How to Paint Concrete Floors

Epoxy paint is a tough, long-lasting coating you can apply to concrete that will resist grease, oil and other substances that would ruin ordinary paint. It comes in a variety of colors and is easy to maintain. Be aware of two things: one, not all concrete will hold a coating and, two, preparing the concrete can be labor-intensive and tedious.

Plan to spend the first day removing oil spots, cleaning and degreasing the floor, etching it with a mild acid and scrubbing. Set aside a second day for filling cracks and applying the first coat and a third day for applying a second coat.

For the best results, rent a walk-behind power floor scrubber with a stiff brush attachment and a wet vacuum if you don’t own them.

Be Prepared, V Be Safe

Wear gloves, eye and lung protection and rubber boots. Turn off gas to the water heater or other appliances in the garage. Keep children and pets at a distance.

Moist concrete–Do not apply epoxy

  1. Lift the corner of a plastic bag that’s been taped to the floor for 24 hours. If it’s dry underneath, you can apply an epoxy coating. If you see moisture, don’t coat the floor with epoxy; water pressure will break the bond. Don’t scrub outside stained are.
  2. Use a stiff-bristle brush and cleaner or degreaser to scrub oil stains until the greasy feel is gone. Wet the floor and scrub with the electric scrubber and cleaner degreaser. Vacuum up solution and dispose of it properly.
  3. Pour 32 percent muriatic acid: a common formulation,  into water at a ratio of one part acid to 10 parts water, and then sprinkle evenly over a 3- x 3-m area. Caution: Always add add to water and wear an organic vapor/acid respirator.
  4. Power scrub each area for 5 to 10 minutes, making sure the entire area stays wet. When completely finished, spray a large volume of water on the floor, power scrub again, then rinse two or three more times. Let floor dry overnight.
  5. Mix the two epoxy compounds for 5 minutes using a drill and stirring bit. Pour into a second bucket and mix again to ensure complete blending of the mixture.
  6. Tape the area directly under the garage door with duct or masking tape. Then brush a thin strip of epoxy along the walls and against the tape.
  7. Dip a roller half way into the paint. Apply the paint in a “W” pattern the size of the area shown. Then back roll to fill in the pattern—all in about 60 seconds. Go lightly over it to remove roller marks.
  8. Let the first coat dry, then apply the second coat. If you don’t want a glossy floor, add a nonskid floor coating additive for the second coat. Wait three to seven days before parking your car on the floor.

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