The most important thing to remember when applying an epoxy floor paint is read the label instructions for proper safety procedures.
For application instructions, always refer to the labeled instructions because they will vary with different epoxies. Some types of epoxy floor paint require a primer coat that needs several hours of drying before painting. Most epoxies come in two parts that need mixing prior to application.
The following is a step by step process of applying a water based epoxy floor paint. Because water based epoxies have minimal toxicity and are user friendly, no special safety precautions were needed except for application of the sealer. It comes in a kit with two parts that need mixed just before application and a box of blended chips to throw on top of the second coat. This kit covers approximately 300-500 square feet depending on the texture of the floor. All that's needed for epoxy floor paint application is a two 1/4 or 1/2 inch nap rollers, a brush, a bucket big enough to dip the roller into.
Step 1 For the first coat of epoxy floor paint, mix two parts A, one part B, and one part water in a bucket big enough to dip a roller into. Mix only the amount you need to apply a thin coat so none gets wasted. You can always mix a little more if you run out. Mix well for at least five minutes. This will be used for the primer coat.
Use a small brush to paint along walls and any control joints (those grooves that run across the floor). Then use a roller to spread a thin coat across the rest of the floor. Let the first coat dry for 4-6 hours.
Step 2 For the second coat, mix two parts A and one part B without water and mix well for five minutes. Just like step 1, use a brush and a roller to apply the second coat.
If you're using chips, throw them on top of the wet concrete floor paint immediately after application. Wear shoes with steel spikes on the bottom so you can walk through the wet paint. This is the easiest method. However, if you don't have spiked shoes, you can throw the chips as you go. Just roll a small area, throw chips down, and keep repeating the process until you're done. Just be sure not to get any chips on unpainted areas because you don't want to paint over dry chips and prevent bonding of the first and second coats. Depending on your preferences, you can completely cover the floor with chips or lightly broadcast them. Don't be too concerned about getting the chips spread perfectly even. Expect to end up with variations throughout the floor. When finished, let the second coat dry overnight.
Step 3 After the second coat of epoxy floor paint is dry, brush off any excess chips. If you used all the chips during application, sweep up the excess chips and save them for possible future spot repairs. You can use a shop vac to suck up any remaining chips.
Step 4 Apply a few coats of clear water based sealer to lock in the chips and help protect your investment. You may need three coats depending on the amount of chips used. Simply roll the sealer on using a medium nap roller and let completely dry between coats. You can also use high gloss solvent based acrylic sealer for the last coat which gives the floor a shiny and more durable finish. You must use a respirator and protect your skin when working with solvent based sealers because of thier high toxicity. Keep the garage door open until dry for good ventilation. Don't use solvent based sealers for basement floors because basements have poor ventilation and the odor will fill the house. Instead, apply a few coats of wax for a higher shine.
Allow 24 hours drying time for foot traffic and at least 72 hours for vehicle traffic.
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