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Self-leveling a painted floor in basement

Mike Daily
2 months ago

I am in the process of finishing a room in my basement that will be a home gym and I'm trying to decide if I should level the floor. I just finished the framing and drywall, and after doing the drywall it is pretty apparent that the floor is not level (we hung the drywall level, so at the bottom you can see the variation in how much of the bottom board you can see). There doesn't seem to be a pattern to the un-levelness - it's kind of bumpy/wavy, but not consistently sloping from one side to another or anything.
I'd like the floor to be as level as possible since I will be lifting weights in there and would like to be lifting on a level surface. Also, I have no idea how I'm going to put trim down on the bottom of the walls without having noticeable gaps.
I've never used self-leveler but it seems like a relatively easy task - just mix the compound with water, pour it onto the floor, and rake it to spread it around (I know I'm oversimplifying and timing is important, etc...but still doesn't sound that difficult).
The bigger obstacle is that the floor is painted. Can I use self-leveler on a painted floor? I believe I've been told that it won't bind to a painted floor, but would it be ok if I'm doing the entire room enclosed by walls? Or is there a good reason I need to remove the paint first?
If I need to remove the paint, any suggestions on the best way to do that?

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