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Published Nov. 16, 2020

So you have a new garage workbench and a cool new tool chest to store all of your gear. If you’re thinking about the next upgrade to your garage, perhaps you should be looking down at what is beneath your feet.

Yes, we admit that floor paint is not the coolest home garage upgrade out there. On the other hand, the best garage floor paint really can make an excellent investment. It can provide a safe working space when you are fixing your car, it adds to the lifespan of the garage, and it can look pretty darn good too.

If you want to spruce up your garage with a long-lasting, cost-effective upgrade then read our guide to the best garage floor paints on the market.

Best Rated Garage Floor Paint in 2020:

This is a two-part epoxy formula with a grey finish. Epoxy is a polymer that is both very tough and very adhesive. While 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 salt, and hot tire pick up.

The floor surface resists cracking and peeling, 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 a little bit. You are, however, going to get a product designed to provide a very good-looking, long lasting finish — helping make your money go further.

Key Features
  • (Almost) Complete Kit
  • Very Tough Finish
  • 2 Part Epoxy Formula
  • Grey Color Finish
Specification
  • Brand Rust-Oleum
  • Model 261845
  • Weight 27.3 lbs

This product is a little different and the only one of its kind on the list. Even though it’s not really paint in the technical sense, it is 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 paint is in the fact that it is 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.

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. It’s also waterproof and pretty hardwearing and has a multitude of applications as it’s a very good basement floor paint too.

Key Features
  • Seals Cracks
  • Water Based and Environmentally Friendly
  • Very Easy to Apply
  • Multi-Functional
Specification
  • Brand Liquid Rubber
  • Model 20602
  • Weight 44.5 lbs

The appeal of this product is its name and 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.

As a result, you get all the benefits of regular paint — a lower overall price and a product that’s easier to pour and roll onto surfaces — mixed with some of the toughness and high adhesive qualities of epoxy products. No, it is not as tough as a two-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. Most epoxy kits are usually only able to produce a semi-gloss finish, but because this is a traditional paint you get a far shinier finish that will look great on any garage floor.

Key Features
  • Single Component (No Mixing Required)
  • Easy to Paint
  • Contains Epoxy
  • Very Smooth Finish
Specification
  • Brand Kilz
  • Model L377711
  • Weight 10.14 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.

Key Features
  • Good Value
  • Advanced Bonding Tech
  • No-Hot Tire Pickup
  • Clear Finish
Specification
  • Brand Valspar
  • Model 81052
  • Weight 13 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 is 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! 

Key Features
  • Hard & Durable Surface
  • Easy to Clean
  • Protects Against a Range of Chemicals
  • Anti-Cracking & No Hot Tire Pick Up
Specification
  • Brand Rust-Oleum
  • Model 203007
  • Weight 1 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 how we described that as being like a laminator for your floor? The same thing applies 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.

Key Features
  • Super Tough Finish
  • Dries Clear
  • Industrial Grade Chemical Resistance
  • Easy to Clean
Specification
  • Brand SUPERCOAT
  • Model SC550-KR-CL0
  • Weight 10.8 lbs

This is a two-part epoxy kit with three parts (two resin, one hardener) that must be mixed and spread. 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 from some other epoxy kits as it is not water based. It is a “professional” standard epoxy, so if you hired a contractor to paint your garage, chances are he or she would bring this stuff to do the job.

That also means this 3-gallon kit is a little pricey. It’s also very unforgiving during installation. It’s easy to roll out, but you have a very short window where the product remains pliable.

Key Features
  • 2 Part Epoxy Kit
  • (Quite) Easy to Use
  • Dries to a Highly Tough Finish
  • Expensive
Specification
  • Brand Coloreedepoxies
  • Model MB10022
  • Weight 9.3 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, longer-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.

painted floor in the garage

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, make sure to measure it. This will help you estimate how much paint you require per square foot. Oh, and here’s a square feet calculator if you’re as bad at math as we are!

Also bear in mind to make sure the coverage the paint promises are usually for one coat, so cut it in half if you plan on putting down two coats of paint.

Temperature

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 garage 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!

Application

As you’ve seen, there are many different types of garage floor paints. With this in mind, it’s important to apply these paints correctly otherwise you risk peeling paint and moisture bubbles.

To avoid this, follow the product instructions that are provided with the paint. The instructions will include how to prep the garage floor for painting, how many square feet the paint will cover, and whether a one-coat application is suitable or if two or coats are required.

Traction

Traction is also an important consideration for garage paints. Painted concrete can become slippery, particularly if the bare surface isn’t very coarse, to begin with. If your garage floor is relatively slippery and you are worried about potential accidents, it may be a good idea to add an anti-slip additive to your paint before applying it.

Anti-skid grit works best and it can be applied to the final coat in order to limit any loss of traction. Anti-slip grit is designed to be soft enough to walk on it with bare feet but gritty enough to prevent slips or falls.

It’s best to follow the anti-slip grits instructions to determine how much to use per square feet of application.

Durability

There is quite a range in terms of overall durability, but you don’t necessarily need the very toughest product on the market. For example, the two-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 type of 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.

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, and even windshield fluid can stain or damage a concrete floor if the paint isn’t chemically 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 from tracking 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 concrete 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?

painted floor in a garage

Garage Floor Paint Types

Broadly speaking, there are three main types of concrete floor paint on the market today, although — SPOILER WARNING!!!! — 0ne 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.

Two 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 the 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 one color (Black – Henry Ford would have approved) and it’s not as tough as epoxy flooring.

Pricing

Under $50

Between $50 and $100

Over $100

Top Brands

There is a huge array of garage floor paint on the market. So many, it’s hard to choose. To help you out, here are the top brands that we both know and love.

Rust-Oleum

Rust-Oleum is based out of Vernon Hills, Illinois. They make a wide range of garage floor paints for different applications. Anything from epoxy paint, latex acrylic paint, to their famous rust-oleum epoxyshield. Their products also suit a wide range of different surfaces, no matter if it’s a concrete floor or epoxy floor, they’ll have a product that will help keep your garage floor looking its best. Find their rust-oleum epoxyshield here.

Valspar

Valspar is another very well respected garage floor paints manufacturer. The company operates out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has established itself as one of the largest paint and coating operations in the world. Whether it be acrylic paint, latex paint, concrete sealer, or epoxy coatings, you can rest assured Valspar makes them and many more.

Colored Epoxies

Aa you can probably gather from their name, Colored Epoxies specializes in epoxy paint as well as a concrete sealer. Their products are all 100 percent made in the USA and their experienced staff and attention to quality is hard to match. No one-part epoxy acrylic paint here, Colored Epoxies use only two-part epoxies made with Cycloaliphatic resins and Cycloaliphatic curing agents. Meaning the end result is of excellent high gloss and of the highest quality.

Best Garage Floor Paint FAQ

Q: How long will it take to do an average two-car garage floor?

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 the paint can. If the floors ready, you can have the paint down and be sipping a beer one summer afternoon.

Q: How long do I have to wait before I walk on my new garage floor?

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?

You can, but you are going to see a reduction in the end quality. Good quality epoxy garage 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?

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 five to ten is probably more likely with normal wear and tear.

Q: How do chemicals like road salt or motor oil affect the coating?

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 quickly. 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.

Q: Do I need to prime my garage floor before painting?

Yes. It is recommended that you use a primer prior to painting a garage floor. Garage floors are inherently moist and dusty, a primer will help to create an adhesive barrier between this less than ideal painting surface and the topcoat you plan to use.

Q: How do you get paint to stick to concrete?

Firstly, prepare the concrete for painting by cleaning it. Sand, sweep, and scrub with a strong detergent. Secondly, paint it with a specialized primer. Next, apply your topcoat. And lastly, apply a concrete sealant. Doing so in this manner will prevent flaking, chipping, and hot tire pickup.

Q: Does a concrete garage floor need to be sealed?

Yes, it is best if a garage floor is sealed. The reason being that most garage floors are concrete and are, therefore, susceptible to flaking, cracking, chipping, and moisture intrusions from car antifreeze leaks, oil spills, and, of course, other liquids from general garage uses.

Q: Can I paint over painted concrete?

Yes, however, the area will need prepping prior to any fresh paint being applied. First, the area will need a decent clean with a strong detergent. Second, the surface will require a good sand, buff, and scrape to remove any loose paint. And then the fresh paint can be applied.

Q: Can you use regular paint garage floor?

That depends on the type of “regular” paint you are planning to use. Basically, there are two paints suited to garage floors, latex acrylic pains, and epoxy paints. Epoxy paint is preferred as it is a little more durable than latex paint, however, both will do the job just fine.

Q: What happens if you don’t etch concrete before epoxy?

Most epoxy paints require at least a CSP 1 or 2 (concrete surface profile, a measurement of roughness). This plus a hydrochloric acid etch is best to guarantee the best finish. If an etch isn’t performed, the epoxy paint will likely not adhere properly and eventually start to peel and crack.
garage floor paints

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 its 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.

Sources:

  1. Painting Floors – HowStuffWorks
  2. How to Paint Linoleum Floors – Hunker

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