A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Paint Your Garage Floor

Are you in the mood for painting your garage floor? Great! It’s a good start if you want to renovate the entire garage. The next step would be to paint the garage door. You can paint all door types. Even if you have a metal garage door, you can still do it. But what happens with the floor?

A car entering a garage with concrete floor

Have you ever paint a room in your house? For example, if you have painted your bathroom, you would know that you can’t just grab a paintbrush and start painting the walls. It takes preparation and some steps to follow to get a nice and lasting result. The same goes for the garage floor. You need to prepare the surface, get the proper paintings, and then start painting. Keep on reading to find out all the details to get the desired result! And who knows? You might insulate your garage as well!

What are the benefits of painting your garage floor?

Painting the floor of your garage will definitely change the look of your garage.  You’ll feel like having a new room. But beyond the aesthetics benefit, there are a lot more that should encourage you to make that change:

  1. It’s probably the main reason someone should consider. The paint protects the concrete floor. It increases its strength against chemicals, impacts, mildew and surface scratches.
  2. Painting covers flaws and cracks that might have been created in concrete over time.
  3. It’s much easier to clean painted floor.
  4. In case you want to sell it, a painted floor will automatically increase its value and make it more attractive to a buyer.
  5. If you use a light colour, your garage will look brighter, bigger and it would be more enjoyable for you to work in.

What are the types of garage floor paint?

Whether you have a concrete garage floor or another type, you have to find the most suitable paint depending on your needs and budget. There are three paint types you can use:

A well-roganised garage with concrete floor

  • Latex: It’s the cheapest paint type. It’s got low gloss and durability. It doesn’t need much time to dry, but it covers less floor. Latex paints can be cleaned up with soap and water.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic paint is a middling cost. It’s also got low gloss, and it doesn’t need much time to dry like latex, but it’s got better coverage than it. It’s also more natural as it’s water-based, and it needs a solvent for cleanup.
  • Epoxy:  Epoxy coating is the most expensive of the three types. It’s high in gloss and durability, but it takes much time to dry. It provides high abrasion resistance and it’s the best paint for car garage floors. If you use two-part epoxy, you’ll need a solvent for cleanup.

All about preparation

Before starting painting, it’s essential to prepare the floor surface so it will be level and yourself. Unless you prepare the floor, you won’t have the proper paint adhesion, and you won’t have the lasting finish you want.

1. Clear the garage

Prior to everything is to remove all items out of the garage, focusing on those on the floor: vehicles, tools, storage boxes and shelves, anything.  You should have a clear surface to be able to proceed.

2. Sweep the floor

All floors have debris, dust and dirt. Beyond these, someone might find in a garage floor sawdust, lawn trimmings, leaves, in some cases even bolts. Hence, get your broom and dustpan on hand and start sweeping the floor. You can also use a wet vacuum cleaner or a leaf blower to get rid of every single trace of debris.

A man sweeping the garage floor

3. Wash the floor

The next step to follow is to wash the garage floor with a pressure washer or a floor buffing machine. If it’s possible, add some degreaser to the water for deeper cleaning. It’s OK if you don’t have a pressure washer! You can use a stiff-bristled scrubbing brush and a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to get the job done. In this case, some extra elbow grease is necessary to remove all dirt. Again, add some degreaser or TSP or laundry detergent for extra cleaning power. If your floor is filthy, let the cleaning product sit for a few minutes and then scrub. Just don’t let it dry on the concrete.

4. Remove the old paint

If the surface were repainted in the past, you’d have to remove it before applying the new one. For this task, you need a floor sander or paint thinner and a scraper to remove it.

5. Test the sealant

The key to a successful painting is the sealant of the surface. If the surface you’re about to paint isn’t well sealed, then the paint will adhere to it. The same goes for the garage floor. You’ll have to be sure that it’s well-sealed. If you aren’t sure, test it. Pour some water into different areas on the floor. If you still see water on the surface, then the floor is sealed. Before performing the test, make sure that there aren’t any grease or oil stains on it.

6. Check for damaged spots

Painting a garage floor isn’t something you do pretty often. That’s why you’ll have to do it the right way, making sure that you have a smooth surface and in good condition to prevent any damages after applying the new coat of paint. Hence, check for cracks and holes on the floor. If you see any, use a concrete patch to repair and fill them for a smooth finish.

Note: The floor needs to dry completely before applying the paint.

How to paint your garage floor  step-by-step

Painting a garage floor is an easy task for everybody to carry out. It takes about a week for you to complete it, so make sure that you have enough free time and great weather by your side.

  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Boots
  • Dust mask
  • A plastic watering can
  • A stiff-bristled broom
  • A squeegee
  • Painter’s tape
  • A hardener
  • Epoxy resin
  • Rust-oleum anti-skid additive
  • A small precision brush
  • A paint tray
  • A long-handled roller (designed for concrete paint)
  • A primer coat of paint

Once you’ve cleaned, patched and dried the concrete floor and gathered all the needed items, you can start painting. Protect yourself first. Wear a pair of safety goggles, a dust mask and put on rubber gloves and boots.

A man painting a corner with a small paintbrush

 Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Applying the etch

  1.  Mix the concrete etch in a plastic watering can. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to know how much water to use.
  2. Get a hose and wet the surface just a little bit.
  3. Next, divide the floor into 3 by 3m squares and apply the etch.
  4. Scrub the floor with the etch using a stiff-bristled broom.
  5. Then, rinse with a hose the first square, squeegee it and move to the next one. Repeat the same to the entire garage. 
  6.  Let it dry overnight. 
  7. The next morning, check the floor for dust. If you notice any, rinse and dry again.

2. Applying primer

Before applying the first coat of paint, you should apply a primer coat onto your concrete surface. Wouldn’t you do the same if you were painting a wall? Make sure that you let the primer coat dry for 6 to 8 hours before moving on to the top coat.

3. Applying the paint or epoxy

  1. If you have something in your garage that you don’t want to be touched by the paint or the epoxy, apply painter’s tape to it.
  2. Before opening the cans, shake them very well.
  3. Pour the hardener (or else activator or catalyst) into the epoxy resin. Mix them with a paint stick. Now you have to be quick. The epoxy mixture won’t last long. You’ll find on the instructions within how long you have to use it.
  4. Add Rust-oleum anti-skid to the mixture. This is anti-slip and anti-gloss.  
  5. Paint corners, edges, and other narrow and small places with the epoxy using a small precision brush.
  6. Pour the epoxy garage floor paint into a paint tray and soak the long-handled paint roller. Paint small areas at a time and soak the paint roller constantly into the tray.
  7. At this point, you can add contrasting decorative flakes. Get a handful of the flakes and toss them onto the paint. Afterwards, apply a sealer to the floor to prevent the flakes from coming loose.
  8. Repeat step 6 until you paint the entire garage.

Note: You’ll have to apply two coats of epoxy for extra protection. When you apply the first coat, let it dry for 24 hours and then apply the second coat. 

4. Drying

Drying is an important step and doesn’t require your involvement. You have to wait a few hours to let the concrete floor paint dry. You shouldn’t step on the floor coating before the recommended drying time because you’ll ruin all the job you have done. Here’s an indicative guide according to Rust-oleum.

The new concrete floor will be ready for:

  • Light-foot traffic after 16 hours. 
  • Heavy items after 48 hours.
  • A vehicle after 72 hours.

white Garage door and driveway

DIY painting your garage floor is a time-consuming and rather tiring task. You might not spend your whole day in the garage, but it’s still a room in your house and needs attention. Paint your garage floor, and you’ll feel like getting into a new room at once.

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