How to Apply Epoxy to a Garage Floor

How to Apply Epoxy to a Garage Floor

1. Safety Tips

There are some important safety tips to follow in this project as it involves hydrochloric acid and epoxy. Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and do not smoke while working on this project. Turn off the gas to your water heater or any other appliances located in the garage. Keep the garage well ventilated while applying epoxy. Also, take precautions to keep children and pets away from the garage and driveway while you're working.

Tools and materials for the job, including a pressure hose, heavy duty gloves, two buckets, a power drill, two brushes, a respirator, hydrochloric acid, epoxy and more

2. Handy hints

Always use premium lint-free rollers for a blemish free coating. Having an extra roller is also a good idea. Store your epoxy materials in a cool area 24 hours prior to mixing because a cooler epoxy will help increase the working time. Also, check for moisture in the concrete by taping a heavy duty garbage bag over the centre of the floor. After 24 hours, lift one corner of the bag to see if it's wet underneath. If it is, the epoxy will not hold and you will require professional help or a new floor.
Person using an extendable roller to apply epoxy to garage floor.

3. Check your concrete is sealed

Sprinkle a small amount of water onto the concrete. If the water beads, a sealer has been used and must be removed prior to the application of epoxy coat. If the water absorbs into the concrete then it isn't sealed.

Checking to see if a garage floor has already been sealed by sprinkling a little water over it

4. Pressure clean the garage floor

Use a high-pressure cleaner to clean all of the garage floor, including the corners. Make sure you wear protective shoes while you work. We used a petrol high-pressure cleaner, which is best to keep outside to stop the build-up of petrol fumes. After you have cleaned it, use a stiff-bristled brush to sweep away excess water and any debris.

A garage floor being hosed clean with a pressure hose

5. Acid wash the floor

Before you start working with the hydrochloric acid, put on your gloves, safety glasses, respirator, long pants and boots. Read the instructions to get the right ratio of acid to water. Carefully pour the acid into the bucket containing water. Dip the stiff-bristled brush in the mixture and scrub the garage floor.

Hydrochloric acid being diluted with water

6. Hose down the floor

After you have acid washed the garage floor, hose it down to clean away any acid and debris. Leave the floor to dry for at least 24 hours.

A garage floor being hosed clean after being scrubbed down with hydrochloric acid

7. Tape up the walls

Once the garage floor is dry, stick the painters tape where the walls meet the garage floor. This will protect them from being coated in epoxy.

Person using painters tape on bottom of walls.

8. Mix the epoxy

Make sure you read the instructions before mixing the epoxy. Also, put on your safety gloves, glasses and respirator. Pour the contents of the small can into the large can and mix the epoxy thoroughly. Once your two epoxy chemicals are mixed, immediately start applying it to the floor.

Person pouring a tin of liquid into another one.

9. Cut in the edges of the floor

Cut in the edges of the floor
Person using a paint brush to apply epoxy to garage floor.

10. Roll on the epoxy

After you have cut in, paint the rest of the floor with the roller. Using a roller on the pole will make the job easier. Move at a steady pace and you should finish a two-car garage floor in less than one hour. A handy tip is to listen to the sound of the roller, a quiet roller means the epoxy is going on thick while a loud roller means it's going on thin. 

Person using an extendable roller to apply epoxy to garage floor.

11. Apply the flakes

You can apply the flakes to the epoxy floor after you have painted 1m2 of the floor. This way you can reach over and sprinkle the flakes over the area. Stop to apply the flakes every time you've painted 1m2. Continue painting and applying the flakes until the job is done. 

Person with their thumb pointed down towards epoxy floor.

12. Let the floor dry

Depending on the temperature and humidity, an epoxy floor will be dry to the touch in a couple of hours. Make sure you wait overnight before walking on it. You can start parking your cars on the floor in about three to seven days, depending on the epoxy label directions. A full cure for the floor takes around one month. All you need to do now is take care of it and your garage floor will look good for years to come.
A finished epoxy floor of a garage, complete with flakes

Article by Bunnings

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