Are you bothered by the appearance of your garage floor? Those unsightly concrete floors with holes and spills are just giving you major aesthetic distress. Well, if you want to do a garage floor revamping on the cheap, you can use an epoxy coating as your primary material.
Epoxy coating is readily available in hardware stores so purchasing one won’t be a problem. What you need to focus on is the preparation, application, and curing. If you fail in any of those three steps, you might end up with a sticky mess.
If you’re a beginner with DIY projects, you don’t have to worry. With careful planning and execution, you will have the glossy garage floor that you have always wanted.
1. Inspect the area — This is important because water vapor pressure might lift coatings off the surface. This can happen if your slab was poured with no vapor barrier. You can tape a 2′ x 2′ piece of clear plastic over the slab and leave it there for 24 hours. If you see the concrete darken or water droplets form, you might have to inquire what is the best epoxy coating to use.
However, if dampness seeps through the concrete from the ground and moisture is apparent, the floor is not suitable for epoxy.
Also, if your garage just went through a paint job, the best thing is not to cover it up with epoxy right away. Remove the paint first and then proceed from there.
2. Check the weather — You need to work around the weather conditions that will take place over several days. Plan your project on days when there are moderate temperatures and rain and high humidity are not expected.
3. Prepare the kit, tools, and materials — Collect all the necessary protective gear that you will need as directed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
- PPE and clothing
- Disposable gloves
- Safety goggles
- Rubber boots
- Protective masks
For supplies, you will need:
- The epoxy kit itself
- Paint rollers and brushes
- Paint stir sticks
- Rubber foam or squeegee
- A pressure washer if needed
This is not an exhaustive list. Your epoxy kit might include all other tools that will be necessary for the smooth execution of the project.
4. Clean the area — Thoroughly clean the garage floor before you apply the epoxy coating. Sweep the floor and other hard-to-reach areas like corners and around the garage door tracks.
After a good sweep, you can also scrape any hard dirt or grease on the floor. You can use a strong degreaser while scraping the surface.
Give the floor a full wash with a diluted degreaser. Use a foam squeegee to remove the liquid on the floor so it can dry quickly.
5. Apply a concrete etch pretreatment —Do not forego this step as this will increase the surface roughness and make sure that the epoxy coating will stick to the concrete. Follow the instructions on how to mix the acid etch with water. Work in sections so you can evenly apply the solution. Afterward, just apply, scrub, and use a squeegee to take out any excess and not damage plants, lawns, and other surfaces. A fan can help in the drying process.
You can check if there is still some top sealer on the floor. Drip water onto the slab — if the water beads up, there is still a sealer that will affect the epoxy adhesion. You can repeat the etching process just to be on the safe side.
6. Seal cracks — If you want a smooth surface, you have to fill in concrete cracks. This way you can be sure that no imperfections will rear their ugly heads through the epoxy. Follow the mixing instructions on your crack filler and apply using a plastic spackle knife. Allow the filler to harden for eight hours or longer if necessary. Smoothen any edges with a sanding block.
7. Final cleaning and taping — Remove any remaining dust in the space to be coated with epoxy. Put a tape on places and edges that you will not be applying epoxy on.
8. Apply the base coat — Time to mix the epoxy solutions for the base coat. Start with the trimming or edges and wait for the reaction time. There is usually a guideline on the epoxy kit to help you out with time and temperature. Do not skip this part before starting on other sections of the garage.
9. Let the coating begin —If everything goes well from the weather to the application, you can go ahead and start with the epoxy coating.
Dump the epoxy coating generously onto every 4’ x 4’ section of your concrete floor. Follow up with a squeegee or paint roller to smoothen out the coating. Spread the coating in a uniform direction.
You might need to change your roller if it becomes too stiff as it might affect the appearance of the epoxy coating once dried.
The floor might need to dry for 24 hours so be sure to create a pathway where you can make a clean escape from the garage.
10. Spread the flakes — Last but not the least sprinkle on the flakes while the coating is wet and tacky. These decorative bits will not only make your flooring more attractive but they also add chemical abrasion as well as chemical resistance. The best part is that you can customize your flakes!
Before starting, make sure that you have enough flakes for your floor so that you can achieve the look that you want.
11. Keep your tools properly
After finishing the project, do not forget to stow away all the tools and chemicals in a safe place like an overhead rack or a garage shelf. It is important to have the right storage system for your working tools so you can kid-proof your garage.
12. Refresh your garage
Giving your garage a facelift need not be expensive. A fresh coat of epoxy with flakes will improve the appearance and value of your garage space. In the long run, it will also give you a great return on investment.
13. If you’re thinking of your next project, try this!
Your next project can be adding proper garage shelves here and there. Garage storage is important because it will keep your garage organized. Anyone who visits the garage would better appreciate the whole design if the space is clutter-free.
For high-quality garage storage, you can visit this website and check out their offerings. Before you know it, you will have a garage that is both functional and well-styled that you will surely enjoy.