HOW TO PREP & EPOXY PAINT YOUR FLOOR VIDEOS
How To Prep And Epoxy Paint A Garage Or Commercial Floor
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.