~ by F. Wilinofsky, The Province (Vancouver), Nov. 20, 1994

We all walk on it, but most of us don't pay any attention to it.
I'm talking about floors -- in particular, concrete floors.

The "thing" to do nowadays is to paint and decorate them.

Yes, that's right.

Stefano Piccone is a Vancouver artist who specializes in painting concrete floors.

"I drew my inspiration from Italian architectural magazines," he says.

The process of coloring floors is fairly new among condo owners. Painted floors seem to be a logical progression of the new architectural style, which also features exposed brick and wooden beams.

It's the "Yaletown" look, for it's in the core of Vancouver where many people are experimenting with this type of flooring.

This process exposes the floor, a challenge inasmuch as one cannot disguise irregularities and imperfections.

The first step in preparing a concrete floor is to neutralize it with acid.This makes the surface better able to accept the paint.

Muriatic acid is the most often used and is recommended because it gives the paint the best adhesion to the floor.

Paint, glazes, stains will vary from artist to artist, as will the degree of transparency, depending on their individual techniques.

"The effect I want to create is like a window through which you see the concrete and then the art work is on top of that," says Piccone, who recently completed a historic-looking floor at the Epicurean Delicatessen, at lst Avenue and Cypress Street in Kitsilano.

Near the deli, the floor of a small condo has a lovely rug effect, again courtesy of Piccone.

The longevity of a painted floor is determined by the product used to do the final clear-coating. Depending on one's budget, polyurethane is very effective.

If money's not too tight, special epoxy is recommended for floors with a higher traffic.