Painting a garage floor can lend new life to the garage in a variety of ways. It can improve appearance, it can cover stains, and it can make the garage overall more livable and workable. Painting the garage floor can be well worth the investment, but as with any home improvement project, it takes careful planning and execution to pull off the project correctly.
The first and most important thing to do in preparation of a garage floor-painting project is to ensure that the space has proper ventilation. Whether you are painting with epoxy or another sealant or treatment, floor cleaners and paints will create noxious fumes that could be dangerous to you as you work. Proper ventilation in the space will help to protect you from these harmful fumes. It is also important that you are equipped with gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes from harmful chemicals as well.
Before a garage floor is painted, it must be cleaned. To begin cleaning the floor, first sweep it thoroughly, removing all dust, dirt, and other materials from the surface. Next, you should remove stains from the floor. To do this, mix three parts water and one part bleach into a solution. This cleaning solution may be sprayed directly on the floor and should be left to soak for several minutes. Once the solution has soaked, it may be scrubbed with a stiff-bristle brush. After scrubbing has occurred, the entire area should be rinsed with water, either from a hose or from a bucket. To maintain the water flowing in the proper direction, start at the back of the garage and move forward. In extremely stained garages, a power washer may be necessary to achieve the intended effect.
After the floor has dried from the washing, you will want to fill any existing cracks in its surface. For concrete floors, concrete patches are good for large cracks and concrete/mortar repair is sufficient for smaller cracks. Whichever solution you use will come with manufacturer’s instructions, which you should use to complete the project.
Etching the surface of the concrete is the next important stop in the floor revitalization process. Etching is a process that opens pores on the concrete’s surface so that the concrete becomes more absorbent to paint. A concrete etcher can be applied to the floor to achieve this effect.
The floor must dry completely after etching and before painting may begin. It’s best to leave it overnight if not longer. Make sure that no one walks on the surface during this drying time. Once the floor has thoroughly dried, apply a primer to the floor, which will help the longevity of the overall paint job. The primer needs to dry for at least eight hours after being applied, and letting it dry overnight isn’t a bad idea if possible.
Last but not least, it’s time to apply the actual paint to the floor. Although two coats is a good idea, more than two coats is excessive and should be avoided. Of course, the garage floor must dry completely before additional coats are applied or before foot traffic may be allowed back in the space.