Concrete is a porous material. In spite of its hardness and sturdy appearance, water and other fluids can penetrate the surface leading to stains or damage. When preparing to paint a garage floor, it is critical to clean and seal the surface to ensure that the floor coating adheres to the concrete.

Concrete floor sealers come in two forms, topical sealers that form a film on the surface of the floor and penetrating sealers that move beyond the surface to create a stronger bond.

Topical sealers have a lifespan of 1 to 5 years before they need to be re-applied. Penetrating sealers actually react with, and bond to, the minerals in the concrete. They can be nearly permanent and improve the strength of the concrete. There are non-reactive penetrating sealers as well that penetrate the surface of the concrete, but do not chemically react.

Topical Sealers:

  • Acrylic Resins
  • Epoxy/Urethane Systems

Reactive Penetrating Sealers:

  • Silanes
  • Silicates
  • Siliconates

Non-Reactive Penetrating Sealers:

  • Siloxanes
  • Silicones

The majority of the commercial epoxy floor paint systems available have a specially formulated floor sealer designed to create the optimal bond with the top coat paint. When choosing your epoxy garage floor paint, make sure to ask whether the manufacturer also sells a compatible floor sealer.

Using an appropriate sealer on your concrete floor before you paint will improve the bond of the paint. This increased strength will extend the life of your epoxy paint finish and improve the durability of the garage floor coating you apply.