How To Epoxy Your Garage Floor

updated
September 8, 2022
how to epoxy your floor
Contributors

Are you a homeowner thinking of epoxying your garage floor yourself? Yes, it’s doable, but it can be tricky, so you need to be as organized and prepared as possible to get a good result. 

The first thing you want to do is to carefully read the instructions for the product you choose because the application of epoxy for garage floors can vary slightly from one product to another. 

Generally, you will need at least two coats for your floor. 

Epoxy Floor Coating Kits

A typical epoxy coating kit contains two containers— the first contains the resin (paint), and the other contains the hardener. You may also have decorative chips or flakes, a measuring stick, an etching solution, and a top coat. You can buy your kit either online or in stores.

Preparation Before Applying Epoxy To Your Garage Floor.

  • Thoroughly clean the floor of grease, oil, solid residue, and previous coatings, as these substances can affect the effectiveness of the epoxy coating
  • Measure the square footage of the area to be coated and determine how much mixture you will need to finish the job 
  • Plan to carry out this project in a season with moderate temperature and humidity
  • Before applying the epoxy, allow the floor to dry thoroughly

Tools You’ll Need

  • Epoxy floor coating kit
  • Broom
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Measuring stick
  • Brush with a stiff handle
  • Garden hose
  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Long-sleeved pants and shirt
  • Protective masks or respirators 
  • 3-inch paint brush 
  • 9-inch paint roller with 1/2-inch roller cover
  • Extension handle for paint roller 
  • 5-gallon mixing bucket or larger
  • Paddle mixer for drill
  • Cordless or corded drill press
  • Paint stirring sticks
  • Acetone or MEK for cleaning
  • Rubber or foam scraper
  • Enough rags or towels
  • Degreaser for concrete
  • Low-adhesion painter's tape

Depending on which kit you purchased, you may also find some of the above materials in the packaging.

Step-By-Step Procedure

Step #1: Prepare and wash the garage floor

  • Using a painter's tape, mark the height on the wall to which you want to apply the epoxy
  • Clean and degrease the floor with a broom, degreaser, and a garden hose
  • If you have previously painted your floor, rub off the paint to remove the shine and sweep out the dust
  • Then, use an all-purpose cleaner to clean the surface with a bristle broom. After rinsing thoroughly, allow the floor to air dry for at least four hours

Step #2: Mix and apply the etching solution

  • Wear safety clothing and follow the manufacturer's instructions
  • Mix the etching solution included in the epoxy coating kit with water in a plastic can
  • Pour the solution onto the floor and work with a stiff brush or broom
  • Thoroughly rinse the whole floor with a garden hose
  • Allow the concrete to dry completely, which may take several days

primed floor

Step #3: Mix the epoxy 

  • Open the cans of epoxy paint and epoxy hardener
  • Stir the paint first and then slowly pour in the hardener
  • Stir both components thoroughly for a few minutes until they are completely mixed
  • Then, lightly cover the can and set it aside from the sun for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer
  • To cure properly, epoxy resins must be mixed at the correct ratio and speed

epoxy solution

Step #4: Apply the epoxy 

  • Once the epoxy mixture is ready, apply it within 2 hours or less for it to cure properly
  • Apply the epoxy primer with a nap roller, working your way from the back corner of the room toward the door
  • Do not let the roller get too dry in the process. Use an extension of the roller to make the process easier
  • If you are using decorative paint color chips, take some chips and apply them by hand to each section after you have applied the epoxy
  • If you need to apply a second coat, wait at least 12 hours before applying it
  • Always keep the garage well-ventilated while you work
  • If you plan to coat a large area, keep extra rollers and brushes on hand, as the epoxy coating on the rollers and brushes will stiffen as it cures and will be challenging to move. 

applying epoxy

 Step #5: Allow the garage floor to dry.

  • Wait 24 hours before walking on the floor and about 72 hours before parking a vehicle. It may take longer in damp or cold weather

Final Advice 

Epoxy floor coatings work best on a concrete floor that is in good condition and has no severe cracking, chipping, or spalling. Older surfaces can be coated if properly repaired as necessary. 

Ensure to familiarize yourself with your product's specific steps and cure times, as this will help you create a reasonable schedule for your garage floor coating project.

More on Epoxy Floor Coatings

Polyurea vs. Epoxy

In the comparison of polyurea vs epoxy, polyurea comes out on top for a number of reasons. Webfoot explores the benefits of polyurea in comparison to epoxy coatings.

Epoxy Explained

Webfoot dives deeper into epoxy and its popularity as a floor coating option. What is epoxy? And how did it get so popular?

3 DIY Options for Removing an Epoxy Floor

If you have failing epoxy, here are three options for removing an epoxy coating from concrete. 

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