How to Apply Epoxy Floor Paint to Your Garage The Family Handyman

How to Apply Epoxy Floor Paint to Your Garage The Family Handyman

Achieve auto showroom brilliance in one long weekend for less than $500

Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

User Comments

Evaluate your garage floor

Epoxy is a tough, long-lasting coating that you paint onto the concrete. It resists grease, oil and many other substances that would ruin ordinary paint. It cleans easily and can be found in a variety of colors (if you look hard enough), so you can keep your garage floor sparkling clean and attractive for years.

However, the reality of this challenging project is, one, not all concrete floors will hold a coating, and two, preparing concrete 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 surface that will handle car traffic, chemicals, oils, salt and scraping better than any other paint or stain.

As with any other paint job, success 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, which is followed by a second coat on day three. This job doesnt 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 isnt available. Also, rent a wet vacuum if you dont own or have access to one.

Check for trapped moisture

Lift the corner of a plastic bag thats been taped to the garage floor for 24 hours. If its dry underneath, you can proceed with an epoxy coating. If you see moisture under the plastic, dont coat the floor with epoxy; water pressure will break the bond.

Analyze the floor and weather

Before you even consider epoxy paint for your floor, test to determine if dampness is coming up through the concrete from the ground. If moisture is evident, your floor isnt suitable for epoxy. Also, forgo the project if a concrete sealer was previously used (youll know a sealer has been used if water beads up when applied to the surface). If youre 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 garage floor coating. And if youre dealing with a previously painted floor, the best advice is to remove the paint, especially when youre applying a solvent-based epoxy 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 epoxy curing/drying.

Floor cleaning

Photo1: Scrub oil stains

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.» class=»step3enlargePic enlargePic» href=»http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TFH/Step-By-Step/FH03SEP_EPXFLR_03.jpg»> Photo1: Scrub oil stains

Photo1: Scrub oil stains

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.

Photo 2: Use an electric floor scrubber

Photo 2: Use an electric floor scrubber

Wet the entire floor with a hose, then scrub back and forth using an electric floor scrubber with a brush attachment (or a coarse scrubbing pad if a brush attachment is unavailable). Pour cleaner/degreaser mixture onto the floor as you go to keep suds going.

Photo 3: Vacuum the wet floor


Leave a Reply