We recently bought our first home and are trying to tackle the basement laundry room. The walls and floors are coated with peeling epoxy paint. How can we remove the paint and refinish the surfaces? Once that’s done, do you have some ideas for updating the laundry room to make it a usable space? We would like a functional room that doesn't give me the willies when I'm working in it! :)
The first step would be to determine why the epoxy coating is peeling off the walls. If the product was substandard to begin with or was applied without properly preparing the surface, you can move on to scraping, sanding and/or grinding the wall and floor surface of peeling or loose material (be sure to wear a respirator), and repaint. But if moisture is the cause of the peeling, you need to prevent the moisture from getting to the surface in question. When I do projects that involve basements, I often excavate around the exterior of the basement to install a French drain system and apply a waterproofing membrane material to the exterior of the basement walls. This process may be cost prohibitive for you, in which case you can only do what is accessible from the interior. I like to prime surfaces that have previously been coated with epoxy because the prime coat serves as a good bonding layer. As far as how to make your laundry room a usable space, we often install a countertop above the base cabinets for folding laundry, hang upper cabinets with doors to hold all loose items and to help keep the area organized, provide recessed lighting and a fold-away ironing board, and tile the floor. See our slide show for lots more ideas.