Our Picks for the Best Garage Floor Paint

best garage floor paint

So you’ve finally decided to spruce up your garage by adding some color to the concrete and you want to find the best garage floor paint that won’t break the bank.  It must be easy to apply and reliable.  With so many products available today, it can be difficult making a good decision on which to purchase.  So, let’s take a quick look at which type of paint is best for your garage floor and why.

One of the biggest advantages to garage floor paint is the relatively inexpensive cost to completely change the look of your garage when compared to other floor coverings.  But first of all, we need to make sure that it’s paint you are after and not an actual epoxy coating.  If you aren’t sure what the difference is, then we suggest you take a moment to learn about epoxy vs. paint.  If it is paint you are after, then read on!

Best type of concrete floor paint

Since paint is not as durable as other garage floor options, the key is to choose the right formulation for the best wear. There are generally two types to choose from – latex acrylic for concrete floors and pre-mixed 1-part epoxy garage floor paint.   Hands down, your best choice between the two is the 1-part epoxy paint.

The reason 1-part epoxy paint is the better choice has to do with the properties of epoxy itself.  When mixed in with the paint, it will provide for a coating that is more resistant to mold and mildew, chemicals, gasoline stains, oil, scuff marks, and chipping.  It also tends to bond to the concrete better than latex paint and this helps with resisting peeling and hot tire pick up.

Typical latex acrylic floor paint needs to be retouched or painted over about once a year or so depending on how much use and vehicle traffic that your garage sees.  1-part epoxy paint will last almost twice that long for an additional expense of only $10 or so per gallon depending on brand.

Best garage floor paint by brand

The problem with choosing good garage floor paint is that reviews for these products are all over the map in terms of good and bad.  Part of the problem is just poor garage floor preparation and application and not with the product itself.   Plus, this type of garage floor covering does best with foot traffic and not so much vehicle traffic.  With that in mind, we’ve selected our favorite brand that we can recommend and a second that falls in the honorable mention category.

best garage floor epoxy paint drylokOur first choice that we recommend is Drylok E1 by United Gilsonite Laboratories.  We feel that this product is one of the best garage floor paints that you can purchase.  It has the highest moisture tolerance of other paints, dries to a thicker coating, and it is one of the few paints that don’t require a primer to work at its best.  It also has better reviews regarding resistance to hot tire pick up among other 1-part epoxy garage floor paints.  Dryloc E1 starts around $50 per gallon but is only available in 4 colors.  You can find some of the best prices here.

Our honorable mention would be Epoxy-Seal garage floor paint by Seal Krete.  This is one of the lesser expensive choices that is a 1-part epoxy/acrylic hybrid and starts around $32 per gallon.  They offer some of the best color choices and are sometimes found at most home improvement centers.  Hot tire pick up seems to be more of an issue with this product however. You can find some good prices on this product here at Amazon.  Be sure to look for the free shipping.

It is very easy to apply, but they do recommend applying their bonding primer, Lock Down, first in order to get the best performance from their product.  Though not a requirement, Lock Down can be purchase for under $20 per gallon if you shop around.  This brings you back up over the $50 mark and is one of the reasons we recommend Drylok E1.

Both products cover 300 – 400 square feet per gallon depending on surface porosity.  They have a long pot life, meaning that you can pour the paint into a tray and not race to get it down on the floor before it dries like a 2-part epoxy coating sometimes requires.

Your garage floor will be much easier to clean with these products.  A soft broom works great for loose dirt and debris while a mop and mild detergent works great on the tougher stuff.

A word about hot tire pick up

epoxy hot tire pickup or hot tire liftUnlike a good epoxy coating, most garage floor paints will experience hot tire pick up some time in their lifespan.  When hot tires sit on paint, the heat tends to soften the bond that the paint has on the concrete.  The footprint of the tire eventually constricts as it cools which in turn causes the paint to collect up with the tire.  Then when you back out of your garage, you end up with a bare spot where the tire was.

This can be greatly reduced if you park your car on a mat, tire runners, or some other type of covering such as pieces of old carpet under the tires.  If you do this, you may prevent the frustration that can develop from this annoying characteristic of garage floor paint.

Choosing the best paint for your garage floor is important in order to get the greatest results.  Make sure you follow all manufacturers’ instructions to insure a successful installation and be sure to pay particular attention to cleaning your floor properly.  If you do this, you should get great results and a much better looking garage floor.

Update: There is a newer and much longer lasting concrete paint on the market that is being used on garage floors now with great success. It has us fairly impressed.  Read our latest post about this paint here.

Comments

  1. Sam says

    I noticed that you didn’t mention the Epoxyshield paint by Rust-Oleum. I’ve used it before and was happy with the way it turned out. I did get some hot tire lift but it wasn’t a big deal because my car covered it most of the time. Do you think the Drylok is better?

    • Shea says

      Hello Sam and great question! Yes, the Epoxyshield 1-part epoxy paint made a lot of people happy. The problem though is that they discontinued it and replaced it with an acrylic latex paint. We actually called Rust-Oleum about this and their response was that there was too much confusion between the 1-part epoxy and their 2-part epoxy paint kits. So they substituted it with acrylic instead. The Drylok is a good replacement over the old Epoxyshield 1-part paint if you were happy with that.

  2. MIKE says

    Lock Down is the best to use on concrete floors. How I overcame hot tire pick up was to mark four good places on the floor where my tire park at most times. Then I got some nice black tiles and made them wide front and back to park on. New car showrooms sometimes have them parked on tiles. Always clean floor. Most of time this is what will get you in trouble with flaking on the floor and always use a good primer. Flaking up will drive you nuts walking in and out in your home. Hope this helps.

  3. Robert Lewis says

    In this article of the Best Garage Floor Paint no mention is made of Silicon Acrylic solvent based paints ( concrete stains usually cleaned up with zylene). My experience has found these concrete paints/stains absolutely superior to everything except the most expensive commercial 2 part epoxy concrete finishes.

    H&C Concrete Stain solvent based is an example of one of these type paints, and there are also others available just as good, but almost all easily identified as solvent based with clean up with zylene – and they’re Tuff, Stick like glue with No Peel Up! ( if the floor is simply washed with a 6-1 acid before applying). I’ve always had great success with these paints! They’re Tuff and Long lasting… (and resistant to scuff, chipping, and almost all fluids and chemicals).

    Solvent based paints/stains may be currently out of favor, but as long as they’re available I’ll keep using them – and my garage and basement concrete floors look and last Great!

    • Shea says

      Hello Robert. The reason we don’t mention H&C concrete stains is because they are not a paint. They are basically a tinted, solvent based acrylic sealer that are opaque in color. By definition they would fall under acrylic sealers and not paint.

  4. Billy Orndorff says

    Hi Shea,

    Love the site, great info, and you’re more clear than any other source I’ve found.

    I’m completely cleaning out my parents garage this weekend, and before moving (hopefully) only 30% of their stuff back in I decided to put a coat of Drylok E1 down. The house and garage floor are both 40 years old. The garage floor is basic concrete with a fairly smooth (almost glaze) finish on it, never had cars parked on it or anything, just a snowblower and other random stuff. It has never had any coating, stain or treatment of any kind applied.

    My question for you is about pre-paint prep, which is a very important step from the research I’ve done. Once empty, I’ll be scrubbing the entire floor with a degreaser/water combo and ensuring all oil stains, etc. are gone. Once dry, should I put down a bonding or primer agent before rolling on the Drylok E1? My goal is to do it right the first time and have this coat last as long as possible.

    Thanks Shea!

    -Billy

    • Shea says

      Hi Billy and thanks for the kudos! You ask a good question. Dryloc E1 does not require a primer or bonding agent like some other 1-part epoxy paints. However, if the concrete is smooth like you state, then Dryloc recommends acid etching the concrete as part of the concrete prep. We have an article about how you can do that here. In fact, you can immediately acid etch after degreasing the surface. Just remember to neutralize properly and let the concrete dry thoroughly before applying the Dryloc.

  5. angela says

    Hi we just painted our garage floor with tuff coat acrlic stain. We let it cure for 3 days drove the mower in the garage and it left tire marks. Now we are doing a sealer coat what can we do to prevent tire marks from coming on the floor driving my husband nuts?

    • Shea says

      Hi Angela. Make sure your husband is not putting it on too thick. Thicker does not mean better with acrylic sealers. It can lead to all kinds of issues. You are much better off with two thin coats than one thick coat. When put on thicker it needs longer to cure and our guess is that it wasn’t cured all the way when the mower was parked on it. This is a common mistake that people make with acrylic sealers.

  6. Cindy A says

    I’m thinking about painting the floors in an old apartment and using a large rug instead of carpet. The concrete floors have had carpet before and there are pock marks where the old carpet tack strips were pulled out.
    Question #1: What do you recommend I fill these little divets with to smooth out floor?
    #2: Would it be ok to mix 2 colors of the same type of DRY LOK latex based concrete paint (thinking tan and brown) to make a mottled color? I can’t imagine why not but don’t want to mess it up.
    #3: What I read about the DRY LOK paint, it said it was non-slip. Is there a texture in this paint?
    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Shea says

      Hi Cindy. #1 – Fill the divots with a 2-part epoxy patch with something like the Rust-Oleum Concrete Patch. #2 – It’s OK to mix the colors after each product has been mixed separately. We can’t tell you how it will look though! #3 – There is not a texture to the paint. The non-slip statement means that it will not be real slippery when wet.

      The most important part is the prep of the concrete Cindy. Unless the surface of the concrete is rough already, you will need to acid etch (which can be very difficult in an apartment) or grind the floor for preparation. We suggest you read their TDS data sheet which you can find at the bottom of their product page.

  7. Jim says

    I brought a house 10 years ago that had Garage floor paint on it (found the can). The areas that the tires sit and travel over Are worn down to the concrete. while the rest of the floor is still grey paint it has worn down pretty thin in most spots ( very faded except near walls ). Can I just etch the entire floor,clean and Paint 1 part epoxy paint?
    I also have a fine #9 p gravel driveway, with a 15 ft concrete apron up to the garage. I do get some small rocks in the garage ever once in a while. This is why I was thinking of going over the faded paint with epoxy?

    Recommendations?

    • Shea says

      Hi Jim. Etching only works when it reacts with the free lime in concrete. It will not remove or prep paint. Also, 1-part epoxy paint is not the same as an epoxy coating. You may want to read up on that here to understand better. If you plan on painting over the existing paint, then a 1-part epoxy will work fine for that. Your best best is to rent a floor buffer with a green scrub pad. Clean the floor real well with that using a degreaser. It will remove any loose paint still on the floor and prep the concrete for the 1-part epoxy paint.

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