Successful Tips to Applying Epoxy Floor Paint for Your Garage

One of the most common upgrades that homeowner’s like to make is to apply epoxy floor paint to their garage floor. Not only does it look nice, it also protects the concrete in your garage as well as providing a very easy to clean and stain resistant surface. The most popular of these epoxy paints are the do-it-yourself type of kits that you can purchase from your local home improvement center or hardware store. They come in either a tan or gray color with paint chips that you can throw onto the top to add color and some anti-slip properties.

As nice as these kits can be, there are some critical steps that need to be taken to avoid the common problems associated with painting your garage floor. Preparation of the floor is the most important element to insure that you have a failure free epoxy paint coating. Here are some simple but important tips to help provide the best application possible.

Tip #1 – Conduct a simple moisture test of your concrete first. To do this, duct tape a piece of plastic to the floor making sure it is sealed all around the edges. A 1 gallon zip lock bag works great. Leave it for 24 hours then remove it from the concrete. If the concrete is dark in color from moisture, or condensation has formed on the back of the plastic, the floor has moisture issues and can’t be painted. If it’s dry, you are good to go.

Tip #2 – Scrub your concrete clean. Use a strong mix of either Tide laundry detergent or TSP (Trisodium phosphate) mixed in a 5 gallon bucket. Poor it over your previously wet floor and scrub real good using a stiff bristled scrub brush with a long handle. Rinse well with a good high pressure nozzle.

Tip #3 – Remove any oil or grease stains that remain. The easiest way to remove tough stains is to pour concentrated concrete degreaser directly onto the stain and scrub with your brush. After it has soaked in for a few minutes, pour a good amount of kitty litter over the stained area and grind it in with your shoe. Let it sit for 24 hours then sweep it up. Your stain should be gone.

Tip #4 – Etch the concrete. Some of these kits provide their own etching product. Just follow the directions making sure to use your scrub brush to agitate it real well. If an etching product is not provided, you can purchase a good concrete etching product from your local home improvement center. The etching is critical to the process. It opens up the pores of the concrete in order for the epoxy paint to adhere properly. It you don’t do this your floor is destined for failure. Muriatic or phosphoric acid works well, but care must be taken to insure a safe application. Make sure to neutralize the acid wash before rinsing clean. Once neutralized, rinse a minimum of three times with your high pressure nozzle in order to remove any leftover residue.

Tip #5 – When adding paint chips, paint a small 6’x6′ section at a time then throw in the paint chips. Be sure to toss them up into the air to fall back onto your fresh paint. You will get a good random spread this way. Don’t toss them directly at the paint.

Tip #6 – If it’s in the budget, add a second coating of clear epoxy paint. This will give your floor a nice glossy shine that will lock in the paint chips and increase the life of your coating.

Remember to closely follow the directions of the product that you choose. Preparing your floor for the epoxy paint is the most critical and least fun part of the job, but once you have done that, the actual painting of your garage floor is easy and rewarding.

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