Garage Tech Floor Paint & Lighting

Garage Tech Floor Paint & Lighting

Garage Tech: Floor Paint & Lighting *(with 04/2007 update on floor — see below)

By Johnny Lange

Do you consider your self religious when it comes to your garage? Well if you’re a car buff like me, your garage means something to you other than a place to store your junk. My garage is my safe haven, my home away from home, my church. A place where I go to get away for a little and tool around with something or just spend some time. Chances are if you are my wife or another female you are thinking I am some freak of nature by now. So be it.

I have been looking into many different options for painting my garage floor. The estimates I got from companies and others at times exceeded $4000 for a floor painting job. Personally, I would rather invest that money into one of my vehicles. There are a variety of floor coatings, mats, modular tiles, or other items out there that one can buy for their garage.

Some weeks ago I took a trip to Home Depot and learned that a trusted name in paint, BEHR, now has a garage epoxy floor paint system. This intrigued me. Some weeks later I returned and decided to go forth with the project. While I was there, I decided to change my garage lighting.

The Home Depot Trip:

Floor Paint-

Being that my garage is nearly 1100 square feet, I had to purchase the following amount of supplies:

(2) Behr Concrete Degreaser

(3) Behr Concrete Etcher

(4) Behr Garage Floor paint Primer

(4) Behr 1 Part Garage floor paint gallons in SLATE GRAY

(4) Behr floor Non Slip additive

Some rollers, brushes, throw-a-way pans, and bucket and mop

All in all, I was into the garage floor about $250. I didn’t use all of the etcher and primer so I will be getting $50 of that back. $200 for a four car garage is not bad at all.

Garage Lights-

(4) 8′ Hi Output dual bulb strips

(16) Hi Output bulbs (cheaper to buy a whole box of 16 than just 8)

Misc. electrical connections, ties, conduit, plates.

With the lighting, I am into them about $275. So, it is safe to say that I am into this entire make-over for less than $500. Of course, this is considering myself doing the labor.

INSTALLATION/APPLICATION:

The BEHR garage floor paint comes with very easy to follow instructions. Follow them precisely or you will have problems. I had to break up my application into half the garage due to the extended dry time. I obviously didn’t want to leave expensive tools and such outside for some days. This application is very easy to do, just time consuming. Here is the nutshell process I went through.

1. Remove ALL items from the floor to include cabinets, tools, etc,.

2. Clean the floor throughly by sweeping and using a shop vac to get into the cracks or section dividers in your cement. I scraped out all the crud in the cracks with a screwdriver and vacuumed it up.

3. Hose off the entire garage floor getting ride of preliminary dirt.

4. Following the directions, mix the Behr Concrete Degreaser with water and apply with a mop. Use a nylon broom, scrub the bad areas. Wait 10-15 minutes and hose off.

5. Mixing the Behr Concrete Etcher with water, mop it on. This is where you will want to be wearing some gloves and some glasses in case this stuff splashes on you. This stuff is nasty (acid).

Apply the Etcher and allow to sit for 10 minutes then hose off completely. The cement will dry with a whitish look to it and will feel rough (etched).

6. Now you have some time as you will need to wait until the floor is COMPLETELY dry before you proceed. It was a nice 90 degrees outside as I did this, so the floor was dry in about an hour, perfect time to run and get a burger and fries.

7. Next comes the Primer. This is not typical primer though. I applied mine with a roller. It is clear in color and begins to set up in just some minutes. It is very sticky after just some minutes. Make sure you coat the floor good with this stuff.

8. Now that you have primed the floor, take another LONG break. Let’s say 8 hours. Yes, you need to wait at least 8 hours before starting to paint.

9. After a good nights rest, time for painting. I used a brush to get in all the corners and cracks first, then followed up with a nice thick coat on the floor applied with a roller. Remember not to paint yourself in, think about this before beginning. -) You may need to throw a second coat on, I did not need to.

10. Now comes the really long part. The dry time. Behr recommends the following:

24 hours before you can walk lightly on it. 3 days before you can move furniture on it and 7 days before you can park a car on it. So, for the next week, don’t wash your car because it will be sitting out!

All in all, it is NOT DIFFICULT at all, just time consuming. The rewards are great though.

LIGHTING:

Installing lights is no big deal at all. First off, be sure to cut off power at the CIRCUIT BREAKER before you begin. Even though you may turn off the lights at the switch, you could still get a zap from the ground so that is why it is important to cut it at the box.

Since I opted for Hi Output flourescent shop lights, I had to hang the lights as opposed to mounting them directly to the ceiling. This is due to the heat coming off the Hi Output units.

Hanging them was even easier. Basically, I just got some chain, found my studs, used lag hooks and ran the chain to the lights. My lights had holes on each end of them that I bolted the chain to.

Once you have the lights hung, now comes the wiring. This is easy folks:

White to White wire

Black to Black wire

Green to green or copper

I just used twist on connectors. To be in code, the wiring needs to be ran in conduit. As you can see with the photo, I used 3/4 metal conduit.

The difference was literally between night and day. At night you seriously almost need to wear sunglasses as you walk into my garage now!

EXTRAS:

CABINETS:

I already had some cabinetry that I purchased from Home Depot and I added a couple more pieces too. My goal is try to keep as much as possible in storage or elsewhere to keep the clean look. The white cabinets you see are made by MILL PRIDE and all come in a box ready to be assembled.

RACING STRIPE

Because racing stripes make everything go faster, I added a silver & black stripe around my entire garage for that go fast look. Next I will be painting a large BMW roundel on the inside of the garage door. Hope my wife isn’t too surprised.

SUMMARY:

A clean garage is a happy garage. This simple and easy garage mod should inspire you and will really reek benefits in the long run. Not too mention, you’ll be a little cleaner next time you work on something.

I hope you enjoyed the article and pics! Good luck. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have about this tech article.

*UPDATE (04/07) — Folks, I appreciate all the kind words in emails about this article. A TON of you have emailed me asking how the floor has held up now for some years. Well I am happy to report that it has held up great. No lifting at all (except where I have been welding on it :-) — and that’s more of a burning!). I do plan on giving it another quick top coat this year, just to liven it up a bit, but again, it has been a great product! (and NO, I do not work for BEHR, ha ha ha!) Good luck!

Founder/President Wild Yoats Toyota 4X4 Association

Garage Tech: Floor Paint & Lighting *(with 04/2007 update on floor — see below)

By Johnny Lange

Do you consider your self religious when it comes to your garage? Well if you’re a car buff like me, your garage means something to you other than a place to store your junk. My garage is my safe haven, my home away from home, my church. A place where I go to get away for a little and tool around with something or just spend some time. Chances are if you are my wife or another female you are thinking I am some freak of nature by now. So be it.

I have been looking into many different options for painting my garage floor. The estimates I got from companies and others at times exceeded $4000 for a floor painting job. Personally, I would rather invest that money into one of my vehicles. There are a variety of floor coatings, mats, modular tiles, or other items out there that one can buy for their garage.

Some weeks ago I took a trip to Home Depot and learned that a trusted name in paint, BEHR, now has a garage epoxy floor paint system. This intrigued me. Some weeks later I returned and decided to go forth with the project. While I was there, I decided to change my garage lighting.

The Home Depot Trip:

Floor Paint-

Being that my garage is nearly 1100 square feet, I had to purchase the following amount of supplies:

(2) Behr Concrete Degreaser

(3) Behr Concrete Etcher

(4) Behr Garage Floor paint Primer

(4) Behr 1 Part Garage floor paint gallons in SLATE GRAY

(4) Behr floor Non Slip additive

Some rollers, brushes, throw-a-way pans, and bucket and mop

All in all, I was into the garage floor about $250. I didn’t use all of the etcher and primer so I will be getting $50 of that back. $200 for a four car garage is not bad at all.

Garage Lights-

(4) 8′ Hi Output dual bulb strips

(16) Hi Output bulbs (cheaper to buy a whole box of 16 than just 8)

Garage Tech Floor Paint & Lighting

Misc. electrical connections, ties, conduit, plates.

With the lighting, I am into them about $275. So, it is safe to say that I am into this entire make-over for less than $500. Of course, this is considering myself doing the labor.

INSTALLATION/APPLICATION:

The BEHR garage floor paint comes with very easy to follow instructions. Follow them precisely or you will have problems. I had to break up my application into half the garage due to the extended dry time. I obviously didn’t want to leave expensive tools and such outside for some days. This application is very easy to do, just time consuming. Here is the nutshell process I went through.

1. Remove ALL items from the floor to include cabinets, tools, etc,.

2. Clean the floor throughly by sweeping and using a shop vac to get into the cracks or section dividers in your cement. I scraped out all the crud in the cracks with a screwdriver and vacuumed it up.

3. Hose off the entire garage floor getting ride of preliminary dirt.

4. Following the directions, mix the Behr Concrete Degreaser with water and apply with a mop. Use a nylon broom, scrub the bad areas. Wait 10-15 minutes and hose off.

5. Mixing the Behr Concrete Etcher with water, mop it on. This is where you will want to be wearing some gloves and some glasses in case this stuff splashes on you. This stuff is nasty (acid).

Apply the Etcher and allow to sit for 10 minutes then hose off completely. The cement will dry with a whitish look to it and will feel rough (etched).

6. Now you have some time as you will need to wait until the floor is COMPLETELY dry before you proceed. It was a nice 90 degrees outside as I did this, so the floor was dry in about an hour, perfect time to run and get a burger and fries.

7. Next comes the Primer. This is not typical primer though. I applied mine with a roller. It is clear in color and begins to set up in just some minutes. It is very sticky after just some minutes. Make sure you coat the floor good with this stuff.

8. Now that you have primed the floor, take another LONG break. Let’s say 8 hours. Yes, you need to wait at least 8 hours before starting to paint.

9. After a good nights rest, time for painting. I used a brush to get in all the corners and cracks first, then followed up with a nice thick coat on the floor applied with a roller. Remember not to paint yourself in, think about this before beginning. -) You may need to throw a second coat on, I did not need to.

10. Now comes the really long part. The dry time. Behr recommends the following:

24 hours before you can walk lightly on it. 3 days before you can move furniture on it and 7 days before you can park a car on it. So, for the next week, don’t wash your car because it will be sitting out!

All in all, it is NOT DIFFICULT at all, just time consuming. The rewards are great though.

LIGHTING:

Installing lights is no big deal at all. First off, be sure to cut off power at the CIRCUIT BREAKER before you begin. Even though you may turn off the lights at the switch, you could still get a zap from the ground so that is why it is important to cut it at the box.

Since I opted for Hi Output flourescent shop lights, I had to hang the lights as opposed to mounting them directly to the ceiling. This is due to the heat coming off the Hi Output units.

Hanging them was even easier. Basically, I just got some chain, found my studs, used lag hooks and ran the chain to the lights. My lights had holes on each end of them that I bolted the chain to.

Once you have the lights hung, now comes the wiring. This is easy folks:

White to White wire

Black to Black wire

Green to green or copper

I just used twist on connectors. To be in code, the wiring needs to be ran in conduit. As you can see with the photo, I used 3/4 metal conduit.

The difference was literally between night and day. At night you seriously almost need to wear sunglasses as you walk into my garage now!

EXTRAS:

CABINETS:

I already had some cabinetry that I purchased from Home Depot and I added a couple more pieces too. My goal is try to keep as much as possible in storage or elsewhere to keep the clean look. The white cabinets you see are made by MILL PRIDE and all come in a box ready to be assembled.

RACING STRIPE

Because racing stripes make everything go faster, I added a silver & black stripe around my entire garage for that go fast look. Next I will be painting a large BMW roundel on the inside of the garage door. Hope my wife isn’t too surprised.

SUMMARY:

A clean garage is a happy garage. This simple and easy garage mod should inspire you and will really reek benefits in the long run. Not too mention, you’ll be a little cleaner next time you work on something.

I hope you enjoyed the article and pics! Good luck. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have about this tech article.

*UPDATE (04/07) — Folks, I appreciate all the kind words in emails about this article. A TON of you have emailed me asking how the floor has held up now for some years. Well I am happy to report that it has held up great. No lifting at all (except where I have been welding on it :-) — and that’s more of a burning!). I do plan on giving it another quick top coat this year, just to liven it up a bit, but again, it has been a great product! (and NO, I do not work for BEHR, ha ha ha!) Good luck!

Founder/President Wild Yoats Toyota 4X4 Association


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