Epoxy Garage Floor Paint

Epoxy garage floor paint for most "do-it-yourselfers" may not be a good idea. If you've never worked with it before, it could be more of a hassle than you're prepared to deal with. To avoid having to redo your garage floor every couple of years, you better plan to have the proper equipment when you attempt to do the job.

You've seen it in the local hardware stores or the big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Menards - the epoxy garage floor paint kits. For not a whole lot of money - you can purchase a kit that consists of a "Part A" and a "Part B" epoxy product that when mixed together, starts a chemical reaction. You'll have a limited amount to time to get that mixed product onto the floor before it starts to set-up (quickly you'll know if you've waited too long - the product will begin to heat-up, become thick and will have you speaking unpleasant phrases under your breath).

Epoxy Garage Floor Paint

Do you have a shot-blaster or diamond grinding equipment? If not you'll be following the lame instructions which are on most of the epoxy garage floor paint kits (if you follow them, you're just asking for trouble).

What Problems Could Happen?

The simple facts are this: epoxy and water do not mix. The companies that make and distribute the DIY (do-it-yourself) kits already know that 99% of their customers do not have the proper preparation equipment to apply the product. So they'll recommend the next best thing to prep your floor - acid etching and rinsing.

Epoxy needs a 100% dry surface to work properly - or else it will be flaking off before you pay-off the credit card that you purchased it with! To acid etch, you'll typically be mixing muriatic acid (you can buy gallons of it from your local hardware store for around five to six dollars a gallon) at a ratio of maybe 8:1 (eight parts water to one part acid) and then sprinkle it around on the garage floor with a plastic sprinkling can (the acid will eat a metal can). Brush it around a bit, watch it fizz (it's what you should see when the acid reacts with concrete surface) and then rinse out with a hose.

Pressure washing would be a better idea (to rinse-out the residue created by the acid) but the problem created with the pressure washer on the garage floor would be that you're actually driving more moisure into the concrete slab. On one hand, you've created the problem of the acid residue (which could be a bond breaker) and on the other hand (if you pressure wash instead of lightly rinsing), you're adding more water into the mix (which also could be a bond breaker) - a lose - lose situation.

A Better Option

If you have access to any diamond grinding equipment, this would be a better option to prep the floor. A seven inch hand grinder with a segmented diamond head will do a pretty decent job of roughing-up the surface to get it ready for the epoxy garage floor paint. If you already have paint or some type of coating of the surface then it would take a bit more work on your end to remove it all.

The problem that you'll have here would be that you'll be creating a large amount of dust unless you have the proper dust collection system. If you have access to that then you'll do just fine but if you don't, I wouldn't recommend it

The Best Option

The best option would to use some type of shot blasting equipment. A shot blaster basically shoots a steel shot product (small, round steel balls) at the concrete surface and then recycles itself back-up into the machine. During this process, the very top layer of the surface is profiled and roughed-up to allow the epoxy garage floor paint to penetrate into the slab for a permenant bond.

It May Be Best To Turn This Project
Over To A Professional

If you're ambitious, and really wanting to tackle this one yourself, just be prepared to use the correct equipment.

From preparation equipment (grinder/shot-blaster, respirators, dust collection) to the equipment it takes to apply the epoxy garage floor paint (rollers, brushes, spiked shoes, respirators), it may be more hassle than it is worth. Pick-up the phone and call or search online for a local installer in your area.