Making Pretty Spaces

Painting Your Garage Floors Do’s & Dont’s!

This post is in partnership with Rust-Oleum.

I’ve had so much success with other products from Rust-Oleum I was excited to use their garage kit.
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An organized and beautiful garage is the stuff my OCD dreams are made of! But with any finished space, the floors can make the biggest difference in the feeling of a complete room. A garage is no different! I recently tackled the process of coating my garage floors with Rust-Oleum’s RockSolid Garage Kit (using their dark grey), and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I’m sharing my experience along with a few do’s and don’ts so you can tackle this project with confidence.

WHY COAT YOUR GARAGE FLOOR?

There are a lot of reasons to coat your floor. The most obvious one is the aesthetics that it provides but it also can provide great protection. Here’s a quick list of the reasons that coating your garage floor is a win win!

  • Durability against impacts, chemicals, and surface abrasions
  • Resale value, a coated floor is more attractive to a buyer
  • It will make your entire garage feel put together and look better.
  • It makes it easier to clean!
  • It can cover flaws and cracks in concrete.

If you’ve decided you might want to give this a try… here’s how to do it.

THE PREP

Clearing out an entire garage seemed a bit overwhelming to me… I decided to try and tackle one side at a time to make this initial step a little more manageable. It does take a few more days overall by breaking it up this way, but it takes a little pressure off! I took this photo right after I finished the second half. I was able to keep all of my “stuff” in the garage and had access to it by doing it this way.

garage floors, epoxy floors

The first step to making this project successful is coming up with a plan to ensure you start with a clean and properly prepped floor. As with any project, the PREP is key in getting long-lasting results.

After clearing out half of the garage, I hosed down the entire area to get most of the dirt out of the way. (Thank goodness for these center drains!) I then used the Rust-Oleum Cleaner & Degreaser and poured it on full strength… followed by an aggressive scrub.

I will warn you that cleaning is literally the hardest part of this project. I worked up a sweat but with all of my painting experience, I knew not to take any shortcuts with this step.

Next up was Concrete Etching. Concrete can be too hard and smooth to accept paint or protective sealants… which is where etching comes in. The etching is essentially citric acid and serves to open up the pores of the concrete and prepares the surface to accept its next treatment. I mixed the etching according to the instructions into an old flowering pot and poured it onto the clean concrete. I let it sit for a couple of minutes and followed up with another light scrub. The etching itself should do most of the work.

concrete etching

I made sure to hose down the area again and get all of the etching residues off of the floor. Using a squeegee really helped to get most of the water off the concrete so it could properly dry… which is key before moving on to the actual coating of the floor.

cleaning concrete

My recommendation here is to wait for at least 24 hours. I can guarantee you that you will not get the results you want unless your floor is completely dry… and above 50 degrees. I used this surface thermometer to ensure my concrete was the right temperature.

THE PROCESS

Mix 2 bags and use a paint tray for the best application!

Here comes the fun part… and the part where I have some strong opinions about how to mix/paint for the best results. I found that some of the bags had slightly different colors so you’ll see in the video above I mixed 2 bags together. This will give you the best shot at achieving a good consistent color throughout. I also found thas using the recommended brush for the edges gave an uneven finish.

I chose to roll the entire floor from a paint tray (not using a paintbrush at all). The instructions also recommend pouring from the bag… I just did not find this to be efficient at all and left a streaky finish. Note: You will have to tape the edges if you don’t plan on covering them up with baseboards which I did.

throwing flakes on a garage floor

After you roll a 3-4′ section, it’s time to throw on the flakes! It’s important to do this while it’s still wet and you can reach the spot you need to throw them on. My technique involved throwing them up in the air and letting them fall randomly! Skip this step if paint chips are not the look you are going for (I wish I would have done more) —it will not affect coating performance. 

There are a lot of mixed opinions about how many coats to put on. I feel that one good coverage coat is adequate.

garage coating

I waited 24 hours and tested for tacky spots before moving forward to the topcoat. I am using the textured clear topcoat and added the Rustoleum anti-skid additive. I followed the same steps as the coating and just stirred this additive in… making sure to stir as I painted as it wanted to settle a little bit. It is almost like sand so it’s important to keep it mixed as you go for even distribution.

I also decided to add a PVC baseboard after the topcoat to really give this a finished look. I can’t believe how much of a difference this made!

After this step… you’re done!

Here’s a little before of an area of my garage.

bare garage floor.

And here’s an AFTER!

coated garage floors

What a difference right? Here’s a few highlights if you want to remember the key points in this project.

DO:

  • Take the extra time to thoroughly clean and dry your floor!
  • Mix 2 bags together if you can get them rolled in less than one hour.
  • Use a roller and paint tray to apply the coating.
  • Add a baseboard to your floor… it makes all the difference!

DON’T:

  • Cut corners on cleaning/prepping your floor
  • Start coating your floor if there are any damp spots in the concrete.
  • Use a paintbrush on the edges
  • Pour out of the bag (use a roller tray)
  • Be Nervous! This is a painless project if you follow all the steps!

I am very happy with the final results of my floor but I can tell you that I wish I would have added more flakes AND used a glossy top coat as opposed to matte. I might still do this in the spring/summer. Other than that, I worked out all the issues for you on this project so you can go make your garage floors beautiful with confidence!

Read the Comments +

  1. Cheryl says:

    How long did you have to wait before moving your stuff to the other half of the garage to begin the second half of the project?

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