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Home > HOW TO PREP & EPOXY PAINT YOUR FLOOR VIDEOS
How to Prep and Paint a Garage or Commercial Floor
This page is loaded with great info about prepping and applying epoxy coatings to a variety of different floors properly. It's a long page but well worth your time! The most important thing to remember when epoxy coating any floor is proper preparation! Your floor must be 100% clear of any contaminants and 100% dry. All our epoxies are ASTM pull tested and when applied to a properly prepared surface our epoxy will pull the top layer of the concrete off before the epoxy will separate from the concrete. That's why you also want a small can of Xylene(available at ACE, Home Depot etc) handy when applying our epoxy. If you splatter the epoxy on something you don't want painted, clean right away otherwise once it dries it can only be removed via grinding.
The First Video Was Made By A Couple Of High School Kids Applying Armor Chip To Their Garage Floor. Below that is a step by step video of an Armor II Commercial Epoxy Floor installation.
Towards the bottom of the page is a terrific series of images showing how to refinish a previously coated floor that failed to an ultra durable showroom finish. The images are for Armor Chip but the process would be the same for any of our Epoxy Kits that you would use to coat over a previously coated floor. Then at the very bottom is a great set of FAQs. These Blue Links will take you directly to each product page.
Armor Chip. Our Ultra Epoxy Floor Coating With Medium Colored Chip Coverage.
Armor Granite.Our Top Of The Line Kit With Heavy Chip Coverage For A Granite Look.
Armorpoxy II.Our Commercial Heavy Duty Two Coat System Without Chips.
Watch the Armor II Video Below for an actual Epoxy Flooring On A Pallet Job being installed with step by step instructions and detailed product information
ARMORCHIP APPLICATION STEPS(ALSO APPLIES TO ARMORGRANITE)
1. Temperature should be between 50-95 degrees and not raining, use small electric heaters if room temps are below 50 during curing process. Remove all objects from the floor to be coated.
2.. Wash the floor. Power washing is preferable.
3. Etching is a simple and necessary step. Etch the floor with provided etching solution. Be sure to scrub the solution into the entire floor! Use a degreaser to remove any oil or grease stains, for stubborn oil stains you can use Liquid Tide Detergent scrubbed in with some of the acid etching solution. Floor should be completely clean, dry and have a slightly rough finish. Reetch a second time if necessary to get floor completely clean. New floors should be etched a second time with a more diluted solution. New floors have a lot of curing residues at the surface that need to be completely cleaned out. Let floor dry for 1-2 days. Your floor should look like this when done, clean with no dirty or dark spots. Those opened tiny pores allow the epoxy to penetrate into the slab and lock in for an unbreakable bond. If your floor is older or very dirty you may need to re-etch a second time. If your concrete is light in color there should be no dark spots, if there are, then re-etch. If you use Muriatic Acid, sprinkle a box of TSP onto the floor after the acid has stopped fizzing, scrub it in and then rinse off. This will neutralize the acid and bring the slab back to the proper PH. This will enhance the bond between the epoxy and the slab. Again a rinse with a power washer would be ideal but not necessary. If your floor is very old and in poor condition we recommend you use our primer first.
4. Tape floor at inside edge of door. We do not recommend applying the epoxy past the door.
5. Mix Part A First with provided power mixer.
6. Measure 2 parts of "A" & 1 part of "B" and mix together. Mix until all streaks have disappeared. Epoxy should be a uniform color. This is not like store bought epoxy so DO NOT mix all of our epoxy at once as you would other types of off the shelf epoxy. Our 100% pure epoxy works on catalytic reaction and so the more you mix the more reaction you get and the faster it cures. Follow the guidelines below as you do the floor in sections, when done all the sections will blend together for a beautiful seamless monolithic finish.
7. Pour epoxy onto floor and squeegee out evenly with notched squeegee & then roller over for final spreading and smoothing, optimal section size is a 3-4 foot wide strip. Pot life is about 45 minutes which is more than double the time it should take you to do one section. So no need to panic or rush when doing the proper size batches. We would do about 75 ounces of mixed epoxy, 50 ounces of Part A and 25 ounces of Part B. If you get the epoxy on anything you don't want epoxied wipe off immediately with some Xylene(from HD or ACE), otherwise once dried you will have to grind it off. Purchase a set of spiked soles to do larger floor areas and make applying the chips easier.
8. Disperse the decorative chips(if using)evenly in small amounts for best results. DO NOT throw too many chips at once, if you do you will have clumps and piles of chips which will detract from the beautiful high gloss finish. Best method is to toss a little at a time and fill in with pinch fulls of chips as needed. This is where the spikes really come in handy. They allow you to walk right in the epoxy up to a bare spot and fill in. Make sure to also leave a wet edge with no chips so that when you mix the next batch of epoxy you slightly overlap the wet edge. This will reactivate the epoxy on the wet edge, sprinkle chips and the the epoxy will all blend and self level into a solid monolithic coating. Repeat steps 7 & 8 until entire floor is complete. When floor is dry scrape chips to remove any points sticking up and then Vac up all loose chips. Here's a series of images sent in by a customer who came up with a simple but yet very effective way to spread the chips out evenly. As you can tell by the pictures he did a perfect job with the chips. This is how he told us he did it.
FIRST GET A PLASTIC CONTAINER, PREFERABLY ONE WITH A HANDLE. DRILL SOME HOLES IN THE BOTTOM, ABOUT 3/8" DIAMETER.
NOW FILL THE CONTAINER HALFWAY WITH CHIPS, HOLD CONTAINER SIDEWAYS UNTIL YOU ARE IN POSITION THEN TURN CONTAINER UPRIGHT SHAKE CONTAINER WHILE WALKING IN THE EPOXY WITH YOUR SPIKE SOLES(MUST HAVE THE SPIKES). THE CHIPS WILL NOT COME OUT UNTIL YOU START SHAKING AND THEY WILL FALL STRAIGHT DOWN OUT OF THE CONTAINER. ONCE YOU'VE DONE A SECTION TAKE A STEP BACK AND LOOK FOR BARE SPOTS, IF YOU HAVE A SECOND PERSON THEY CAN ACT AS A SPOTTER. FOR BARE SPOTS JUST WALK UP TO THEM IN YOUR SPIKED SOLES AND ADD A PINCH OF CHIPS WITH A LITTLE SHAKE OF THE CONTAINER TO FILL IN.
AS YOU CAN SEE THIS METHOD RESULTED IN A BEAUTIFUL CHIP PATTERN THAT IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS. THE ARMOR GRANITE KITS INCLUDE A PAIR OF SPIKED SOLES, WITH ARMOR CHIP THEY ARE PURCHASED SEPARATELY.
9. Apply topcoats with provided non skid additive in the final coating. Allow first coat to dry before applying second coat. Be sure to keep stirring the topcoat to keep the nonslip from accumulating at the bottom. If you purchased the optional military grade topcoat you only have to do one coat so you mix the nonslip additive right into the can. You now have a better quality floor than a professional company would apply and at a fraction of the cost!
Videos for DIY Application of Epoxy Coatings
This is a great series of images taken by a customer who transformed a failed Home Improvement Center epoxy floor that the previous home owner applied into an ArmorGarage epoxy floor.
Installation Video of the above floor then a 3700lb Tornado Shelter being installed on it!
FREQUENTLY ASKED APPLICATION QUESTIONS:
Q: My floor is rough and very pitted how can I achieve a nice finish?
A: The two images below are of a floor that had a previous water based epoxy on it that did not fill the pits due to its thinness and was failing prematurely as most water based epoxies do. The owner decided to redo the floor with our Ultra Military System. After prepping the floor, he applied one coat of the primer. Then he applied one coat of the high build Lt Blue epoxy with a Flat Squeegee pressing down firmly so that the squeegee pushed material into the pits while leaving a very thin to no coating on the high points of the surface. Next he applied a second coat of the high build epoxy with the notched squeegee and then back rolled it. This completed the filling process and created a thick smooth finish. Final coat was the Military Grade Clear Topcoat for abrasion and wear resistance. Please note that doing these floors is not an exact science as far as knowing exactly how much of the epoxy you will need. Since coverage will vary greatly depending on the severity of the pitting. We suggest you contact us whenever trying to coat a badly pitted floor.
Q: How difficult is it to apply and how long should it take.
A: Our kits are designed to make it very easy to apply our coatings and achieve a professional looking finish even if you've never done this before. Our Instructions are very detailed and easy to follow. Working times for a typical 2 1/2 car garage are aprox 2 hrs for cleaning and etching, 2 hrs to apply epoxy and chips and 2 hrs to apply topcoats. That's it.
Q: What is the purpose of etching.
A: Etching cleans out ground in residues and opens up the pores of your concrete allowing the epoxy into the concrete forming a permanent bond. Etching should be done after you power wash and the floor is still wet. Please note if your floor is stained with oil & grease you must use a good degreaser to remove these stains. Etching will not remove them and the epoxy will not adhere to them. The ideal condition of your floor should be absolutely clean, dry and have a rough texture to it similar to an emery board when you rub your hand across it. If your floor was polished smooth it may be necessary to etch a second time. You need to etch your floor no matter what size it is or if it is brand new. If you diamond grind it's not a bad idea to use etching solution during the rinse off. Grinding is good for getting down to clean concrete but it's the etching that opens up the pores.
Q: When should I repair the cracks in my floor.
A: If using the crack and joint compound, repair the cracks and let cure then clean and etch the floor. If using the instant crack repair kit, clean and etch the floor first and let dry, then fill in cracks with repair kit and apply epoxy. You don't have to wait for the instant crack compound to dry. See our Crack Repair Kits HERE See this image of a typical floor crack that was repaired with the Crack & Joint Compound and then ground smooth with a a grinder. Also notice the difference between the clean concrete and dirty concrete. This is another example of what your floor should look like prior to applying an epoxy coating to it.
Q: Should I remove all of the old paint off my floor.
A: You should give it a high pressure power wash and scraping to remove as much as possible. If the old coating flakes off from the power washer it means it is not properly bonded to the concrete and you should remove it entirely. If only small portions come off then use our special primer to coat over the remaining coating after you properly prepped it. see the photos below for what your floor should look like. This was a large auto dealership floor that had a typical low grade epoxy on it with a high abrasion loss rating, see our Epoxy Comparison Chart page for an explanation of Abrasion Rating and why it's important that your epoxy has the lowest Abrasion Loss rating possible. The Floor Prep Wheel with 100 grit teeth was used on a buffing machine to prep this floor in a couple of hours. If you are a longtime customer of ours and
need to refresh your floor you will need the 25 grit teeth to effectively scuff the topcoat. Small floors can use a standard black pad on a buffer but for larger floors you need the Floor Prep Wheel to get done in a timely manner. Prepping the floor in this fashion and then priming with our special bonding primer will ensure a proper bond between the old coating and our epoxy. See below to purchase one of our Floor Prep Wheels.
Q:Can I coat over a sealer on my floor.
A: No. You must remove the sealer entirely. Use a 2 gallons of water to 1 gallon of Muratic acid solution for every 250 square feet of floor to remove the sealer. Sprinkle solution over a wet floor, scrub in and let sit for 5 minutes and rinse off. Do the floor in sections and try to avoid rinsing solution over a previously washed area more than once. This will avoid over etching of your floor. After using Muratic acid sprinkle TSP Powder over the floor after rinsing has been completed and while the floor is still wet. Brush in with stiff bristle shop broom and then rinse off thoroughly this will neutralize the acid in the floor. When done let floor dry and sprinkle water on it, if the water is absorbed into the concrete quickly then the sealer has been removed, if not, repeat the acid washing steps above. If the floor was sealed with a good industrial grade sealer Acid may not be effective. You will need to use either a black pad or our one of our Floor Prep Wheels to remove the sealer.
Q: Whats the best way to apply the chips.
A: Take a small amount of chips and toss them up the air at a 45 degree angle away from you allowing the chips to randomly sprinkle down onto the epoxy. Applying small amounts of chips at a time allows you to gradually fill in the floor in an even pattern for a beautiful finish.
Q: How long should I let the floor dry after cleaning and etching.
A: We recommend minimum of 24 hrs and preferably 48 hrs.
Q: Can I apply the epoxy out past my garage door.
A: We recommend that you stop inside the door but if you go 1-3" past the door its ok but we can't guarantee it.
Q: I purchased the upgraded forklift duty topcoat, do I still to do two coats>
A: No. You only need to do one coat with the forklift duty topcoat. Two coats are not necessary.
Q: Can I apply the epoxy and chips to the curbing around my perimeter walls.
A: Yes. You can brush on the epoxy to the curbs and then apply the chips. You should do your curbing first, then the floor. When doing perimeter curbs please allow an extra margin of safety material wise since curbing typically absorbs more paint than the floor.