If you have thoroughly cleaned and prepared your concrete garage floor, you are now ready to apply a tough-as-nails coat of epoxy. You’re excited to see the transformation from dirty old concrete floor to high-end garage showroom, right? There are a few last-minute things you should do before you apply garage floor epoxy.
Garage Floor Epoxy – Pre-Application Considerations
If you have readied the garage floor, be absolutely certain that the concrete has thoroughly dried. Do not rush this step! If the epoxy coating is going to properly adhere to the concrete, it must be completely dry. For this reason alone, you should wait at least 24 to 48-hours after completing my prep-work to apply the epoxy coating. You want a strong, lasting bond. Once you have allowed ample time for the concrete to dry, move on to the next steps.
With the concrete floor dry, verify that a thin layer of dust has not settled on the surface. You could sweep the floor again or use a leaf blower to blast out fine dust particles that may have settled on the surface. Be sure to clean the blower first; you don’t want to be introducing leaf dust to your already cleaned garage.
A thin layer of dust or debris can cause you trouble down the road. Dust and dirt particles can weaken the bonding agents in the epoxy coating. If you want to apply epoxy the right way, get all of the dust out! The more thorough and detailed you are about this, the longer-lasting your epoxy coating will be.
Be sure to take the weather into account prior applying epoxy. If the weather report is calling for extreme cold or heat, wait for a day or two until the forecast improves. Avoid applying epoxy coatings on days when the forecast calls for excessively high humidity. The humidity in the air can weaken the epoxy’s bond and slow down the drying process.
After taking all of the previously stated considerations into account, continue with the epoxy application.
Follow the Epoxy Manufacturer’s Instructions and Guidelines
Read through all of the documentation that came with your epoxy coating. Take the time to read the instructions. Many people have the urge to dive right in and get started, but don’t do it. Read the manufacturer’s instructions!
Homeowners who fail to read the instructions may fail to add the epoxy bonding agent (one very important half of the two-part epoxy mixing process). Paint without epoxy will not last and the finish will look terrible in no time. Don’t waste your time and money on a botched epoxy application. Read the instructions! Follow the instructions.
How to Apply Garage Floor Epoxy
With the epoxy properly mixed and set (as instructed by the manufacturer), begin applying the epoxy coating. Plan to finish the entire garage floor in one application. Use painter’s tape to protect any surface where the epoxy finish may accidentally be applied (walls, etc).
Applying epoxy is very much like painting a wall in your home. It is best to paint the edges and seams of your garage first. Do so using a decent quality (but not high-quality) synthetic brush. Generally, I will edge the epoxy in using a 4″ wide brush. I wouldn’t use anything thinner than a 2″ brush as you will only make more work for yourself than necessary. With the edges and seams of the concrete garage floor epoxied, move on to the larger surface areas.
Using a short-nap roller head attached to an extension rod, soak up a hearty amount of the epoxy from the paint tray. Begin in a corner of the garage and work your way in towards the center. If you are using colored paint chips, be sure to have those handy. Apply epoxy to no more than 5’x3′ section at a time. Sprinkle the paint chips as you go. Be sure to maintain a constant wet edge, doing so will ensure a uniform, properly bonded finish.
Do not rush this process, you will be rewarded with an awesome-looking epoxy finish that lasts!
Allow ample time for drying and curing (refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the particular coating you are using). Stay off the garage floor! Your next step will usually be the application of a clear coat surface protector. If you are required to apply more than one coat of epoxy, wait until the second coat to sprinkle your colored paint chips.