Applying a coating to your garage floor is a great way to protect and preserve the cement and also makes for easy cleanup of spills and normal accumulation of dirt. There are a variety of products on the market that are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. If done right, epoxy coatings can help extend the life of the floor and prevent substances such as oil from penetrating the concrete.
After you have found a product that you are satisfied with, the first step is to clear out your garage. Epoxies and other coatings must be laid on the entire floor to be effective or you may experience premature chipping and pealing of the coating. Take everything out of your garage including any installed cabinets or work benches. Items hanging on the wall can usually be left as long as you won’t need them right away or they won’t hinder your work.
You will need to clean the floor by sweeping and cleaning with some type of muriatic acid to remove any impurities in the cement. This can be found at most hardware or home improvement stores. You will need to do this even if your garage floor is brand new and clean as a whistle. The acid will etch the cement which means it will create tiny scratches for the epoxy to adhere too much like sanding a wall does for paint. You especially need to do this if your floor is older and already has oil and other stains on it.
Use a wire bristled brush with a pole extension to work the acid into the cement. It is imperative to get as much of these stains off as possible or the epoxy will chip and peal almost instantly. Make sure you have adequate ventilation as muriatic acid is extremely toxic. If you don’t follow this advice you will see for yourself when you start using the acid. You can’t even get close to the stuff without coughing as it is very powerful.
Once you have scrubbed all the spots with a common wire brush, you can spray the remains out of the garage with a garden hose. Allow the floor to dry completely, usually overnight, before you start putting your epoxy down. Your specific product should have instructions for application however generally you just roll it on with a paint roller. Two coats are usually necessary especially if you had a lot of soaked in stains. Your specific product should also give cure times for the epoxy however in general it is usually safe to walk on it after 24 hours and safe to park a car on it after 48 to 72 hours.
That is pretty much the jist of it. If you are looking for more tips about garage flooring or other types of flooring, check out homeflooringpros.com, an informational site with postings from users about everything flooring. Good luck!