There are few better ways to add quick resale value to your home than applying epoxy concrete paint on your garage floor. Not only does it add an aesthetic value that will set your garage apart from the rest, but it adds an extra level of protection and provides a high level of maintenance for cleaning up spills, scuffing and debris. The best part is, this is something that you can do yourself for a very reasonable price. You can often find kits in the neighborhood of $60, which is well worth it once you’ve completed the task. Before you get started, however, you should review the basic process before you get too vested in something that you later decide you don’t wish to follow through on.
The following instructions are for applying epoxy concrete paint to a garage floor that doesn’t currently have an existing coating. It is also a general list of recommendations for the process from someone who’s done it before. You should always read the instructions that come with the product before applying the coating – it’s absolutely crucial, as all products can be slightly different.
Before you apply the epoxy, there’s a bit of prep work and testing that you need to do. First, remove all of the clutter from the garage, and sweep and vacuum appropriately to clean up all the dust and dirt. One you’ve finished, you need to find out if you have a seal on the garage floor. Unfortunately, epoxy floor paint doesn’t bond well to a floor that has an existing seal – as soon as you pull a car into the garage, it’s going to rip the coating right off (often called hot tire pick up). Luckily, the test is easy. Just lightly hose down the garage floor, and look to see where it beads up. If it absorbs everything with no beading, you’re clear to move on. If it beads in different areas, it’s likely due to grease or oil build up. You can scrub that out with Simple Green, or any other heavy degreaser. If it beads up uniformly across the whole garage floor, you unfortunately need to grind it all out with some heavy machinery. I strongly recommend hiring a pro, unless you know what you’re doing.
Hose down the surface and check for beading one more time. If you’re clear, move on. Next, you need to acid etch the surface to give the epoxy something to grip to. If you have a one car garage, pick up a gallon of muriatic acid from a hardware store, and mix it into a large bucket with a 10:1 water to acid ratio. This stuff is nasty, so cover you walls with plastic sheets, and pour the acid mix onto the floor. I also recommend wearing eye protection and gloves when using muriatic acid. Distribute it evenly with a push broom around the floor, rinse it off thoroughly, and repeat the process once more.
Ok, you’re done with the prep work, and that’s the hardest part. All you have to do now is apply the epoxy concrete paint to the floor. For best results, I highly recommend completing this within 48 hours of etching, so plan ahead if you need to. When you decide on an epoxy, mix the two parts together and lay it down. Most mixtures are fully hardened within 4-12 hours, so plan on finishing as quickly as possible (don’t be a slob though, or you’ll have a permanent mess on your hands). Though it depends on the product, I recommend an extension pole and a roller cover with a nap no greater than 3/8″. The standard size for a roller is 9″, but if you have a large surface, you may want to consider an 18″ to knock it out faster.
That’s it! One final recommendation – pay special attention on the product label to when you can drive on the surface. You don’t want all your efforts to be in vain.