How to Install an Epoxy Garage Floor

Many homeowners refer to an Epoxy floor as being made of “Epoxy Paint” but it is really a different chemical.  Epoxy is tougher than paint but is much trickier to apply.

epoxy garage floor

Epoxy requires careful preparation before it can be applied.

Tools You Will Need

Epoxy is usually sold in kits which include the two-part Epoxy itself, an etching solution and decorative color chips. The color chips are optional.  Many kits include an instructional DVD.  Color choices are limited and most kits will offer a choice of gray, brown or off-white. You will need:

-Wet-Dry Shop Vac

-Broom

-Concrete Degreaser

-Stiff Brush

-Safety Gear

-Painter’s Tape

-Epoxy Kit

-Garden Hose

-3-inch Paintbrush

-9-Inch Paint Roller with ½ Inch-Nap Roller Cover

What to Do

Clean and Degrease Floor: Use the broom and the wet-dry vac to clean any debris from the floor. Use the stiff brush and the degreaser to remove grease from the floor.  Rinse the floor with the garden hose and then let the floor dry.

Etch the Concrete

Etch the Floor:  Etch the concrete floor with the etching solution provided in your Epoxy kit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Wear your safety gear! Mix the etching solution with water per the instructions in the kit.

Pour the solution onto the floor and use the stiff brush or broom to work it around the floor.  It should foam and fizz.  When you are done, rinse the floor with the garden hose and let the floor dry completely. It may take several days for the floor t o dry.

Prepare the Room

Apply Painter’s Tape: You will need to apply painter’s tape along the bottoms of the walls.  You might also want to apply some plastic sheeting to the bottom foot or so of the walls.  If you feel that you can do it, remove any baseboard.

This will allow you to apply the Epoxy right next to the wall itself and will eliminate the need to apply at the edges with a brush.

Mix the Epoxy

Epoxy is a two-part system which consists of a catalyst(hardener) and a resin (the paint).  These must be mixed just before application.  You will need to stir the paint a bit before you begin pouring the catalyst in while you stir.  Once the catalyst is combined with the resin, stir for two to three more minutes until they are thoroughly mixed.

You will now need to put the lid back on the mixture and allow it to rest for the amount of time called for by the manufacturer. Usually temperature will affect the resting time.  If you want to use the colored chips, add them now.

Apply the Epoxy

Start applying the Epoxy as soon as the mix is ready to use. You will have only about two hours to apply it, possibly even less if it is hot out.  Keep your garage well ventilated during application and curing.

You will want to use your 3-inch paintbrush to cut along the edges. Next, use the 9-inch roller with the ½ inch nap roller cover to spread the Epoxy onto the floor.  Work in 10 x 10 foot sections.  If you have a helper, they can do the cut-in work as you go. Maintain the wet edge by rolling over the previously applied Epoxy.

You will want to be sure that you use the right amount of product to apply an even coating. If you are using the decorative chip, apply them now.  You will need to take a small handful and toss them out onto the floor.  Apply the second coat after 12 hours have elapsed.

Let the Floor Dry

Don’t start to walk on the new Epoxy floor for at least 24 hours.  Plan to wait several more days ( ideally a week) before pulling a car back into the garage.

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