Applying an Epoxy Finish

This story shows how to apply an epoxy finish.

Intro

Epoxy paint finishes resist grease, oil, and many other substances that would ruin an ordinary painted finish, making it easy to keep your garage floor looking clean and attractive for years.

Epoxy will not adhere to a damp floor, so test it for dampness. For optimum curing when you apply the paint, the concrete should be a minimum of 55 degrees and the air temperature should be between 60 and 90 degrees.

Prestart Checklist

Time
From 30 to 45 minutes per square yard to prepare the surface, plus another 15 minutes to paint each section

Tools
Flat-edge shovel or scraper, vacuum, garden hose, power scrubber with brush attachment, stiff-bristle brush, rubber squeegee, wet vac, plastic sprinkler can, drill with stirring bit, brushes, 9-inch medium-nap roller

Skills
Prepare and paint concrete

Materials
Duct tape, plastic bag, cleaning/degreasing solution, rubber gloves, respirator, water, muriatic acid, two-part epoxy paint

Step 1

If necessary use a flat-edged shovel or scraper to remove any hardened debris, then vacuum the entire garage floor. Prepare a cleaning/degreasing solution according to manufacturer's instructions. Wearing rubber gloves use a stiff-bristle brush and the solution to scrub off any grease or oil stains.

Step 2

Wet the entire floor with a hose. Working in 5-foot-square sections, use a power scrubber with a brush attachment and the degreaser to clean the entire floor. Use the stiff-bristle brush to scrub the corners and along the walls where the machine can't reach.

Step 3

When the floor is clean, pool the soap mixture into smaller areas with a rubber squeegee. Vacuum up the solution with a wet vac. (Check with your county's environmental office to see if you are allowed to dispose of the solution by flushing it down the toilet.)

Step 4

Pour a gallon of water into a plastic sprinkler can. Wearing a vapor respirator as shown, pour 12 ounces of 32-percent muriatic acid (the most common formulation) into water (1 part acid to 10 parts water) in the sprinkler can. Mix the solution for a few seconds with a paint stirrer. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over a 10x10-foot area.

Step 5

Power-scrub the 10x10-foot area for 10 minutes or, to save on equipment rental, use a long-handled acid brush. Repeat the sprinkling/scrubbing process until the entire floor is acid etched. When you're finished rinse the floor three times to flush the residue out. Let the floor dry overnight.

Step 6

Following the manufacturer's instructions use a drill and stirring bit to mix together the two epoxy solutions. To ensure complete blending pour the mixture into a second bucket and power-mix the paint again.

Step 7

Using duct tape tape the area directly beneath the garage door, then brush a 4-inch strip of epoxy against the tape and along the garage walls.

Step 8

Use a 9-inch-wide roller with a medium nap to paint the floor. Dip the roller into the bucket so only the bottom half of the roller is covered. (This loads the roller with the right amount of epoxy.)

Step 9

Working in a 4-foot-square area, apply epoxy to garage floor in a large "W" pattern. Backroll to fill in the pattern and remove any roller marks.

Step 10

Let the first coat dry according to manufacturer's instructions. If you don't want a glossy floor (they are slippery when wet), add a nonskid floor coating into the epoxy for the second coat. Stir with the drill and stirring bit. Repeat Steps 7 though 9.


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