The garage is a storage space for many essential and much-used items, ranging from vehicles to gardening tools to lawnmowers and other appliances. Hence, it is no surprise that the garage floor is so susceptible to damage. Painting is often prescribed as the treatment for a wrecked garage floor, but what does that entail?
Yes, you can paint a garage floor, and you don’t need a professional. Painting concrete floors can be a great solution to prevent damage to the floor and help maintain the garage’s overall aesthetic. Simply clean and degrease the floor, choose your preferred paint, and give it a go!
It is safe to paint your garage floor, and you don’t need to be an expert painter to undertake this task. The supplies needed, such as paint and brushes, are easy to find and use. Furthermore, the time and effort that is put into painting a garage floor will undoubtedly go a long way.
Is It Safe to Paint Your Garage Floor?
It is very safe to paint your garage floor. In fact, it is unsafe not to paint it! Both the beauty and longevity of your garage floor depend on a firm coat of paint. Garage floors are usually made out of concrete, which is porous and highly susceptible to liquids, particularly oil.
The constant wear and tear — be it through hot car tires, oil spilling from tanks or other loose fluids in storage — results in the gradual destruction of a garage floor.
The liquids seep through the porous concrete, making the floor greasy and more susceptible to gathering dust. This undesirable situation can be easily prevented by painting the garage floor.
Epoxy-based paints, which are both water- and chemical-resistant, prevent dust buildup and enable easy cleaning of any spilled liquids and fluids.
Epoxy-based paints are readily available in the market, and a few of them even come in kits, allowing for a thorough DIY revamp of your garage floor. We recommend the Kilz 1-Part Epoxy Acrylic Concrete and Garage Paint (on Amazon).
The choice of painting your garage floor can prove to be one of the best maintenance decisions you make, as long as you do it right.
How to Prepare Your Garage Floor for Paint
The only tricky thing about painting your garage floor is all the preparation that comes before it. If the garage floor is not cleaned, degreased, and dried before the paint is applied, the paint can do more damage than good.
Therefore, preparing your garage floor before painting is crucial to your success. Let’s go through each step of the process.
Clean the Floor
Cleaning the garage floor is the first step in preparing it for painting. A thorough cleaning will get rid of dust, debris, oil, and any other liquids that have seeped through the garage floor and settled there.
Failure to remove all this buildup could impact the paint’s ability to adequately stick to the concrete floor, leaving it patchy and cracked.
Make Sure the Floor Has a Rough Texture
Garage floor paint bonds best with concrete that has a rough, textured surface. If you have a garage floor that you previously smoothed out, then you should roughen it up before applying the paint. You can roughen up the garage floor by using muriatic acid.
Muriatic acid is a diluted form of hydrochloric acid, a strong, corrosive agent. Using this will not only restore the rough, concrete texture of the floor, but it will also get rid of deep-set stains. Try the eco-friendly Klean Strip Muriatic Acid (on Amazon).
An alternative to muriatic acid is using a power grinder or sander on the smooth floor surface.
Once you have made your concrete floor rough and textured, use a mop to get rid of large debris and a vacuum to remove any accumulated dust. Next, you need to degrease.
Degrease the Floor
Degreasing is essential to remove oil, gas, and any other fluid that might have spilled and seeped through the concrete floor over the years.
All you need is a strong cleaning solution. Scrub the floor with the degreasing/cleaning solution and rinse it all off with pressured water. Depending on the initial condition of your floor, you might want to repeat the degreasing procedure.
After degreasing, mop the floor and let it dry out. Now you’re ready to start painting.
Time to Paint
Usually, the first coat is relatively thinner than the second one, and the paint is mixed with water before application.
This is to ensure that the paint is thoroughly absorbed into the floor. The best tool for the application of the first coat is a paintbrush, as it facilitates the absorption process.
Apply the second coat of paint only when the first coat has thoroughly dried. This coat should be thicker and stronger than the first coat, meaning you shouldn’t dilute the paint this time.
As the second coat is thicker and the focus is not on absorption, you can use a roller to apply it. Once the paint has dried, use your best judgment to decide whether a third coat is needed.
In most instances, two coats of paint are enough. But in cases where the first two coats are applied inadequately, a third might be a good idea—seeing more of the concrete than paint is a sign that another coat of paint is required.
How to Choose the Right Paint for Your Garage Floor
There are three types of paint commonly used for garage floors: latex, acrylic, and epoxy. The right paint for you depends on your priorities.
Latex paints are inexpensive, easy to use, and less odorous than other types of floor paint. However, they are not very durable and often need to be redone every two years. Water-based acrylic paints are pricier than latex paints but more durable. The most expensive and the most durable type of floor paint is epoxy paint.
Epoxy paints are recommended for garage floors because they are hard and durable. They can be combined with epoxy coating to maximize protection. However, epoxy paints are harder to apply and require some skill to get it right.
Will Painting Your Garage Floor Make It Waterproof?
Even though a painted garage floor is easier to wipe and clean than an unpainted one, painting your garage floor will not necessarily make it waterproof. Most of the floor paints are not waterproof by default.
Therefore, if you want to waterproof your garage floor, you would need an additional waterproof coat over the paint.