If you are looking for a DIY project to try while you are home with some extra time on your hands, applying an epoxy coating to existing concrete floors might be something for you. However, get a good nights sleep, while this isn’t the most technically complicated job to manage, it is very labour intensive. Here is a step by step guide on how to apply an epoxy coating to an existing concrete floor.
Before you begin make sure that you have the right tools. In addition to the epoxy paint, activator, and sealer you will need:
• Scrub brush
• Clear plastic tarps
• Face mask
• Muriatic acid solution
• Painters tape
• Paint brushes
• Paint rollers (low nap)
• A few paint trays
• Extendable paint stick
• Mop or squeegee
Step 1: Test for Moisture
Before you begin your project you need to test to make sure there is no moisture penetrating beneath the surface of your concrete. Place your clear plastic tarp over top the entire surface of your floor and secure. Leave overnight. If there is no condensation under the tarp you are good to go.
Step 2: Deep Clean
Thoroughly sweep the space, getting out all dust and debris. If you are working in a garage you may want to purchase degreaser to remove any grease stains as the epoxy paint will not adhere well over these types of stains. For an extra measure to ensure adherence, you may want to use a hard bristle scrub brush to remove any trace of dirt. Once all traces of dirt gone, hose down the space and use a mop or squeegee to soak up the excess water. If you have one, a wet vacuum will also work. Allow to thoroughly dry. During the cleaning, be sure to take note of any chips or cracks as these will need to be filled before moving on the next step.
Step 3: Etching
Etching the floors prior to applying the epoxy is akin to applying primer before paint – the etching will give the epoxy something to adhere to. Follow the mixing, application and safety instructions on the box, and be sure to use protective eye wear, gloves and boots.
Step 4: Apply the Epoxy
According to the instructions, mix the epoxy resin and the activator. Similar to painting a wall, you want to cut the edges first before applying the epoxy in sections over the entire floor surface with your paint roller and extender. This process may need to be repeated. Allow 24 hours to dry in-between coats.
Step 5: Apply the Top Coat Sealer
Once the epoxy has completely cured and dried, you can mix your sealer and apply using a clean roller. As with the epoxy, it is best to work quickly and in manageable sections.
If this all sounds overwhelming, your best bet may be to bring in professionals for epoxy coating, which will ensure a quality result with much less effort.