Epoxy flooring, sometimes also referred to as epoxy paint, is different from regular paint. The technique and tools used, such as paint rollers and paint brushes, make them look similar but there is a huge difference in the chemical composition and performance of both products.
Epoxy floor coating provides concrete floors adhesion, abrasion and durability. It can save you money and prevent the emergence of unsightly cracks and blemishes that affect the tidy look of your floor, especially in the garage. The best part is that you don’t even have to hire a professional for this type of flooring. This blog is a step-by-step guide on how to apply epoxy paint on a concrete floor.
In addition to that, we have also listed for you the supplies you will need, including the protective gear, in case you are planning on doing it yourself.
Epoxy is a coating material that consists of polymer resins and hardening chemicals which give it a rigid plastic-like look. Because of its high durability and resistance to corrosion, epoxy flooring is widely used in warehouses, hospitals, industrial sites and offices. These characteristics are increasingly becoming more appealing to homeowners as well. In Pakistan, a lot of people are moving towards installing epoxy flooring in areas like the garage, kitchen and living room.
If you want to learn how you can apply epoxy paint on a concrete floor, then let’s begin with the supplies you will need from start to finish.
What You Will Need
Other than epoxy paint, you will also need a couple of paint rollers and personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves to secure yourself from the chemical. Here is the complete list of the items you will need:
- Epoxy flooring coat
- Etching solution
- Stiff brush
- Rubber gloves
- Face mask
- Paintbrush (at least 2)
- Paint roller (at least 2)
- Painter’s tape
- Safety goggles
- Drop cloth
Once you have procured the required equipment, you will need to start by cleaning the area first and removing all the items that need to be protected from paint.
Cleaning The Floor
Before you apply epoxy paint on a concrete floor, the area you’ve chosen for the installation needs to be cleaned thoroughly. You have to make sure that there is no dirt or greasy marks left on the floor. Use a broom and a piece of cloth for this purpose. If there are any stubborn stains, bring in the degreaser. Read the manufacturer instructions on how to apply it and use a stiff brush for results.
While preparing the floor, make sure to check if the floor has been sealed previously with any sealant or paint. To confirm that, pour some water on the concrete floor; if you notice the formation of beads, the sealant is still present on the floor. In case you don’t, it means the concrete has soaked the water and there’s no additional layer on it; you can then move ahead with the process.
Moisture is another thing that will affect the adhesion and the result will not be as desired. In order to check if there is moisture present on the floor, use a plastic sheet and tape it for at least 24 hours. If you see droplets on the plastic sheet, you will need to treat the floor to remove moisture first and then carry on with the process. These tests are important to ensure the adherence of epoxy coating.
Preparing The Floor
Once the entire floor has been cleaned and tested, preparation of the floor is the next step. This will include the elimination of all the cracks, uneven areas, repairs and any defects that will cause hindrance in creating the perfect bond between the epoxy coat and concrete floor. For uneven surfaces use sandpaper wrapped on a floor wiper and mop the floor to make it even.
After it has been repaired and sanded, use a quality etching solution following its manufacturer’s instructions. It is essential that you wear gloves, safety goggles and a protective suit, if possible, to cover your exposed skin.
‘Etching’ is the process in which the solution reacts with the concrete surface and creates an etch. It opens the pores of the concrete and prepares it for the next treatment step. Once you have applied the etching solution as per the instructions, rinse the floor with water and wipe it thoroughly. It will take several hours to dry properly so make sure that the weather conditions are optimum for this step. You can use high-speed fans that will reduce the time it will take to dry. The results of the epoxy coat will be best if you adhere to all of these preparation steps.
This is a crucial step if you want to apply epoxy paint on a concrete floor.
Prior to mixing epoxy, you will need to ensure that you have covered the desired areas, where it doesn’t need to be applied, with painter’s tape. These areas can be your walls, the entry step or area before the garage entrance.
The instructions to mix resin with hardener will be mentioned on the epoxy kit. The kit consists of: (a) catalyst (the hardener) (b) resin (paint). To form a homogenous mixture, mix the resin in the hardener and keep stirring while you pour and after it has been poured completely, mix for another two to three minutes until both things have been thoroughly mixed. You will have not more than two to three hours to apply it on the floor or else it will start hardening in the container.
Applying Epoxy on Concrete Floor
The application of epoxy on the floor can be tricky, which is why an expert is hired for this task, but it can be easy if you do your research and work with the right tools. The mixture is a thick liquid which self-levels if poured in huge quantities and all you need to do is spread it evenly on the entire floor. The trick is to start from the farther end of the room and drag it with a paint roller or a squeegee to other parts. Make sure to get it right the first time or else it will affect the finish of the floor.
Since the mixture is thick and has a hardening ingredient, pop any bubbles you see and level the floor using a squeegee or paint roller. Keep checking the condition of the roller and squeegee because it will get stiff or the mixture will harden over them. Use a fresh one if necessary. Be generous while using the mixture for effectiveness because the concrete will soak some of the mixture and it won’t give the required glossy look if that happens.
The initial coat will take at least 10 to 12 hours to dry which is also subjected to ideal weather conditions. Let it dry completely if you want to go for another coat.
Benefits of Epoxy Floor
Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy and also get an understanding of where you can use these floors.
- Epoxy floors are durable and do not degrade or chip off over time
- It has a glossy and shiny surface that brightens up the interior even with minimum lighting
- Better application for areas with higher traffic and still weights
- Easier to clean and maintain
- Have higher resistance to moisture stains and oil
If a plain coat bores you, decorative chips and flakes can be added after the initial coat. These can be dispersed uniformly or tossed randomly for a more casual look.
So, this was all you needed to know if you want to apply epoxy paint on a concrete floor, on your own. Wasn’t that easier than you imagined? We have some more guides as well explaining uses and benefits of other flooring options such as:
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