How to Choose the Best Epoxy Coat System for Your Garage

best garage floor epoxy coating

Trying to figure out the best garage floor epoxy coating system for your garage as well as your budget isn’t always easy. With so many epoxy products, manufacturers, and commercial installers to choose from, it can be frustrating and somewhat overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you want or how an epoxy coating system works.

The easiest way to tackle this problem is to break it down into the different types of epoxy products available and explain how they are installed together as systems. You can choose to purchase and install the epoxy yourself or hire a garage floor coating contractor with their own products. Either way, our goal here is to help eliminate the confusion about epoxy and to educate you on the different options available in order to choose the best epoxy for you.

There are many reputable brands of epoxy available. What it comes down to when determining the best coating for your garage floor is, what type of epoxy is it and how is it used as part of a system? So please read on to learn what constitutes your basic epoxy products and systems all the way to the best that you can install for your garage floor.

Waterborne Epoxy Paint

Water based epoxy is easy to apply and has a longer pot life that reduces the worry of getting it applied as quickly as other epoxy products require. It’s almost as easy to apply as paint and is why it’s advertised as epoxy paint. Because of this, it is the favorite type that companies like to market to the DIY crowd.

Your first choice is the “do it yourself” epoxy paint kits by brands such as RustOleum or Quikrete for example. They can be purchased from your local home improvement center or hardware store for anywhere from $50 to $70 depending on brand and are available in either gray or tan.

These kits are designed as a single coat system with roughly 50% solids content of epoxy and a coverage rate of around 250 square feet. They roll on easy and cure to a thin coat of approximately 3 mils with a matte to semi-gloss finish.

Though inexpensive, this is the least durable of epoxy to apply. They are based on older formulations and are not the best value for your dollar. Their resistance to stains and chemicals are not as good as other types of garage floor epoxy and they are susceptible to hot tire lift.

If you like the easier application requirements of water based epoxy, you can increase the durability and protection with a more professional multi-coat kit that offers a second coat of epoxy clear as a top coat. This also doubles the coating thickness from 3 mils to 6 mils. Some brands such as The Original Color Chips offer kits such as these. They are a better value for the money with more current epoxy formulations and pricing starting around $175.

High Solids Epoxy

The next step up is the commercial grade epoxy products. They have the best resistance to stains, chemicals, and abrasion. They also have high solids content with the best being 100% solids epoxy.

The 100% solids single coat system is much thicker and will cure to approximately 10 mils or more depending on the brand. In fact, a single coat of 100% solids epoxy is more durable than two coats of a typical water based product. High solids epoxy make for a great color base coat to a multi-coat system due to their high build and are available in many choices of color options as well.

Cost for these commercial grade products vary depending on the solids content and brand. Expect to pay a minimum of $115 for clear epoxy only that will cover 250 square feet. The price goes up from there for standard colors and custom tints. For an average price of $180, many of these kits include the tools required to apply them plus a bag of colored acrylic paint flakes or chips to apply to the floor as well.

Though this type of epoxy is a much better value, it is not as DIY friendly as water based epoxy. It has a much thicker viscosity and needs to be back rolled when applied. The pot life is shorter as well, requiring that it be applied to the garage floor within 30 – 40 minutes after mixing.

Clear Epoxy or Polyurethane Top Coats

To improve upon the single coat 100% solids epoxy, the next step is to add a coat or two of clear epoxy or polyurethane. This is referred to as the top coat. This clear coat system adds not only durability and thickness, but is also what gives your floor that deep gloss and shine.

If adding a topcoat, you also have the option of adding additional paint chips to your base coat. They can be sprinkled on sparingly or they can be applied to full refusal. Full refusal is the process of throwing on chips until they don’t stick anymore.

There are two reasons you may want to do a full refusal broadcast.  The first is that it will give the floor some texture, increase thickness for durability, and help to produce an anti-slip surface. The second reason is pure cosmetics. With the multitude of different colored chip combinations to choose from, you can give your garage floor any custom look that you like.

Best Garage Floor Epoxy Coating System

The best coating that you can apply to your garage floor will be a premium multi-coat epoxy system. This will consist of a primer coat, 100% solids basecoat, acrylic colored paint chips if you desire, and one or two topcoats of clear epoxy or polyurethane. It’s not uncommon for such a floor to be between 30 and 40 mils in thickness. These type of floor systems can last 15-20 years or more.

Any premium epoxy system will involve a primer. Most primers will be anywhere from 50% to 70% solids content which will make for a thinner coat and consistency. There are many reasons for using a primer. The thinner consistency allows for the epoxy to seep deeper into the pores of the concrete to create a better bond. It also creates better adhesion for your basecoat and helps to prevent pinholes and bubbles which are caused from out gassing of the concrete.

Though this epoxy system is the most expensive of garage flooring options, this floor coating will give you the best return for your dollar. Cost varies depending on the size of your garage. Expect a minimum cost of $850 in materials for an epoxy primer, color base coat, acrylic color flakes, and clear top coat for an average sized 2-car garage if installing it yourself. Garage flooring contractors start around $4.50 a square foot for a similar system and go up in price from there.

Final notes

If you are going to apply an epoxy coating yourself you can create any one of the above combinations. Just remember when looking at different brands, compare both the coverage rate and solids content along with the price. If product A covers 250 square feet per container and product B covers 300 square feet per container, you are much better off going with product B if you have a 540 square foot garage. Do not attempt to stretch it out or you are destined to receive poor results.

Another factor to consider is the supplies that come with these kits. Some brands include rollers, mixing paddles, spiked shoes, paint brushes and other supplies in their price.  Lastly is checking to see if they offer technical support. If this is your first time at applying a good quality epoxy and you want to make sure all your questions are answered, a manufacturer with good customer service is worth every penny.

If you are looking into hiring a contractor to install an epoxy coating for your garage floor, make sure to ask how many coats they use and what each coat does. Many times flooring contractors will substitute lessor quality epoxy or less coats in order to compete in price.

So remember when choosing the best epoxy coating for your garage floor and budget is to make sure you have enough to cover your floor. Multiple coats will increase the wear and durability of the floor and always go with a higher solids content if you can afford it. The dollar cost average over time for the floor is much better if you do. And finally, if applying the floor coating yourself, choose an epoxy manufacturer with good customer service to insure a good experience and a quality floor.


Comments

  1. Robert says

    This helped to clear up a lot of questions. It’s was confusing trying to figure out what I need to do. Do you sell epoxy?

  2. John C. says

    I didn’t know there were so many ways of doing this. It makes sense now. I think the first guy I talked to about doing my garage floor was just blowing smoke. At least now I know if they are or not.

  3. Ted Wrye says

    My question. I have a 500 square feet patio. The concrete pour was colored a slump stone tan at the concrete company. Then we mixed a black iron cobalt with paint thinner and sprayed the top of the concrete before it set
    up, then stamped a large leaf pattern into the concrete. We let it dry about 3 days. Clean up was a big mess. We then rolled a sealer with a gloss look to it. Looked great at that time.

    Now four years later I want to take off the sealer and remove some of the black look. Almost impossible . A 3000 PSI pressure washer will not even touch it. Tried paint stripper in a small spot, works on the sealer , won’t even touch the black stuff. So can I cover up this sinful mess applying a top of the line primer and colored epoxy? My big question , will the primer adhere to the sealer, and should I wash and scrub the surface with a etching chemical first ? Spending all kinds of money to remove my original coatings seems wasteful . I would rather spend the money by going over the top with primer and epoxy.

    • Shea says

      Hello Ted and thanks for visiting our site. You have quite a project on your hands! Unfortunately you can’t apply an epoxy primer over sealer. The epoxy needs a porous surface in order to adhere to the concrete. Also, unless it is a covered patio, epoxy shouldn’t be used outdoors because the U.V. rays of the sun will amber the epoxy (turn it yellow). There are polyurea coatings that will work outside, but you need to remove the sealer first. You can remove the sealer one of two ways – either by chemical means or mechanically. If you remove it chemically with a stripper, you will still need to at least acid etch the surface after stripping to make it porous for a coating. If you do it mechanically with a shot blaster or sand blasting, the surface will be ready for a coating.

      Another option you may want to consider is to apply a polymer cement topping to the surface once it is prepped properly (removing the sealer). These toppings are stronger than the concrete itself and can be applied in almost any color you desire. You will end up with a smooth surface unless you want to stamp it again.

  4. Alan says

    Hi – I have a 4 1/2 car detached garage (20’x20’/2 doors front, 30’x20′ back). The front was an old 2 car garage .. the back was added on much later but previous to me.

    I have two older muscle/collector cars that occupy the front bays and the back is a workshop / storage area. Old cars like to “mark their territory” .. and occasionally require the engine to be pulled so my needs are high tolerance to all auto fluids as well as being able to tolerate the occasional engine hoist with 500# hanging from it being rolled around.

    The front was a mess from years of a mechanic doing side work at home .. and it even had a 5’x5′ sink hole .. so along with our home improvement / driveway redo, I had the front two bays’ concrete ripped out and a new 5″ slab poured. This was back in May and I have done the moisture test (now early Nov.). I have been living since May with a myriad of “stuff” on the concrete to prevent any staining but it is time …

    While I don’t want to say that cost is not an issue, I want to do this once and the best way possible – we don’t plan on moving so this is my one chance to address this project and nail it the first time.

    For now, only the front 20’x20′ will be done – maybe later the back area as well.

    Your thoughts and experience are welcome

    … thx Much
    Alan

    • Shea says

      Hello Alan, great question! Based on your requirements, you definitely want to grind and not acid etch. In terms of a good epoxy system, we recommend a primer first followed by a base coat of 100% solids epoxy. A full broadcast of color chips helps to increase the thickness of the floor as well as impact resistance, but isn’t a requirement if you want a solid colored coating. Follow that up with two coats of polyurethane and you have a very tough floor that will handle engine hoists, rolling tool boxes, floor jacks as well as automotive oils and fluids without any issues.

      For an even tougher floor, you can do a full quartz broadcast instead of paint chips. A polyurea or polyaspartic clear coat is even tougher, but this option isn’t the best if you are a first time DIY installer as polyurea is best applied by experienced installers.

      • alan says

        Thank you Shea for your timely response

        You advise to grind instead of acid etch – I thought with a fresh concrete pour (with no sealer or anything else on top) that I would not have to do either of those steps.

        Can you please explain why this is necessary on a fresh slab ?

        Thank you for your time

        Alan

        • Shea says

          Yes Alan, concrete is always finished to provide for a smooth and even finish. This finishing reduces the porosity of the surface of concrete and is the reason why you still need to profile a newly poured slab. Some slabs are power troweled which can almost close off all the pores to concrete, but this isn’t usually done for a garage. I suggest you read this article about grinding vs acid etch which helps to explain some of this.

  5. Haleh says

    Hi there!

    I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the information. I am looking to put a salon in my garage. I want an epoxy covering that is durable, has a little gloss and paint specks in it, and where it is easy to sweep up hair using a broom. Can you recommend the kind I should get and the coats? Also, I have a two car garage that I would be applying it on.

    Thank you,

    Haleh

    • Shea says

      Hello Haleh. We recommend that you use a 100% solids epoxy as your color base coat. This is what you would apply the color flakes to. You then will need to apply a top coat of clear epoxy or polyurethane over the base coat to lock in the color flakes and give your garage floor both gloss and depth of color. This top coat will not only protect the base coat, it will also make the floor extremely easy to clean up hair with a broom. Though not an absolute requirement, if a primer is in the budget we recommend that as well.

      There are quite a few good companies that offer these products, too many to list, but the home improvement centers are not one of them. Legacy Industrial sells these products and have great customer service, you may want to check with them first. Good luck!

  6. says

    I have a 4 year old garage floor that was sealed when new. Now I want to paint. Would you recommend muriatic acid to remove the sealer?

    • Shea says

      Hi Gary. Muriatic acid will not remove sealers. The acid works by reacting with the free lime in the concrete. When the concrete is sealed, the acid can’t react with the lime and just sits on the surface doing little. If it’s an acrylic sealer on the floor you can remove it with a chemical stripper first then acid etch the concrete. If it’s anything else you will need to grind the concrete to remove it. Grinding will not only remove the sealer, it will prep your floor at the same time.

  7. Sherief says

    Thank you very much for the helpful information. I unfortunately painted my garage floor last year with waterbased epoxy. Over the winter a lot of areas have peeled. Now I want to get it cleaned and done once and for all. My question, can I paint the solid epoxy over the coat already there??
    Thank you very much in advance :-)

    • Shea says

      Hi Sherief. If the epoxy you put down is already peeling up all over, the best thing to do is completely remove it first. The new epoxy will only adhere as well as the base it is applied to. If you apply it onto epoxy that might peel then you are taking a chance. It sounds like you may not have prepped your floor properly the first time anyhow. If you grind your floor and remove all the old epoxy, you should have a good profile for the new epoxy to bond to.

  8. Bruce says

    Thanks for the info. I have a brand new garage and concrete floor. How long do I wait before putting down the epoxy? I assume I just wash the new concrete but don’t have to etch it or any other prep. Likely will go with the premium multi-coat epoxy system.

    • Shea says

      Hello Bruce. You need to wait a minimum of 28 days from the day the concrete was poured before you apply epoxy. You DO need to etch at a minimum or grind the concrete to prepare it for epoxy – especially with a new floor. This is a common misconception that people have about newly poured concrete. Concrete is generally troweled smooth and closes up the pores at the surface. The etching or grinding opens up the pores and profiles the concrete correctly in order for the epoxy to bond to it effectively. We suggest you read this article here to learn which process may be best for you.

  9. Jimmy P says

    Hello, Thank you for posting such a great site to help us DIY people get it right the first time. I am getting ready to do my 2-1/2 car garage and will make the investment and go with a 100% epoxy system. My concern is my house was built in 1976 and while it is a virgin floor I have many oil stain areas and over spray from past owners using paint cans. It also has somewhat of a smooth surface. My question is what is the proper preparation steps I need to go through before I lay down epoxy? My experience that to have a successful outcome the prep work is the key. Thank in advance for your help.

    • Shea says

      Hello Jimmy and thanks for the kudos! You are 100% correct that successful prep is the key. The best way to prep your concrete is by grinding the surface. Grinding will open up the pores of the concrete to allow for the best bond. It will also easily remove the old paint spills. Clean the oil stains up first before grinding. We recommend that you read our article on applying garage floor epoxy as well. Follow some of the links and it will really help you to understand the process.

  10. Paul Cook says

    Shea,

    I have a bit of a problem. I live in Arizona. My back patio is about 960 sq. ft. I have a well and the salt content of the water is high. I have a pool that is filled from that well. This creates a high salt content in the pool. This is where it gets interesting. I have two golden retrievers that constantly play in the pool. When they get out of the pool, they are soaked and walk over to the concrete and shake, drip, and occasionally even lay down. All this salty water has ruined the back patio. Obviously I can repair the concrete but it is just going to happen again. From your article, it appears as though my best option is the high-solid epoxy and then put a sealer over it. I will probably also need to mix some sand or something in it so it isn’t slippery.
    Am I on the right track? Any suggestions?
    Thanks, Paul

    • Shea says

      Hello Paul, it sounds like your dogs are like ours, they think the pool was built for them. Actually, epoxy is a sealer and a very good one at that. Unfortunately though it is not designed for exterior use as the sun will cause the epoxy to amber. We recommend that you apply a product like the one we highlighted here. It’s a topical sealer that is easy to apply, can be used on exterior surfaces, it can be tinted if you like, and it has good salt resistance. Plus, it’s much less expensive than a multi-coated sealer like epoxy. Legacy Industrial also has a soft skid anti-slip aggregate that can be mixed in as well. Ask for Scotty.

      Another option is a penetrating sealer/ water repellent. Concrete Sealers USA has a good product here that is used around pools and is resistant to salt as well.

  11. T. Rath says

    Shea, rather than pay someone $4.50+ Per sq. foot to apply new floor, how would tiling the floor work if a strong durable and cheap tile could be put down assuming leveling, etc. is okay? I just drive in and drive out of the garage. merely want a floor to look good.

    • Shea says

      Hi Tom. Porcelain tile is a very durable garage flooring option and we discuss it here. You can find it for as little as $1 per sq.ft. if you shop around. If you know how to lay tile then porcelain is the best value in tough flooring that you can find.

  12. Christine says

    Hi

    My installer applied Behr two-coat epoxy paint with added chips to
    the one car garage. He seemed to be following directions re
    drying times, etc. Within less than two months it has started to
    come up in spots. Behr said that shouldn’t happen and gave several
    suggestions to solve the problem. I don’t want the epoxy paint
    on the floor because I want a floor I rarely or never have to take
    care of besides a little sweeping. It is used as a workshop and
    storage and a car is never in it. Any easy ideas as I may have
    to do it myself rather than pay someone again to work on it.

    • Shea says

      Hi Christine. Unfortunately is sounds like the concrete was not prepped correctly by the installer. Was it a 2-part epoxy coating that was applied or 2 coats of a 1-part epoxy paint? Either way, if you only have foot traffic and no vehicles, it should not be peeling up at all. Was the concrete acid etched or did your installer grind it? If he did neither, then that is the problem for sure. At this point you would need to grind the remaining paint from the surface in order to apply it correctly.

      Another option would be to go with a nice budget interlocking tile system. This can easily be installed by you in a couple of hours and would be maintenance free except for the required sweeping or dust mopping.

    • Shea says

      Hello Ed. They offer a 1 coat 100% solids epoxy system which is much better than the inexpensive epoxy paint kits. They offer a clear coat as well, but it’s not obvious on their purchase page. Their prices seem expensive however and we couldn’t find any technical data sheets on the product. I would call them before making a purchase. Based on their advertised coverage rate of 300sf, the coating is around 9 to 10 mils thick. Epoxy-Coat for example has a similar product and kit that will go 500sf for $30 more and twice the material.

  13. Kate says

    We’d like to semi-finish our garage and put carpet tile down on the concrete slab. We have a high water table in our area and some (though not a lot) of damp on the garage floor at times. So we want to seal out the moisture from below to protect the carpet tile, but from above it will be covered. Which epoxy would be appropriate for us? Thanks so much!

    • Shea says

      Hello Kate and thanks for visiting our site. What you need is a penetrating sealer, not epoxy. A penetrating sealer penetrates into the concrete creating chemical reaction that will seal it from water underneath as well as above. You can read about them here.

  14. Gary W says

    Glad I found your blog. I have an interesting problem with my garage floor. The concrete has lost some of it’s binding characteristics and is becoming a bit powdery/sandy which is made worse with water and salt coming off the cars here in the North East. Additionally the back right hand side of the floor has settled and cracked due to poor back-fill when the home was build 50 years ago. I originally cleaned the floor an power washed it and applied water based epoxy paint (Rustoleum) which ultimately failed due to the condition of the concrete. I researched concrete densifiers and bought Foundation Armor L3000 which should help restore the existing concrete. Before applying the L3000 I will rent a hexpin surface prep system at Home Depot and completely clean off the old coatings. I will apply a bonding agent such as SikaLatex R or use Quikrete Bonding adhesive either as a coating or mix in or slurry coat and level the floor with a sand/topping mix. Also planning on mixing in something like Bon 32-500 3/4″ anti-crak concrete fibers for extra strength. I estimate the back corner of garage will need up to 1 or 2 inches of concrete. Ok so here’s the question…. do you agree with the above course of action and… after all is set and cured, will this allow me to finally apply high quality epoxy coating without problems? Thanks in advance for your expertise.

    • Shea says

      Hi Gary. It sounds like your slab has a sandy top due to all the years of winter wear. You definitely need to grind the floor first to remove both the coating and the weak sandy top in the concrete. We recommend the SikaLatex R over the Quikrete. Be sure to use it as an admixture in a slurry coat and not just as a bonding agent. You are basically making your own homemade polymer modified cement which will be much stronger and feather better. You may need to run a sanding screen on a buffer over the areas that you patch to smooth everything out. We can’t say for sure that you wont have problems with cracking in the back corner again some time down the road, but you will definitely have a much better surface to apply a good quality epoxy coating.

      Good luck!

  15. Mike says

    Hi! Loved the article. I have a question (eventually) regarding products. I just purchased a home which has a 584 sqft garage. It’s prior owner put down an epoxy floor coating and did a poor job of it; brush marks everywhere and wearing down to the concrete in some spots. I’m planning on redoing this myself and want to make it last as long as possible, within reason. This includes renting a grinder to take off the epoxy coat and prep the concrete, cleaning thoroughly, putting down a coat of epoxy primer, %100 solids basecoat and two topcoats of clear epoxy, as the article recommends. My first question is, if I want to put a grit in it to make it anti-slip, which coat should I mix it into? Also, do you recommend any particular brands of epoxy primer, %100 solid basecoat or clear topcoats over others? Thanks!

    • Shea says

      Hi Mike. More than likely if you see brush marks you are dealing with paint and not epoxy. That’s a good thing because it means it will come up much easier when grinding. If you want to apply an anti-slip, do a clear top coat or two of polyurethane and apply the anti-slip in the last coat. Because it’s a thinner top coat, a product like SharkGrip disperses well in polyurethane and will not get buried and sink in a thicker epoxy coat.

      There are many great products out there. Legacy Industrial is one such company and they have a very nice primer, epoxy, and polyurethane. EpoxyMaster has good kits and polyurethane as well. They don’t sell a primer, but they do recommend thinning their 100% epoxy to use it as a primer. That works well also.

  16. Rodney says

    Thanks for this article. It’s one of the most helpful reads I’ve found and clears up some estimate questions. I’ve ive obviously found a couple of good guys and some crappy ones for around the same price.
    Question: let me make sure I fully understand. I start with the floor prep, then do the primer coat, then the epoxy coat, then the flakes, then add the poly coat or two. Correct?
    After the primer coat how long until I start the next step of epoxy? I know to add flakes immediately after epoxy coat while it’s still wet.
    How long do I let it dry before coming back to scrape the remaining loose flakes away?
    Thanks!!
    I really want to do this myself so I can look at everyday and know I saved myself $1K

    • Shea says

      Hi Rodney, we are glad it helped. You need to wait 10-12 hours before applying the next coat and generally no more than 24. When checking if it’s ready, press your thumb onto the surface. It should feel tacky but not leave a print. If you apply the primer in the early morning hours then you can usually apply the color coat in the evening followed by a clear coat or two the next day. If you are doing a full broadcast color chip floor, then you can wait longer if you wish since the top coat will adhere to all the chips and not the epoxy.

      You can get more info from our post on epoxy application here. It’s not hard to do yourself when you plan everything out step by step. A second person helps tremendously when doing the actual application.

  17. Rodney says

    Thanks for that. Do I need to fill in cracks or Chios out of the concrete? I’ve had different opinions. Some say just leave the chips and the epoxy will fill it in and some say I need to level it out. I worry that whatever I fill in will eventually chip again. There only a couple of spots that are chipped and a couple of surface cracks.
    What company do you recommend for ordering the quality materials …. Primer, epoxy, flakes in full, and poly ?
    You the man!

    • Shea says

      You don’t need to worry about hairline cracks when doing a multi-coat system with a 100% solids base coat. However, you do want to fill in larger cracks as well as any chips, pitting, or other larger cosmetic defects in the concrete. If you don’t it will not fill in completely and will telegraph right through the coating and become obvious. For material you want to use an epoxy based crack repair product. Big divots and holes can be filled with a mixture of epoxy and silica sand to act as a slurry and then troweled in.

      Legacy Industrial has good product with everything you need. EpoxyMaster has excellent product as well. They don’t sell primer, but recommend thinning their 100% solids epoxy to use as a primer. This works well also. Both have good customer service too. Either way you would be getting top line product at competitive prices.

  18. says

    Thanks again for all if this. I have decided to go with the industrial kit and get started once it arrives.
    -one major concern is that my wife is expecting our first child and I’m concerned about the fumes in the house. How bad will it be and is there anything I can do to keep the fumes /smell out of the house ? One garage door leads directly into the entry way of the house.
    Any thoughts/ideas?!

    • Shea says

      Your welcome Rodney. With water based primers and 100% epoxy you will have 0 to very little VOC’s to worry about. No worries there. If you are applying a solvent based polyurethane then you will be dealing with higher VOC’s (fumes). When using solvent based coatings, be sure to extinguish any open flames such as pilot lights. If the wind is not blowing stuff around outside, keep your garage door open and any side doors open for ventilation during application. This helps to reduce fumes. To help keep fumes out of the house, run duct tape along the seams of the door that leads into the house. This will help block a lot of the fumes but not 100%. The smell in the garage can be heavy for the first 12 hours and then dissipates significantly within 24 hours.

      • says

        Yes, I will be applying the final polyurethane coating. It’s comforting to know that there will be little fumes until the final step. I may plan to o the flakes then add the poly coat when she will be out of town. Good idea with the duct tape. I may tape towels around the door to be safe! Thanks again.

  19. Steve says

    Question, Just completed my 2 car garage with an epoxy kit from one of your recommended company’s. The floor looks very nice so far, i purchased a Aliphatic Urethane for a top coat and the OEM says i need to sand the floor down with 100g before applying. For a reqular home owner, what is the best way/tool to sand the floor without damaging it. The floor looks really nice right now so i am concerned about over sanding, burning or chipping using a mechanical type sander.

    • Shea says

      Hi Steve. If you apply the Urethane within 24 hours you will not need to prep. If it’s over 24 hours then you will need to rough up or degloss the surface. The easiest is to use a floor buffer with a 100 grit sanding screen. You can also use a pole sander, it will just take longer and requires more labor. The key is to just rough up the surface, not remove material. You would be surprised however how much more effort would be required to actually damage the coating or sand through. Once you rough it up, sweep and then vacuum with a shop vac. After that, wipe the floor down with denatured alcohol on a large rag or microfiber cloth. This removes all the remaining dust. You can apply the urethane immediately thereafter as the denatured alcohol evaporates fast. You can get more info on this from a post we did here.

  20. Tom says

    First, thank you for this very informative website and this article in particular. I’ve learned so much!

    I’m looking to coat a 1.5 car garage with brand new concrete floors. It looks like Legacy Industrial’s “LEGACY HD GARAGE SYSTEM KIT 300 SQ FT.” w/ primer and clearcoat will work for me? I also noticed they have a polyurea coating available. Would you choose that over the polyurethane clear coat they offer in the kit? To my understanding Polyurethane is more durable and protective than Polyurea?

    Thanks.

    • Shea says

      Hi Tom. The Legacy Industrial kit is very high quality commercial grade kit. If you opt for the primer and urethane clear coat, then you will be hard pressed to install a better system without hiring a company to do it. Just make sure to actually measure out your square footage first to make sure you are within the 300 sq ft. They do offer a brand new Nohr polyurea coating, however it would not be quite as durable as the urethane clear.

      • Tom says

        Great, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. I had been searching for a little while now and had decided on Rocksolid Polycuramine until I read this article. The Legacy kit sounds like a very good investment.

        I just measured the garage today and it’s a little over 340sqft, so I’m thinking I’ll take two of the “add 25sqft” options to bump it up. I think I’ll stick with the polyurathane top coat, I want this to last.

        Do you have any advice on asphalt driveway treatments? I was looking at the Rocksolid asphalt stuff but wasn’t sure if it’s even necessary.

        Thanks again for all your info Shea!

  21. Bethany says

    Hi-

    We recently pulled up carpet and vinyl in our home. (concrete is 8 years old but in great shape) The concrete is white- due to paint from when they built our home. We want to have a grey polished concrete for the interior of the home. Can you recommend what products to use for a DYI project?? Do we need to prep floor by just cleaning? Is epoxy better or stain over this paint?

    Sincerely,

    Overwhelmed and Confused

    Bethany

    • Shea says

      Hi Bethany. If you want to do any type of decorative treatment to the concrete you will need to remove the old paint first. The Diamabrush grinding method works well for this. Once the paint is removed you pretty much have a blank canvas to work with. Polishing concrete is an involved and expensive task and definitely not a DIY project. Epoxy will not give you a polished look either. Metallic epoxy can give you some beautiful grays, but applying it is more difficult than regular epoxy. It can be done DIY, but you need to be confident in your DIY abilities.

      One easy option would be a glossy MMA acrylic with a gray tint. Another would be an acetone dye and a glossy clear top coat of acrylic or epoxy/polyurethane combo for a truly tough finish. Keep doing some research on the topic as well as google search under images for the type of flooring that interests you in order get a better idea of what you want.

  22. Dave Comer says

    I’m having my previously epoxied floor blasted to take the old epoxy off. Also, there is an area where the cement has chipped away. Should I do something about that area or can I get awat with covering it with epoxy? thanks, Dave

    • Shea says

      Hello Dave. Yes, you should repair the chipped area first before applying the epoxy. An epoxy slurry (mixture of sand and epoxy) works very well for this. You can read more about how to use an epoxy slurry here. You will find it near the middle of the post.

  23. Austin says

    Hey shea this site has been so helpful with all the info. I’m at the point of trying to start a buiness installing epoxy for garages. My first question would be what company would you suggest for buying my epoxy supplies? Aswell as is theres anything else you think I should research or be very knowledgable about before I begin all of this.
    Thanks so much in advance for all the help!

    • Shea says

      Hello Austin. There is quite a lot that goes into starting your own epoxy business besides finding a good supplier. We recommend finding someone near your area if possible that you can drive to or fly a short distance to in order to get some training about how to best use their products. The comments section does not provide enough room for this topic. Email us if you like and we can give you more info.

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