Etching is a step that sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to applying garage floor paint. However, for an epoxy coating to be able to properly do most of its job, etching is absolutely necessary. Most garage floor coatings can be applied, and will probably last for a while without etching first, but there are quite a few benefits to etching that make it worth doing, in most people’s opinions.
When It Comes To A Concrete Floor, What The Heck Is Etching?
Etching, which is just a spiffy term for cutting into the the surface of something, is more widely known outside of flooring. Glass etching is a very good example. Although the end result will give the user a slightly better grip if we’re talking about a drinking glass, etching is generally done on glass for decoration. With garage floors, decoration is generally not the primary goal, although the results do look better than the alternative, which is a liquid smooth mirror finish, to some eyes.
Is There Any Reason That I Should Etch Before Applying Epoxy Garage Floor Paint?
You don’t have to etch your concrete garage floor when applying epoxy, but there are some very good reasons why you will probably want to. For one, the increased traction that epoxy can provide comes from etching, and it will be absent if the floor is not etched. This can cause slips, falls, and other assorted chaos, and driving on such a slick surface can also be irritating. If the intention is to do a lot of work in your garage, etching is definitely the way to go.
What If My Epoxy Garage Floor Paint Kit Says Etching Is Not Required On The Label?
In reality, etching is never required in order to apply a garage floor coating. However, if the instructions for your kit say to etch the concrete, then that is what you will have to do to get the maximum stated life out of your new epoxy coating. Without etching, epoxy paint cannot create a complete seal, and will peel far earlier. There are no hard and fast rules on how long epoxy floor paint can last, either with or without etching, but it will certainly last longer with etching than without. Some kits do not include etching in their instructions, which enables them to make the claim “No Etching Necessary!” or something similar. This is generally a marketing ploy, and the directions for those kits either do not mention how long the coating will last, or may say that although it not necessary, etching is recommended to get the maximum life out of your epoxy garage floor paint.
At What Point In The Painting Process Should I Etch My Floor?
Many of the more expensive epoxy floor coating kits will come with some sort of “etch and clean” chemical, and will come with explicit directions. When purchasing your epoxy floor paint, you will get the best value from the ones that include everything you need, as opposed to buying the chemicals separately. Whether in a kit, or purchased separately, etching should generally be applied to the garage flooring as the first step. If the etching product does not also clean, then cleaning your concrete garage floor will be what comes next.