PAINTING CONCRETE FLOOR - Applying an epoxy floor coating is about as easy as painting walls inside your house. The application of the paint will seem like the easiest part.
Epoxy painted garage
Epoxy paint colors
Gray epoxy paint
When painting concrete floors, preparing the surface of the concrete floor so the epoxy bonds well might be the hardest part of this process.
To adhere to the concrete surface epoxy needs a very clean and slightly rough profile. The pores of the concrete have to be opened to get a good bond. All pop outs and cracks will have to be patched.
See fixing cracks in concrete floors to learn how to do this. The concrete should be at least 30 - 60 days old and have a vapor barrier under it.
See concrete moisture problems to help you understand this.
Check to see if your floor already has a concrete sealer on it by putting some water on the surface. If it beads up, the sealer will have to be removed before any paint goes down.
You can also tell if the etching solution doesn't foam, if that's the case using chemical strippers or grinding the floor will be needed to remove the sealer.
Stripping and cleaning the floor should not be rushed. Any grease or dirt will keep the epoxy paint from bonding properly. Following the steps to cleaning the surface correctly will insure the epoxy doesn't peel off months down the road.
Epoxy floor coatings usually come in kits with everything you need. Decide if you'll be applying two coats and a top coat or just a single coat with a top coat.
Buy enough so you don't run short. If you choose to add color flakes this will help hide any imperfections in the floor.
You might want to add anti skid granules that give the surface a sandpaper like surface, if you're applying this to your garage floor.
After the floor is cleaned and ready for painting, choose a nice dry day between 50 - 80 degrees. Make sure the concrete is completely dry, no damp spots from a previous nights rain.
Once the epoxy paint is mixed you'll only have a couple of hours to work with it. Some epoxy paints set up much faster, especially if you leave it in the bucket, make sure you read the instructions, it's very important. You may have to dump the epoxy on the floor in small areas and spread it out with a roller. Plan out in advance where you will Begin and end for best results.
Read the manufactures instructions for drying time between coats, be patient and don't hurry we want complete success here.
Always read the instructions on the can as they may vary somewhat from these steps.
STEP 1. PREP AND WASH THE FLOOR - Use the painter's tape and plastic to cover the walls up about three feet. Sweep and vacuum the floor to remove all dirt and dust.
STEP 2. ETCH THE FLOOR - Make sure to wear protective boots, gloves and safety glasses. Mix the solution according to the manufactures instructions.
Dampen the floor with a garden hose then pour the etching solution, starting in the back of the garage, over about a 10 by 10 foot area. Using the Broom scrub the area back and forth in each direction. Continue etching in small sections until the entire area is done.
You may need to neutralize the etching solution before you rinse. Read the instructions on the bottle, it's very important for a successful result.
Once you've finished etching, rinse the floor with a garden hose, starting in the back corner and working towards the front. Continue rinsing until the water is completely clear. If you have a dark, set in, oil stain this might require additional scrubbing. Allow the floor to completely dry, this may take overnight.
STEP 3. MIXING THE EPOXY PAINT - Open both components of the epoxy paint and hardener. Begin stirring the paint then slowly pour the hardener into it. Stir the two parts together until they are fully blended, around 3 minutes. Put the lid loosely back on and let it sit to let the chemicals to react with one another. Follow the mixing instructions on the can for mixing times.
STEP 4. PAINT ON THE EPOXY - When the epoxy floor paint is ready, you'll have about 2 hours to put it down. Some epoxies set up very quickly when left in the can after mixing. You may have to dump the epoxy on the floor and spread it with a roller. Work quickly so it doesn't start to set up before you use all of it. Start by pouring the paint into a tray, using a brush cut in the edges, seams and corners first.
STEP 5. ROLLING THE EPOXY PAINT - Start farthest from the exit, using the 3/8 inch nap roller with an extension handle, and roll out a 10 x 10 foot section. Go over the section each way, with good coverage, feathering out any uneven lines. Continue the floor section by section until finished. If you're applying 2 coats let the first completely dry and roll the second coat the same as the first.
STEP 6. IF YOU ARE APPLYING COLOR FLAKES - As you apply the top coat of paint, stop after every section and throw down the color flakes while the area is still wet. Sprinkle them on by hand, building the flakes up until you're satisfied with the coverage.
Work your way from back to front, as you roll on the epoxy, doing each section until the entire floor is coated. Allow the painted concrete floor to dry overnight in preparation for the top coat.
STEP 7. PAINTING CONCRETE FLOOR - PREPARE THE TOP COAT - Scrape and clean off any loose color flakes from the previous day. Pour the hardener into the clear top coat. Stir the mixture for about 3 minutes until it is completely blended. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to react, stir again for about a minute and add in the anti skid granules if you are using them.
STEP 8. PAINTING CONCRETE FLOOR - APPLYING THE TOP COAT - You should have about 2 hours of working time. Cut in the edges, corners and seams with the paint brush.
Then use a 3/8 inch nap roller, start in the back, roll out 10 x 10 foot sections the same as the epoxy paint. Work your way forward until the entire floor is covered. The coating might appear white at first but will dry clear. Allow 24 hours to dry for foot traffic and 72 hours for vehicle traffic.
Check the manufactures specifications for drying times they may vary greatly, some are much shorter.
Click on GARAGE FLOOR COATINGS for other painting concrete floor ideas.
For more information on concrete floor related topics click on the links below.
What is a CONCRETE FLOOR COVERING?
Is CONCRETE FLOOR HEATING easy to install?
What is the best CONCRETE FLOOR SEALER?
What is CONCRETE FLOOR STAIN?
What do I need to know about PAINTING CONCRETE_FLOORS?
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