It is always a better option to coat your garage floors instead of leaving them open, for a painted floor provides better resistance against automobile fluids, dirt, and mildew. Moreover, a painted garage floor is easier to be cleaned clean and does not produce dust and debris, which is expected from a bare concrete floor.
Gone were the days when people would burn the midnight fuel getting around their time-worn garage floors, only to be surprised by compromised longevity, efficiency, and finesse, at the end. However, in recent times, the ever-increasing internet awareness and improved user-friendliness of the products has enabled us to apply garage floor paint like a pro.
To make sure promising results, opt for the garage floor paints that are standardized, meet your objectives—including the budget—and are sold by authorized dealers. Alternatively, you might want to consider epoxy: an expensive, trickier-to-be-applied, but a more durable counterpart of garage floor paints. Having said that, it is important to know that the instructions in this article apply to garage floor paint and one-part epoxy; however, the two-part epoxy differs significantly in terms of application.
It might be tempting to bring the paint and apply it right away, but the secret to an immaculate garage floor lies in its preparation. Understandably, most of the garage floor paints begin to peel off because the floors were not prepared thoroughly before the application of paint. Therefore, to ensure that your money and efforts don’t go down the drains, prepare the surface well beforehand; in particular, it should be clean, dry, and free of cracks and damages.
Note: Before proceeding to the step-by-step instructions on applying garage floor paint like a pro, we strongly advise you to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to cater for injury-free operation. In addition, given these instructions are not standardized for every product, it would be safer to consult the user guides of materials used in this activity.
Clean the Garage Floor
The most appropriate option for this part is power washer—the expert in the removal of stubborn stains and dirt. To enhance the results, consider adding in degreaser to clean the oil-laden parts of the garage floor. Alternately, if the power washer is unavailable, a broom and/or vacuum cleaner could be deployed to wipe off dust and debris; a stiff brush, coupled with degreaser, could be used to scrub off the oil from the garage floor. As for the rust, use Trisodium Phosphate in hot water; apply it on concrete thoroughly and rinse after letting it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Fill the Cracks of the Garage Floor
Despite the robustness of concrete, it has the tendency to initiate small cracks and chips that propagate into larger problematic cracks over time; hence, it would be in your best interest to fill these small and rather safe-looking risky cracks.
For smaller cracks, it would be best to use concrete repair compounds available in the market; whereas, for larger and thicker cracks, you will need concrete patches. Whatever you select, fill the cracks homogeneously with it and wipe the excess of them off the edges of the cracks (using wet rags of scrape). The thicker cracks might demand the filling to be applied in layers, and adequate dry-time between each of them.
Perform the Etching Test on the Garage Floor
Some floors are sealed or smoothed to have improved finesse and resistance against damages; if your garage floor falls into that category, it may have its ability to grip the paint deterred. However, if you are unsure about it, it would be a good idea to Etch-test your garage floor. To perform this simple test, pour some water on the surface of your garage floor and observe how long it takes to absorb. If the water is absorbed quickly by concrete, the garage floor is good to go without etching; however, if the water just sits there for a long time, the etching process is recommended.
Etch the Garage Floor
Etching the garage floor would vacate the pores in concrete, enabling them to absorb the garage floor paint effectively. The most precise texture of an etched garage floor, that is ready to be painted, feels like that of light sandpaper.
The better and quicker way to perform this process is to scrape your garage floor using a diamond grinder, that employs diamond-coated sanding pads, or shot blaster, that operates similarly to the sandblaster. Either of the two could be hired from local tool-rental. Alternatively, an angle grinder would do just fine in the case of fewer budgets, but at the expense of time. In case of no availability of grinding machines, consider using etching mixtures. Prepare the mixture according to the instruction manual, and then spread it over the garage floor with the aid of a hard broom or brush. Look out for its fizzing and foaming, which would indicate the successful abrasion of the garage floor.
Alternately, the garage floor could be acid washed to produce the same results. For this, combine muriatic acid and water at the ratio of 1 to 10, respectively, and then spread the mixture on the surface. Afterward, add an excess amount of baking soda into water and pour over the acid-laden surface. Let the mixture dry for a day or two to produce best results.
Give the Final Touch to the Garage Floor before Applying Paint
Prior to the application of paint, it might be a good idea to add a bonding primer to the surface of the garage in order to intensify the adhesion of the paint. Cut in the edges with a paintbrush, and use either a roller or a paintbrush for the rest of the surface. Let the milk-like mixture sit for at least four hours, which would turn transparent upon drying.
Subsequently, apply the painter’s tape and/or some plastic sheets across the bottom of each wall of your garage, to assure that the edges and bottoms of the walls remain unaffected throughout the painting process.
Apply the Paint to the Garage Floor
Firstly, make sure to buy the paint that is specially manufactured to cater for the garage floors, unlike the ones you would use on the walls. Once you have bought the right kind of garage floor paint, thin it with little water to improve its absorption over concrete, and apply the first coat to the garage floor evenly. Like before, cut in the edges of the floor using a paintbrush and use a roller for the rest. After letting the first coat dry, which might take around 24 hours, apply the second coat—this time without mixing the paint with water.