Finishing the Garage Part 2: Applying an Epoxy Floor Coating

Epoxy Floor coating in the garage

Garage epoxy floor coating, part of my garage finishing project

After insulating and finishing the walls and ceiling, the next step on this garage finishing project was working on applying an epoxy floor coating.

To be honest, after doing the exact same job in my old garage (I did not document that project), I was not completely sure about doing it in this new one.

I did not have any issues with the epoxy bubbling or peeling, however, I did notice that after a few months, it did not look nice, it looked like an old floor, even right after being cleaned up.

I looked into different options, including porcelain and plastic tiles, however, mostly due to cost, I decided to give epoxy another try.

PREPARING GARAGE FLOOR FOR EPOXY

As you’ve probably heard or read before, preparation is key when it comes to applying an epoxy floor coating.

For this application, the first couple of steps were inspecting the floor for sealers and doing a moisture test.

To test the floor for sealers, I sprinkled some water on the floor, it was absorbed immediately, meaning that there were no sealers present. To test for moisture, I taped a plastic bag for a couple of days, the area stayed dry.

Another thing to consider is the weather. The week I completed this job, it was supposed to be sunny with temperatures around 75 degrees (24 C). If it is too cold, it will take too long for the epoxy to cure. If it is too hot, it will dry really fast, perhaps even before you finish applying it, keep that in mind before you start the job.

With those two tests out of the way and with nice weather in the forecast, the next step was cleaning up and etching the floor.

To clean it up, I first used some degreaser on a couple of grease stains on the floor, I also used a stiff-bristle brush to scrub it as hard as I could. Then rinsed it.

After that, I went ahead and washed and rinsed the garage, at least, a couple of times, using a clean squeegee to get most of the water out after each wash.

Once that was done, I mixed, spread and scrubbed the floor with some concrete etch, then rinsed it again and let it dry. A few hours later I checked the floor for dust, it was clean. All this work took me one day.

APPLYING THE EPOXY FLOOR COATING

After letting the garage floor dry for two days, it was time to start with the actual epoxy job.

For this application, I went with the Rustoleum Epoxy Shield kit, available at home improvement stores.

I started by masking the walls to avoid getting them painted, then mixing the two gallons of Part B base paint in a 5-gallon bucket, this was to ensure color consistency. Once this was done, following the product’s instructions, I put the paint back on their respective one-gallon buckets.

One of them was put away for later use, the other one was mixed with the Part A activator to get it ready for application.

After stirring and letting the product stand for the necessary time, I went ahead and started trimming the floor edges with a paint brush.

It is important that you trim the edges first. For easier access and to avoid stepping on the new paint, not to mention that you may have to work fast as depending on the temperature, you may only have as little as one hour to use the product. Trimming the edges first, will allow you to then focus on painting as fast as you can with the roller.

After seeing these next two pictures, you may think that the floor was not cleaned up properly, however, unless I went ahead and ground it, it was not possible to completely remove the oil stains. Also note the taped and mudded walls from the previous post.

Trimmed Garage Floor Edges and contraction joints

Trimmed garage floor edges and contraction joints

 

Trimmed garage floor edges and contraction joints as part of the process of applying an epoxy floor coating

Applying an epoxy floor coating, I trimmed the garage floor edges and contraction joints first

 

Trimmed garage floor edges and contraction joints as part of the process of applying an epoxy floor coating

Trimmed garage edges and contraction joints, I did not paint under the garage door

 

As you can see, I not only trimmed the edges, but also the contraction joints. That made sure I didn’t miss any spots later on.

After completing this step, the rest of the process of applying an epoxy floor coating is not a lot different than painting any other surface with any other type or paint. As I said before, though, perhaps the only difference between epoxy and any other kind of paint is that you have to try to paint it as fast as you can because it starts drying very fast.

For this reason, I recommend that you paint in small sections of about four by four feet so that the decorative paint chips if you decide to use them, stick better, and to avoid having the paint dry too much between sections as this may cause visible color differences.

Depending on the product you use, one coat should be enough for the floors to look nice. However, a second coat can be applied in most cases. I recommend waiting at least 12 hours before a second application is attempted, keep in mind though that waiting that long may not be possible if your plan is to use whatever product is left over from your first coat, it will be too dry by then even in a properly stored can.

The end result of my application can be seen in the next few photos.

 

Epoxy coated garage floor as part as my garage finishing project

Right after finishing epoxy coating the garage floor, left side

 

Applying an Epoxy floor coating to my garage floor

Right after finishing epoxy coating the garage floor, center

 

Right after I finished applying an epoxy floor coating to the garage floor

Right after finishing epoxy coating the garage floor, front

 

Footnote: two years after completing this epoxy floor coating application, I would give it the same review I gave my previous one. It has not bubbled or peeled, but it does not look as nice anymore, even after it’s been cleaned up.

The fact that the garage gets all dirty during the winter may not help. Hopefully, you don’t have that problem, but, if I ever get to do it all over again, I will definitely go with a different flooring material. 

Readers, what is your opinion about applying an Epoxy Floor Coating? Are you satisfied with your decision? Would you do it again? If not, what would you use instead?

Applying an Epoxy Floor Coating in your garage? This is what you need:

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