If your garage floor is stained with oil, grease, and rust, you can easily give it new life with some garage floor paint. Latex paint intended for use on concrete floors is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. Though garage floor paint is available in a variety of colors, you might want to choose a light color if you use the garage as a workshop. A light gray, for example, will reflect more light than a darker color.
The following instructions apply to latex garage floor paint. Products sold as one-part epoxy require the same treatment. Two-part epoxy coatings require more extensive applications. Paints that are made specifically for use on concrete floors should provide adequate slip resistance without additional additives.
Regardless of the product you choose, read the instructions carefully. Pay particular attention to surface preparation and temperature suggestions. Most garage floor paint jobs that fail do so because the surface was incorrectly prepared or the surface temperature (which is not necessarily the same as the air temperature) was too low to allow for a good bond. High humidity can also negatively affect the durability of the paint job.
Inspect the Garage Floor
Garage floor paint is best applied to concrete that is clean, dry and free of serious cracks or damage. Cracks and small holes can be patched with concrete patch products before painting.
Concrete that is frequently wet should be treated with a concrete waterproofer before painting.
Clean the Garage Floor
Use a broom and wet-dry vacuum to thoroughly clean debris from the floor. Remove grease with a degreaser and stiff brush. Rinse the degreaser and allow the floor to dry. Heavy stains may require a pressure washer.
Etch or Acid Wash the Garage Floor
Garage floor paint adheres best if the surface of the concrete has the texture of light sandpaper. Garage floors, however, are often troweled to a very smooth surface. Use an etching product or muriatic acid to treat smooth surfaces. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. You may need to etch or wash the surface twice to achieve the proper texture.
Apply the First Coat of Garage Floor Paint
Garage floor paint manufacturers often suggest thinning the first coat with a little water. This will improve absorption of the paint into the concrete. It is also best to use a brush for the first coat (be sure to have some knee pads handy!), as brushing allows you to work the paint into the surface better than a roller. Allow the paint to dry.
Apply the Second Coat of Garage Floor Paint
The second coat of paint can be applied full strength, using either a brush or a roller. Latex garage floor paint dries to the touch in a matter of hours, but it is best to let it dry at least a full day before walking on it and a full week before driving your car on it.