Garage Floor Epoxy Installation
We built my previous home and I was able to make many improvements to the house during the construction phase. One of the things I really liked about my old garage was the epoxy coated floors. The epoxy gave the floor a stain resistant coating that was easily cleaned with a garden hose in the summer. It was a non skid surface where the coating had some texture applied. I had the epoxy tinted to a light tan color. It was really nice to work on.
The house I live in now has a two car garage. The floor is divided down the middle by a wood 2x4 separating the two slabs of concrete. I wanted to have the floor covered in epoxy paint but thought I would try to do it myself using readily available products that anyone could get from Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. The warm days of summer are behind us in Idaho and winter is knocking on the door. I decided that I would try to tackle the garage floor before the weather gets too cold for applying the epoxy (see below).
The product I used in my old house was BEHR Epoxy floor coating. I had some problems with hot tire pickup and flaking in some areas. For these reasons, the product I decided to use this time was the EPOXYShield by Rust-Oleum.
EpoxyShield DIY Forum
Started Project - October 1st, 2007
The bad part about trying to do this to an existing house is you have all the crap stored in the garage. Epoxy coatings take a couple days to cure and up to a week before you can drive a car in there. We park both vehicles outside for now so that was not a problem. I figured I would have to move all the junk form one side of the garage to the other, prep/epoxy/cure the clean side. Then once the floor was cured I could do the other the same way.
So with that in mind I cleaned out half of the garage and swept it clean. There are some paint stains scattered around and a big oil stain in the middle of the floor.
The EXOXYShield kit comes with some floor etcher/cleaner. The guy at Home Depot suggested that I use some Muriatic acid (This is really nasty stuff) and then scrub the stain with a floor brush. Boy. I did not realize how strong this stuff is. Make sure you DO NOT GET IT ON YOU OR BREATHE THE VAPORS. It will burn your nose and lungs. If you spill the acid, you can neutralize it with baking soda.
Here is what the oil stain looked like after the acid did it's thing. Some of the oil came off but the stuff underneath just turned into a tacky sludge. The concrete area around the oil stain was thoroughly etched. I could of repeated the process and probably got the stain off but the concrete around it would have been trashed.
I went back to Home Depot and bought the BEHR concrete cleaner/de greaser. You can apply this stuff full strength for nasty stains or dilute it with water for general floor cleaning.
Here is a shot of the floor before I started with the de greaser.
Here is another shot of the same thing.
October 2nd, 2007
THis is after two cleanings with the de greaser and scrubbing with the brush. I washed the floor with the hose after each time after letting the de greaser soak for about 10 minutes. The stain is almost gone at this point. One more time will probably do it.
Another shot. I had to pull the tractor in because it started raining just as I was finishing up.
October 7th, 2007
I rolled the epoxy on the floor tonight. The kit comes with 1 gallon of Epoxy. You have to use it within 1 hour after mixing depending on the temperature. I started to brush it on the concrete border around the edge of the floor. About halfway through I decided to stop because I didn't want to run out of paint and not be able to finish the floor. I rolled the floor down. It was a good thing because I barely had enough to finish the floor. I will come back after the floor dries and finish the borders later. The epoxy is still wet in this picture.
October 9th, 2007
Update: The floor has been drying for two days now. It is no longer tacky and I was able to shut the garage door all the way today. I think I will be able to move light items back onto it tonight. The directions say to not drive on it for 1 week.
October 14th, 2007
I got a break in the weather this weekend and the temps were high enough (60's) that I could roll down the other side of the garage. I could not close the garage doors completely until the epoxy dried overnight. I taped some plastic to the ground and door to keep the wind and leafs out while it cured.
The process for the right side was the same as the left. Sweep, degrease, etch with acid, dry overnight and paint. This is the shot right after I rolled the coat of epoxy on. I still need to paint the edges around the room but I plan on waiting until it warms up in the spring.
How do I like it?
My first impressions of the Rust-Oleum is good. Preparation of the existing concrete is always a pain. New concrete is easier to clean/etch than old stained concrete like I have. Unlike the Behr, this was a two part epoxy so it must be mixed and then wait 30-45 minutes before rolling on depending on the temperature. It rolls on smooth and covers well. The covering "feels" like it is stronger than the Behr which felt more like paint. It really brightened up the garage because the light reflects off of it. I did not use the speckles or texture included in the kit. The floor does not feel slippery at all even when wet.
I'll continue to update this as I get more wear on the floor and see how it holds up.
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