Getting ready to paint is always the least desirable part of the project. This is certainly true for painting a concrete garage floor. In fact, if you don’t prepare the surface of your garage floor correctly, you may be putting down paint that will only last a year or two if that.
Many people simply use their garages for years without giving them a second thought. But at some point, you may feel it is time to give it a new look and prepare it for another decade or two. You can complete the painting of a concrete garage floor in one weekend if you make up your mind to give it all the time it takes to get the job done right.
It’s important to make sure any surface is clean and dry before you apply paint, but this is an absolute must for your garage floor. This surface is probably in very bad condition because of hard use, oil, grease, tire marks, etc. You may also find that the spots have made their way into the concrete because the surface was not sealed well when it was originally poured.
Though it is very hard, concrete is actually a rather porous material. You should take precautions to make sure you remove as much of the oil, grease, and moisture as possible before attempting to put on a coat of paint. Tape a two-foot square of clear plastic over part of the slab and let it sit for 24 hours. You may see water droplets under the plastic or see the concrete darken a bit.
If so, you should talk with a knowledgeable supplier of epoxy coatings to learn what steps to take to get the surface ready for paint. You could use latex, but epoxy will last longer. Give the slab a good broom cleaning and then scrape up dirt, grease, etc. Use a degreaser to get the worst spots. Dry cat litter may help pull some oil and moisture out of the concrete. Wash the floor with a diluted degreaser and squeegee it clean immediately so that liquid doesn’t soak in.
Citric Acid Etch
For absolute best results, use a citric acid concrete etch to open the pores of the concrete. This will help epoxy adhere much better. Use fans running overnight to make sure the surface is completely dry. You should also fill cracks so that you have a smooth surface on which to work. When you feel you are ready to paint, use an epoxy kit that has part A and part B. Mix these according to instructions and paint when the temperature is 60 degrees or above. Don’t paint when it is too cold or too hot.
Cut along edges with a brush and then roll the main surface in sections of about four feet square. Don’t be afraid to roll the epoxy a bit thicker if you are going to put decorative flakes in. This should be done while the surface is still moist.