Concrete is a very strong and durable building material, but it is pretty drab and colorless – not much to look at! And, unprotected concrete will absorb leaked auto oils and fluids leaving stains. Painting concrete is an affordable way to upgrade your floors and dramatically transform the look of your garage.
Painting a concrete garage floor is a task that any reasonably skilled do-it-yourselfer can handle. You will need a few items to do the job:
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Roller and CoversExtension Pole for Roller
- Concrete Primer/Sealer
- Epoxy Garage Floor Paint
- Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP)
- Stiff Bristle Scrubbing Brush
NOTE: Many of the chemicals you will use when painting your garage floor can give off noxious fumes. Be sure to keep the area well ventilated and wear a mask that is properly rated for the chemicals you are using.
Preparing Your Concrete Floor For Painting
Proper surface preparation is a critical step when painting concrete floors. The floor must be degreased and cleaned before painting the floor. Large grease stains can be absorbed in part by cat litter before degreasing the whole floor.
Your concrete garage floor must be properly cured and sealed so that no water is trapped under the paint. You can test for moisture by taping down pieces of plastic drop cloth, cut into 12 inch squares, to the concrete so that they are air tight all the way around. Place several squares around the room. Leave them overnight and check in the morning to see if any condensation formed under the plastic.
If you find condensation during your moisture test, the concrete floor will need to be sealed before it can be painted.
The surface of the concrete needs to be prepared for painting to give it enough ‘tooth’ for the paint to adhere too. The use of an acid etcher gives the surface the proper texture for maximum adhesion of the paint.
If there are any cracks or holes in your concrete, fix them before you paint. You can use a hydraulic cement or concrete patch to smooth over any rough surfaces or holes.
Choosing A Garage Floor Paint
Epoxy-based paints are an ideal choice for painting a concrete garage floor. If you need a non-skid floor, silica sand can be added to the epoxy before application.
NOTE: Silica sand mixed with epoxy makes the surface more difficult to clean.
Applying the Epoxy Floor Garage Floor Paint
Start from the furthest interior corner of the garage and paint the edge of the floor with a brush. Create a strip of paint about 4 inches wide. Then switch to a roller and quickly fill in the remainder of the area while overlapping the painted edge. An even thickness is essential.
Work from the interior back out toward the door. This will ensure you don’t paint yourself into a corner – literally!
Make sure you only mix as much paint as you can comfortably apply during the drying time indicated on the package. When you mix together the components of the epoxy floor paint, a chemical reaction begins which cures the paint into a hard finish. Once started, it cannot be stopped. If you have a large area to cover, you may need to break it down into sections and mix the paint in batches.
Once the epoxy paint fully cures, you can move the contents of your garage back into place and begin enjoying your new floor. Depending on how heavily you use your garage, you can expect years of service from your newly painted floor.