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Garage Floor Epoxy

If you spend as much time detailing your car as I do, you see lots of garages where the garage floor looks as shiny as the car, and eventually you want your own garage to look that way.
Garage floor "before"
The "Before" Picture

Here's what my garage floor looked like before the epoxy coating. It was a pretty standard garage floor, though it was (a) new, and (b) freshly prepped in this picture. As with a lot of these kinds of things, 3/4 of the work is preparation. The floor had to be swept. Any grease spots, paint spots, etc. cleaned off. Then it had to be washed with TSP. Then rinsed off. Then washed with acid wash. Then rinsed again. Then washed with TSP again. Then rinsed yet again. After all that, the floor looked pretty good. At least as good as a cement garage floor is ever going to look.

Garage Floor Detail
The Effect

Here's a closeup of the floor. As you can see, it's pretty shiny and has a nice granite or terrazo effect. I used only about half the paint flakes that came with the epoxy kit. If I had it to do over again, I'd use more flakes and end up with less of the tan undercoat showing through.

Garage Floor - "after"
The "After" PictureShed

I don't know that the picture really captures the improvement. Partly because I still have blue masking tape around the bottoms of the walls. I finished the job by putting in rubber base around the garage, which I'd wanted to do for a long time. This picture doesn't show it, but the picture on the right of my shed shows the same basic thing. Out of this whole project, I like the rubber base the best. The bottoms of garage walls always seem to collect dirt, spider webs, dead bees, and all kinds of junk. Covering that over with the rubber base really helps keep the garage clean.

Background

The project took most of a weekend. It took about 3 hours to prep the floor. The next day I put on the bottom coat of epoxy/paint, which in my case was tan, and I sprinkled on the paint flakes. Then the next day I put on a top coat of "clear" epoxy. I put on another top coat of clear epoxy the next day. Then you let it cure for about 2 weeks before you put your cars back in the garage.

I wish I could say I was ecstatic with the effect. After the first coat of paint I was really happy with the tan color, but the "clear" top coat produced a significant ambering effect that turned the color from tan to more of a yellow color. This is not the UV effect that some people talk about. This effect was visible immediately after I rolled on the "clear" top coat. On the other hand, it looks better than bare concrete, and it looks good enough that I find myself picking small leaves off the floor because it "looks dirty." Before, it always looked dirty!

All in all, for a half-time weekend project that cost about $600, I think it was worthwhile. The main change I would make if I had to do it over again would be to use the gray base coat instead of the tan. I got the supplies through iPaint.us.

Update

I created this post in 2006. In summer 2007, I decided to go for a "do over" on the garage floor. That attempt came out much better. Read about it here.

Email me at stevemcc@construx.com.