One- and two-part epoxy floor paints give garage floors a finished look that protects against unsightly oil and grease stains. The process is relatively simple, but time-consuming. Surface preparation is the key to success, and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions throughout the process.
Step 1: Epoxy paint highlights floor imperfections. Fill any cracks or crevices with the appropriate concrete patching product before proceeding.
Step 2: Sweep and clean the floor thoroughly. Use a strong degreaser to remove any oil, wax or grease residue.
Step 3: Pour a little water on the floor to test for permeability. If the water beads up, additional cleaning and degreasing will be needed. If water will not absorb into the floor, a concrete sander or abrader may be necessary.
Step 3: Once cleaned and degreased, the concrete floor surface should be similar to that of medium grit sand paper. If the floor is smooth, it will need to be etched with a solution of muriatic acid and water. Work with protective clothing in a well-ventilated area. Add 1 part acid to 4 parts water. Always add acid to the water. Adding water to the acid will cause an explosion. Five gallons of diluted acid will etch about 150 square feet. Wet the concrete thoroughly with water before applying the acid mixture. Do not allow the acid to splash. Use a stiff bristle broom to scrub the mixture into the concrete surface. Let stand for 20 minutes and rinse with water. Repeat the process if necessary, until the surface is rough. Flush the floor completely with water and neutralize any residual acid with a baking soda and water mixture.
Step 5: The concrete surface must be completely dry before painting. To test for moisture, duct-tape all four sides of a piece of foil to the floor. Wait 24 hours and check for condensation. If no moisture appears beneath the taped area, the surface is dry enough to paint.
Step 6: Apply epoxy paint on a day when the floor surface and air temperature will remain above 50 degrees for a minimum of 72 hours. Use a 3/8” nap roller and a nylon/polyester brush to apply the first coat. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times before applying the second coat. Allow the paint to cure for 3 to 5 days before driving your car onto the freshly painted floor.
— Linda Cottin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.