How to Put an Epoxy Coating on a Garage Floor
Preparing the Floor
1.Determine if the floor has a coating on it
Epoxy coatings will react with other, previously installed coatings, so realize polyurethane and latex floor paints do not make a suitable substrate for epoxy products. If you have one of these coatings on your garage floor, it will require stripping prior to applying the epoxy
2.Look for oil or grease stains
If you have spilled lubricants, or your automobile has leaked on the floor, it will have left a residue that must also be removed before beginning the application. An industrial degreaser or solvent based cleaner will be required for this purpose, and care should be used to prevent asphyxiation or combustion while this step is undertaken.
- Once you’ve cleaned the floor, it’s now time to remove any formation of grease or oil. The cheapest and quickest way to remove grease and oil residue is by using a concrete degreaser. You can buy this in the hardware store. Pour the solution on your floor and start scrubbing away. The next step is a bit unorthodox. Let the degreaser soak in for a number of minutes and pour cat litter over the areas that have stains. Proceed by grinding it using your shoe. Let it stay there for 24 hours and sweep it.
3.Look for rubber residue from tire scuffing
This material will need to be sanded or ground off, as ordinary solvents do not effectively remove it.
4.Test random areas for other, undetected sealers or coatings
Take a small cup of muriatic acid mixed at a ratio of four parts water to one part acid. Drip small amounts of the acid solution to various areas of the floor. Pay close attention to those areas that appear different in color, texture, or shininess. The solution should fizz slightly yellow if there is no coating present.
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Etching the Floor
1.Get a cleaner for etchin
Etch the floor with muriatic acid or a masonry cleaner, such as SureClean 600. Most kits provide etching products that you can use. You need to follow the instructions found in your kit. Use your scrub brush so that it can be agitated really well. A home local improvement center can provide you with an etching product if the kit does not have one.
- Etching is an important process as it opens up the pores of the concrete so that epoxy paint can properly stick. The lack of etching will contribute to an epoxy-coated floor with a lot of imperfections. Etching the floor involves applying muriatic acid or phosphoric acid and neutralize the floor afterward by using a high-pressure nozzle.
2.Presoak the floor
Use a garden hose to wet the entire floor just enough so that the floor is moist.
3.Mix one gallon of mixed acid/water solution (four parts water to one part acid)
Evenly pour out the gallon onto the floor. This amount of solution will cover 70 to 100 square feet.
- Try working in ‘squares’ as much as possible. Use a stiff bristled 18 to 24″ shop broom. Apply the solution. Use a scrubbing motion to scrub each area. You should get a ‘foamy’ white reaction. Once this area is fully scrubbed, move to the next area and repeat.
4.Rinse entire floor well
Once all areas have been completed using above steps, rinse the entire floor well with water. Broom out any excess water.
5.Allow the floor to dry completely
Any residual moisture will be trapped beneath the finished epoxy coating, causing the bond to weaken or fail between the coating and the concrete surface. Depending on humidity and temperature, thorough drying should take about a week to ten days. Test the floor’s dryness by placing a flat, moisture-proof object on it, and allowing it to stay overnight.
Coating the Floor
1.Select the product you will use to coat your garage floor
Epoxies vary, depending on the product manufacturer but most are comprised of three ingredients. These are:
- The epoxy resin. This is the main ingredient of the epoxy coating and is generally a clear, or amber viscous liquid. It is available in quart, gallon, and five-gallon containers.
- The catalyst. This is the component of a multi-part epoxy system that causes the resin to harden and is usually a part B of the package you will be purchasing. Buying your epoxy in a two-part package ensures the compatibility of the components. Read the mixing directions carefully to ensure the proper proportions are mixed.
- Pigment. Since epoxy is a semitransparent or colorless material, a pigment is used to give it its final color. Pre-pigmented packages are the best bet for home installers, but separate pigments can be purchased for your project if you wish to do so.
- Texturing materials. It may be desirable to texture the floor with an aggregate material so the finish is not too slippery. Numerous materials are used for this purpose, from sandblasting sand to PVC plastic granules, giving different textures and degrees of traction. When in doubt, visit a paint retailer and look at samples of the products they offer, and read the manufacturer’s literature for recommended products and procedures.