Sunday, March 23, 2008

Interior Painting: Garage Floors - 2

Go To Part 1 2 3

Part 2 – Choose an Epoxy

This is part two of a three part series on painting garage floors. In the first part we discussed safety and preparation procedures. If your garage floor can pass the plastic square test you can move on to applying epoxy, if it did not, the garage floor is not suitable for epoxy. Choosing which one can prove to be a difficult and I will try to explain the differences between them so that you can make an educated choice.

Epoxy is a tough durable paint that resists grease oil and many other substances that would ruin ordinary paints. It can be found in a variety of colors as well as types and different manufacturers. Epoxy paints contain tough resins that come in two parts that you mix together, and can be broken down into 3 types: 100% solids, solvent based, and water based.

The 100% solid Paint Epoxy type is the almost pure epoxy and does not contain solvents that evaporate. These products are extremely expensive and difficult to apply on a garage floor because they harden very quickly. For this type it may best to leave this to the pros, unless you do your homework.

Solvent types are the next product type which contains 40 to 60 percent solids (epoxy) and are two part that need to be mixed before application. They penetrate the concrete well and have excellent bonding properties making them a top choice for Pros. Available in a wide array of colors and the top pick as recommended product for your project. Solvent-based epoxies may be difficult to find but visiting your local paint specialty store you should be able to locate a product (Sherwin Williams is highly recommended) Because of it’s volatile properties you need to use a respirator mask with an organic vapor/acid gas filter, available at local and giant hardware stores. Make sure the mask fits tightly to your face and that the garage is well ventilated. This is the product I recommend using for garage floors.

Water based epoxy paints are also two parts that need to be mixed before applying. And these also typically contain 40 to 60 percent solids. The upside to this type is there are no hazardous solvent fumes in this type of epoxy paint and are easily found at most local or giant hardware stores. The quality and performance is not as durable as the other types of epoxies, but a popular choice for the do-it-yourself folks. One such popular product is Rust -Oleum’s ,“EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating”, which colors are limited.

Whether working with Epoxy Solvents or water base I recommend you apply two coats for a good build up that can withstand the wear and durability of the product. Make sure to read and follow the safety, application and clean up directions for any of the products you choose to use to achieve the best result.

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