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TomU 11-10-2012 08:04 PM

How to finish concrete walls in cold storage room (basement)
We have a cold storage room and I'd like to finish it so that it has a smooth or textured surface. Right now it's just solid concrete and it looks rather ugly. I was thinking of rubbing concrete on it or something (kind of like stucco) and then painting over it. It's a fairly new home and we don't have moisture issues as far as I can tell. Plus, we're in a fairly dry climate (Utah).

If I rub concrete on it to make it smooth, do I need to prepare it somehow so it sticks better to the poured wall? Is there any special product, or will any normal concrete mix do?

I'm looking for ideas or suggestions. I don't want to frame it because it's rather small already and I don't need more insulation.

joecaption 11-10-2012 08:09 PM

It's call parging. Google it.
I 've used Dri-Loc and applyed it with a wide roofing brush. After each coat wipe it down with a 14" wide drywall knive.
After a few coats it looks like drywall and seals the concrete.

TomU 11-10-2012 09:13 PM

Thanks. Did you use Dri-Loc as an adhesive before coating the wall with a mortar mix?

Can I just use a Type N mortar mix to coat the wall? I've read how to mix it, but I'd rather just buy something pre-mixed.

TomU 11-10-2012 09:35 PM

Also, do I need to wash the poured concrete wall prior to applying the mortar mix, or should I be fine without? Do I need a certain detergent, or is it just about getting dust/lose stuff off? I'd like to avoid washing it down with a garden hose because the water would run through the finished part of my basement.

TomU 11-10-2012 10:10 PM

The room is 20'x5' and 92" high, which comes to 380 sq ft (a bit less because there's also a door). Since the wall is rather smooth I think I'll be able to just have one coat with 1/4" on average. Is this enough? That would be a bit less than 8 cubic feet of mortar. How many lbs of mortar mix will I need for this?

TomU 11-10-2012 10:38 PM

Would any of these do a good job? (this would be my preference)

Is there a minimum thickness that I should apply? Meaning if 1/8" seems enough to smooth the wall, should I apply more? It seems like lots of websites suggest two coats of 1/4" each, which seems a little overkill to me (for an indoor application).

TomU 11-11-2012 06:40 PM

2 Attachment(s)
So, I got some "Type S" mortar (quickrete pro finish blended mason mix) and tried it out...big failure :(

I made a couple of mistakes, like mixing way too much mortar that started curing before I could actually use it. However, the mortar seemed ok when I started out. I sprayed a bit water onto the concrete wall to make sure it's damp (not wet) before applying the mortar. At first that seemed to work ok, but after maybe half an hour or an hour some cracks started to develop. That didn't seem right to me, so before it actually hardened I took it off the wall, and sure enough it came of real easy. It seems like it wasn't sticking to the wall at all where these cracks developed. So I took it all off again...

What did I do wrong? The coat was maybe 1/4" thick. The consistency was maybe comparable to peanut butter when I applied it. Did I work it too much once on the wall?

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