Certain homeowners see their garage as so much more than a place to store vehicles and other items. They extend the décor of their home into this space, making it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. If this describes you, consider applying an epoxy coating to the floor. It creates a smooth, shiny surface that takes your garage above and beyond the expected. It also creates a protective layer more easily cleaned than bare concrete.
How Epoxy Gets Applied
As with any painting project, preparation is key to the longevity of the application. You will need to thoroughly clean the surface by first sweeping and then removing any stains with a stiff-bristle brush and bleach solution or commercial concrete cleaner. You can also pressure wash extremely dirty garage floors.
After allowing the floor to dry, fill any cracks with concrete repair compound or patch. Next determine whether the concrete requires etching in order for the epoxy coating to adhere. Bottom line: If the surface does not adsorb water quickly, you will need to use an etcher to open the material’s pores. The last step in prep is application of a primer coat, which should dry overnight for best results.
Finally, you will mix and apply the epoxy coating according to manufacturer's directions, followed by a top coat. You can even add color flakes in between if you like.
Reasons to Leave Epoxy Application to the Pros
While the above may sound straightforward, epoxy paint proves a challenge to many DIYers because of the problems that can arise from poor application. Peeling paint and bubbles are the most common issues.
For example, expect the epoxy to peel if you do not thoroughly clean the concrete, both of any dirt or grease and of the cleaning solutions used. It simply cannot adhere well to them. Crumbling concrete also lifts with peeling paint.
Also expect the epoxy to peel if you do not etch the concrete. Again, it needs the rougher texture to adhere. A floor not allowed to fully dry can also peel.
It can be difficult for a non-professional to know when the surface has met the standards needed for a quality application.
Air bubbles from too-vigorous mixing of the epoxy or outgassing of the concrete are another sign of a non-professional application. The latter happens when air heats up and forces its way out of the cement, getting trapped as bubbles in the epoxy. A professional knows the best time to start and finish this project to prevent bubbles.
Cool Ideas for Epoxy Application
Epoxy paint can be custom mixed to create any color. For example, the owner of this wine cellar in Connecticut asked us to paint the floor the same color as a leather sample. We did, and the finished work is a sophisticated and shiny red, which you can see in this video.
We can also create designs through the use of color flakes and other techniques. If you would like a floor with the swirl of marble but not the price, it’s possible. Patterns that resemble tile also are popular.
Epoxy paint applications inside the main house also are on the rise. Concrete floors with such a finish work well in the kitchen, laundry room, and other utilitarian rooms, but owners of contemporary and modern spaces are not afraid to have epoxy-coated concrete floors throughout. They fit a minimal design aesthetic quite well and make housecleaning as simple as dust mopping, with soap and water only needed to deal with spills.
Specializing in exterior and interior