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So you’ve got your new garage workbench, and you’ve got a cool new tool chest to store all your gear. If you’re looking around for the next upgrade to your garage, maybe you should be looking down at what is beneath your feet.
Yes, we’ll admit it right now – floor paint is not the coolest home garage upgrade out there. On the other hand though, the best garage floor paint really can make for an excellent investment. It can provide a safe working space when you are fixing your car, it adds to the lifespan of the garage itself and, just as importantly, it can actually look pretty damn good too.
If you want to spruce up your garage with a long lasting, cost effective upgrade then read on for our guide to best garage floor paints on the market today.
Best Rated Garage Floor Paint in 2020:
Our first product to make our list and, as the observant among you will see, it is not a paint at all. Instead this is a two-part epoxy formula with a grey finish. We’ll come on to the difference between normal paint and epoxy floor covering later in this article – for now you just need to know that epoxy is a polymer that is both very tough and very adhesive.
Whilst it is often used as an additive to paint, in this instance it is the star of the show. That means that this product leaves an incredibly durable surface that protects against gasoline and oil spills, damage from road salts and hot tire pick up. The floor surface resists cracking and peeling too, making it a great long-term investment. It’s also a near complete kit with the epoxy formula, concentrated concrete cleaner and concrete etch all included – you just need to supply the tools like rollers and paintbrushes.
The semi gloss finish will look good in any light, and you can leave the floor as a simple grey or cover it in decorative chips for an even more attractive finish. As an epoxy rich product it is packing a premium level price tag, and this kit will set you back over a hundred dollars. You are however going to get a product designed to give a very good-looking, long lasting finish – helping make your money go further.
(Almost) Complete Kit
Very Tough Finish
2 Part Epoxy Formula
Grey Color Finish
- Weight27.3 lbs
This product is a little different – in fact it’s the only one of its kind on the list today. Even though it’s not really paint in a strictly technical term, it is at least applied in the same way. You “paint” on a base layer, then add another, building up layers until you have the coverage you like.
Where it differs from traditional paints is in the fact that it is very environmentally friendly. For one thing it is water based (which is also one of the reasons it’s so easy to apply), but it’s also solvent free and has no VOC or harmful odors present.
It is able to penetrate and fill cracks in cement, making it especially well suited for application on older floors that need a bit of repair – well, no need with this product. It’s also waterproof and pretty hardwearing and has a multitude of applications including being a very good basement floor paint too.
Water Based and Environmentally Friendly
Very Easy to Apply
- BrandLiquid Rubber
- Weight44.5 lbs
The appeal of this product is right up there in the product name – “Floor.” Wait, hold on *Checks Notes* no, it’s actually the bit that says “1-Part Epoxy.” What this means is that this is a regular water based paint that has been laced with epoxy.
That means you get all the benefits of regular paint – a lower overall price, easier to pour and roll the paint onto surfaces – mixed with some of the toughness and high adhesive qualities of epoxy products. No, it is not as tough as a 2-part epoxy flooring kit, so if you have a garage that sees very high level usage this may not stand up to it. In a typical home garage however it should be fine – especially if you put down two coats as recommended.
Another advantage is that it looks great too, with most epoxy kits usually only able to produce a semi-gloss, because this is a traditional paint you get a far shinier finish that will look great on any garage floor.
Single Component (No Mixing Required)
Easy to Paint
Very Smooth Finish
- Weight10.14 lbs
This product is more like a laminator for your floor. So after you have laid down your paint – it’s recommended you use an epoxy product – you then put this down over the top to add an extra layer of crystal clear, diamond hard protection.
This is not then a stand-alone product, and it is not capable of bonding to untreated cement. If you have painted your garage floor already and want to further extend the lifespan however that is what this product is designed for – and it is designed to do it very well. It has advanced bonding technology right in the formula to help it achieve a solid layer on top of the existing garage floor paint.
One in place it helps to provide additional protection from both chemical and physical wear and tear. No hot-tire pick up is also a great design feature to see, which could be particularly appealing if you live somewhere hot. Coming in at less than a hundred bucks, this is a great product to invest in if you’ve already put down a garage floor you like and want to keep it looking great.
Advanced Bonding Tech
No-Hot Tire Pickup
- Weight13 lbs
Our second product from Rust-Oleum and the first thing you have to do is ignore the label and product name. Well, you don’t have to entirely ignore it because this is great basement floor paint. It’s also a fine garage floor paint too though, so we don’t really understand why Rust –Oleum are trying to limit their audience for this product.
It has all the features of good garage floor paint too. It has strong anti-chemical properties, resisting stains and abrasions from anti-freeze, gasoline, road salts and motor oil. It is formulated to resist hot tire pick up as well as being tough against everyday wear and tear you associate with parking vehicles onto the finished surface.
All in all, if you have a list of features you’d like to see in the best garage floor paint, this product pretty much ticks all of them – so just ignore what it says on the box!
Hard & Durable Surface
Easy to Clean
Protects Against a Range of Chemicals
Anti-Cracking & No Hot Tire Pick Up
- Weight1 lb
Ok, daft name aside this is a pretty interesting product. It’s very similar to the Valspar Premium Clear Epoxy Kit we discussed above. Remember we described that as being like a laminator for your floor? Same thing here too – only this is like if your laminator was upgraded to Kevlar levels of protection.
This product is made of Urethane suspended in water. Urethane is kind of like a next level epoxy, so you know this is a tough cookie. You will in fact be getting an industrial strength level of chemical protection here, so if you want to protect your floor from spillages you won’t find much better protection out there. It’s also crazy tough to really help your existing epoxy flooring face up to wear and tear in a big way.
That level of protection is not going to come cheap and this is a premium product with the price tag to match – expect to drop around a hundred bucks per gallon of this stuff. But if you have (or you will soon) invest in a garage floor whose appearance you love, or if you just want a super long lasting floor, then consider this a wise investment to provide long term protection to your garage floor coating.
Super Tough Finish
Industrial Grade Chemical Resistance
Easy to Clean
- Weight10.8 lbs
This is a 2-part epoxy kit in the sense that it will come as three tins (2x resin, one hardener) that must be mixed and spread. It is not the same as the other kits on this list however, in the sense that this is the extent of the kit. So if you want to add in some decorative chips or anything like that you need to buy them separately.
Aside from that it is a seriously premium product that is designed to dry to a very, very tough finish. This is a different formula to many of the epoxy kits we’ve looked at today, in that it is not water based. It is a “professional” standard epoxy, meaning that if you hired a contractor to paint your garage, chances are they would bring this stuff to do the job.
That means you are starring down the barrel of a high price tag here, and don’t expect much change from a couple of hundred bucks for a 3-gallon kit. It’s also very unforgiving during installation. It’s easy to roll out, true – but you also have a very short window where the product remains pliable.
2 Part Epoxy Kit
(Quite) Easy to Use
Dries to a Highly Tough Finish
- Weight9.3 lbs
Best Garage Floor Paint Buying Guide & FAQ
There are quite a bit of difference then between the products on this list in terms of price tag and the features they bring to the party. Generally speaking, the products with a higher epoxy count – so the full on epoxy kits rather than the mixes – are going to provide a tougher, linger lasting finish.
They are also however going to hit your credit card a little harder, so you do need to decide if they are the right products for you. If you think they are, and you are going to take the plunge then you also need to know how best to paint the floor – and once it’s down how to look after it – to ensure that you are getting the most from your investment.
Things to Consider when Buying Garage Floor Paint
Floor Area – Each product – at least on our list – is pretty open about how much area it can cover. If you’re not sure of the size of your garage, then measure it. Oh, and here’s a square foot calculator if you’re as bad at math as we are!
Also bear in mind the coverage the paint promises is usually for one coat, so cut it in half if you plan on putting down a second coat of paint.
Hot, Hot, Heat – You may have seen in some of the product descriptions that some of the garage floor paint we looked at in our list is formulated to protect against hot tire pick up. If you’ve never heard that phrase before, it’s when you park your car or truck in the garage after a hot day. The heat of the tires sitting on the floor can make the paint lose its adhesive qualities, and start to lift.
It then transfers to your tires, leading to bald patches appearing all over your floor. If you live in a hot area, you should definitely consider picking up a floor paint that is formulated to prevent hot tire pick up.
Appearance – If you care about what the garage is going to look like when you’re done, there is quite a range of different finishes available. The good thing with epoxy style floor paints is that they often come with a color they will dry into – often gray – but you can also add decorative shards for an extra splash of color. Just select the style you want and go for it!
Toughness – We’re talking about the toughness of the finish, not whether it can help you out in a bar fight. There is quite a range in terms of overall toughness, but you don’t necessarily need the very toughest product on the market. For example, the 2-part epoxy kits are going to have the toughest finish, but they are also going to have the highest price tag and can be difficult to apply.
It really depends on how much use you think your garage will get. If it is a two car garage and you have heavy cars or trucks that are in and out several times a day, go for the toughest garage floor coating you can. If it used less often, or if used more as a workshop, toughness may not be the main consideration – it could be price, color or style of finish that is more important.
Chemical Toughness – In addition to the everyday, physical toughness required of having a car parked on it, there is also chemical toughness. If you are going to be doing a lot of work on your car or truck (or parts from it) inside the garage, consider looking for a floor paint that can handle chemicals without damage. Gasoline, motor oil, various cleaning products, solvents even windshield fluid can stain or damage the floor if the paint isn’t chemical resistant.
Benefits of Painting the Garage Floor
Anti-Dust. This is especially true if the garage floor is new concrete, but any unpainted concrete surface can both attract - and create – dust. Painting the floor stops this problem however, and in turn stops you walking dust into the house.
Floor Protection. Cars are full of fluid and they are liable to occasionally leak that stuff too. From black motor oil to luminous blue windshield fluid, if any of that stuff touches an unpainted, untreated concrete floor then it’s game over, man. Now, to be clear, even the best garage floor paint is not like some titanium amour and if you notice a spillage you should still clean it up asap.
Aesthetic Appeal – The average cost of building a garage is in the region of $25,000. Even if you’ve already got one, that at least gives you an idea of their rough value. They are essentially another room in the house, so it makes sense to treat them like one and put down the best quality flooring you can – you wouldn’t leave the living room as bare concrete or put down sheets of old newspapers as a carpet for the kitchen, right?
Garage Floor Paint Types
Broadly speaking there are 3 main types of floor paint on the market today, although – SPOILER WARNING!!!! – One of them isn’t actually paint at all. So, we have:
- Standard Paint – This is usually a latex acrylic style of paint. This is the most basic style of floor paint around with the two main benefits being that it is very cheap, and has a range of colors. You may be wondering why there is none of this type of paint on our list, and the simple answer is that we are looking at the best garage floor paint on the market – and that does not include this type of paint. It simply does not have the toughness to compete with epoxy blends or 2-stage epoxy flooring kits. If you are interested in this style of paint then check them out at your local hardware store. We’d recommend you buy a few tins though, as you’ll be repainting the floor again pretty soon.
- Epoxy Paint – A middle ground between useless standard paint and full fat, bells and whistles epoxy flooring kits. It is basically regular paint that has had epoxy mixed into it. This means that whilst it is not as long lasting as a kit, it is much tougher than simple standard paint whilst keeping costs low and maintaining the color range and ease of installation of normal paint.
- 2 Part Epoxy Kit – Usually a mixture of epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener – hence why it’s called a two-part kit. They basically work together to provide an insanely tough and long lasting finish. The resin stage can be tinted to give color (though there is not the same color range you get with standard paint) and you can also throw in decorative, colored chips or flecks.
Clear Epoxy is also available that can be put over the top of paint to provide an extra protective layer.
There is also a totally different product, of which we had just the one example on our list – Liquid Rubber. It has a number of benefits, the main one of which is that it can happily ooze into cracks in cement for a cheap and easy fix for old cement floors. On the downside, it only has the one color (Black – Henry Ford would have approved) and it’s not as tough as epoxy flooring.
Best Garage Floor Paint FAQ:
Q: How long will it take to do an average 2 Car garage floor?
A: Painting won’t take long – in fact many epoxy kits only give you a very short window to get them down onto the floor. Prep work will take longer, as your concrete floor must be gleaming clean and ready to go before you crack open paint can. If the floors ready, you can have the paint down and be sipping a beer in one summer’s afternoon.
Q: How long do I have to wait before I walk on my new garage floor?
A: The higher the epoxy count, the longer it will take. Check out the instructions on the product you pick but expect to not be able to walk on the floor for at least 24 hours, and don’t expect to park the car on it for 72 hours or more.
Q: Can I coat damaged/flawed/marred concrete?
A: You can, but you are going to see a reduction in the end quality. Good quality epoxy paint isn’t exactly cheap, so it does make sense to put it down on the best quality floor you can provide so that you’re getting the best bang for your buck. That may mean spending a little time patching cracks, but it will be worth it in the end.
Q: How long will my garage floor paint last?
A: If you go with an epoxy option and add a clear coating, it is possible for that floor to last anywhere up to 30 years – though about 5 to 10 is probably more likely with normal wear and tear.
Q: How do chemicals like road salt or motor oil effect the coating?
A: Unless the paint specifically states it is chemical resistant, things like salt and motor oil can start to stain and erode garage floor paint pretty quick. The tougher the product the less damage it will receive, but even the toughest floor will start to flake and crack with prolonged exposure to tough chemicals. Mop it down every now and then and try not to leave chemicals, salts and oils on the surface for too long and that will help to prolong the lifespan of the floor.
Our Top Pick
It may well be one of the more expensive items on the list, but the EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating by Rust-Oleum is actually a product with very good value for money. That is because as a high content epoxy product it is designed to be extra tough and extremely adhesive. That means it has the strength to stand up to continual use, resisting damage from the full range of materials and fluids that cars can (and will) leak and spill all over your garage floor.
Not only is it crazy tough but it looks great too, and you can either leave it with it’s standard grey, semi-gloss finish or mix in the included pack of decorative chips if you prefer. Since this product is long lasting and looks great then, to us it ticks enough boxes to be worthy of its crown as best garage floor paint.