Nov 20 , 2018
Evaluate your garage floor
Garage floor epoxy flooring is a tough, long-lasting coating that you paint onto the concrete. An epoxy garage floor resists grease, oil and many other substances that would ruin ordinary paint. Garage floor epoxy paints clean easily and can be found in a variety of colors (if you look hard enough), so you can keep your garage floor paints sparkling clean and attractive for years.
However, the reality of this challenging project is, one, not all concrete floors will hold epoxy floor coatings, and two, preparing concrete for epoxy floor coatings can be labor intensive and tedious. That said, this story will help you assess your concrete’s condition, show you how to clean and etch it, and demonstrate how to apply an epoxy garage floor coating that will handle car traffic, chemicals, oils, salt and scraping better than any other paint or stain.
As with any other paint job, success with using garage floor paints lies in the prep work. Plan to spend the first day removing oil spots, cleaning/degreasing the floor, etching it with a mild acid, and scrubbing, vacuuming and rinsing (a lot!). Day two is for filling cracks and applying the first coat of epoxy flooring, which is followed by a second coat on day three. This job doesn’t require many special tools. But to do the best job (and save your back), we recommend that you rent a walk-behind power floor scrubber (Photo 2) with a stiff brush attachment. Brushes work better than scrubbing pads on concrete, but buy two pads if a brush isn’t available. Also, rent a wet vacuum if you don’t own or have access to one.
Test Your Concrete for Moisture
Lift the corner of a plastic bag that’s been taped to the garage floor for 24 hours. If it’s dry underneath, you can proceed with a garage floor paints epoxy coating. If you see moisture under the plastic, don’t coat the floor with epoxy; water pressure will break the bond.
Analyze the floor and weather before you even consider an epoxy garage floor, test to determine if dampness is coming up through the concrete from the ground. If moisture is evident, your floor isn’t suitable for epoxy. Also, forgo the project if a concrete sealer was previously used (you’ll know a sealer has been used if water beads up when applied to the surface). If you’re dealing with a new slab, you must wait a minimum of 28 days, preferably two months, for the floor to cure and dry thoroughly before applying a epoxy flooring. And if you’re dealing with a previously painted floor, the best advice is to remove the paint, especially when you’re applying a solvent-based epoxy garage flooring paint that could soften any that remains.
If your concrete passed these tests, make sure the weekend weather passes, too. The temperature of the concrete must be a minimum of 55 degrees F, with an air temperature between 60 and 90 degrees for optimum garage floor epoxy curing/drying.
Scrub oil stains
To begin, use a flat-edged shovel or scraper to loosen hardened surface debris, then sweep it out with a stiff-bristle garage broom. Dip a stiff-bristle brush into a cleaner/degreaser and scrub oil stains aggressively. Wipe up with cotton rags or paper shop towels. Repeat the procedure until the greasy feel is gone and water droplets no longer bead up on the surface before your epoxy garage floor project. Next, mix up a 5-gallon batch of water and concrete cleaner/degreaser according to label directions (found at home centers and hardware stores).