a broom. Allow the floor to dry before beginning the preparation of the concrete.

Repair any imperfections in the concrete using mortar. Apply the mortar with the tip of your finger until the floor is free of flaws.

Mix a solution of muriatic acid to prepare the concrete for painting. One gallon of muriatic acid will cover 100 square feet of concrete. Combine one part muriatic acid to 10 parts water to mix the solution. Always add the acid to the water, not the water to the acid.

Apply the acid mixture to the floor using a stiff-bristle brush. The floor will bubble and then settle; this is a normal reaction. Allow the mixture to dry and set. You will see a white residue left over from the muriatic acid solution. This is normal.

Mop the floor with a nonabrasive detergent. Allow the floor to dry completely. Once the floor is dry, it is ready for painting.

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