What is the Best Way to Paint a Garage Floor? [Ask The Experts]

What is the best way to paint a garage floor

Are you procrastinating because it simply seems too big a task?

Then you obviously haven’t tried our easy step-by-step guide for painting garage floors.

And don’t waste money paying a professional; painting your garage floor can be a fun and fast DIY project.

We’ll show you how. 

Below is a comprehensive guide to painting your garage floor. We cover relevant aspects such as preparation, because it determines the outcome of your project. But when you get it right—and it’s easy to—your floor will serve you well in the long term.

Because that’s what you want, right? Quality flooring so your garage presents well and is easy to clean. Here’s how you do it.

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Do You Have Your Tools Ready?

Don’t start any DIY project without having all your equipment ready. You’ll waste time if you have to look for them in the middle of your painting process. Stalling can even cause problems if the paint you use has strict procedures and timelines for use.

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Material to use

When the painting starts you’ll need:

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    Floor coating kit that usually comes with the paint. This includes different paint solutions you’ll mix together, especially when using Epoxy paint
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    Paint trays, rollers and brushes
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    Buckets for mixing
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    Paint roller extender, especially if you have a large garage

Here’s a tip: Look for brushes and rollers with low-shedding features. This minimizes the chance of lint ending up in the paint.

Now you’re ready to get started!

Did You Prepare Your Garage Floor?

For preparing your floor and cleaning it, you’ll need:

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  • Water source such as a hose or watering can
  • A broom with strong bristles for scrubbing
  • Broom or vacuum cleaner to clear away dust
  • All your cleaning solutions including soap and etching to lift off oil and open the pores of the cement
cleaning garage

Now you’re ready to get started!

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Did You Prepare Your Garage Floor?

What is the best way to paint a garage floor? It’s all about preparation. Most experts call this the most important part of painting your garage floor. 

But don’t let its importance scare you off. Just don’t skip this part. It makes the rest go faster and can extend the floor’s lifespan.

Preparation includes a few easy steps,

  • Lift off any oil from the floor. You can scrape it off, but it also needs a wash. Cat litter goes a long way in extracting oil from cement pores, so you know you’re doing a thorough job
  • Check for existing coatings by dropping water on the floor. If it forms beads instead of spreading along and into the cement, there’s a coating you must first remove with etching
  • Wash the floor thoroughly with soap. Scrub with a hard bristled broom if you don’t want to get down on all fours
  • Let the floor dry thoroughly. Any moisture can cause problems during the painting process
  • Check for cracks and holes. Insert filler and sand it down for smoothness
  • Remove all dust from the area with a broom. A vacuum cleaner works even better. You don’t want dust preventing your paint from bonding with the cement
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Taking these precautions guarantees you’ll love the final product of your hard work. Ready to start painting? 

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Painting Step by Step

Choose your paint:

What do you use your garage for? Your answer tells you what kind of paint to look for. Did you know paint products labeled as garage paint take into consideration the weight and movement of your vehicles? The paint is designed to stick to the floor and not to the wheels of your car, despite the pressure.

If your garage is only used for practicing hobbies or as a workshop, the requirements are different. Then you can consider paint for basements, homes or other uses.

choose your paint

A popular garage floor paint is a product which contains epoxy. Epoxy forms a protective layer on the cement and helps the floor handle the pressure of heavy vehicles. Yes! Your paint can make your floor stronger!

Do you see why you shouldn’t simply leave the cement as it is?

Mix your paint

Paints containing epoxy—and many other products—require you to mix together different substances. You usually receive two containers that need to be added together.

Mixing them sets off chemical reactions which add to their efficacy in bonding with your cement floor.

Don’t stress about the detail. Most paint manufacturers ensure you have a user-friendly experience. Directions will be set out on the paint cans.

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Wait

Do you have a safe place for your vehicles and garage equipment if the project takes more than one day?
You must plan your day well. You saw you need time to let your floor dry during preparation.

And this waiting will happen a few times during the project.

At this point you usually wait a few minutes for the chemical reactions to take place and the paint to settle. Then you’re ready to go.

wait

Important: Many paints are only usable for a certain time after mixing. Once it’s ready to use you must work as quick as you can so you don’t waste paint.

Paint primer

Yes, even your garage floor deserves a primer. Why don’t we treat our garages as well as our homes? Doing this will add value because your paint will bond better with the cement.

But once again you have to wait for it to dry.

Paint the edges

You probably want to jump in and start painting, right? But being systematic will save time and prevent mistakes.
Paint the edges of your garage first, using a brush.

Now your garage looks neat and you don’t have to lean over wet paint to reach spots the rollers don’t cover well.

First coat

Here is the method you can’t ever ignore: Work in sections.

  • Paint squares of 4’x4’ at a time. Focus on a square so you don’t miss any spots. It also helps if you don’t have to lean too far over wet paint. You risk stepping into it.
  • Start in a corner furthest away from the exit and work your way systematically towards this door. You’ve seen the jokes of people painting themselves into a corner, right? Don’t let it happen to you!
  • And guess what. Now you have to wait again. The paint must be dry before adding another coat.
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Second coat

Not all professionals add a second coat. With a quality primer it’s not always necessary. But if your budget allows for this, it’s best to invest in more paint and do this. It will add more shine to your floor and increase its durability.

You can use the same process as before. Remember, don’t cut corners because it’s a lengthy process. Your effort will be worth it!

Do you want decorations?

Are you looking for that “X-factor” in your garage? Yes, it can look as stylish as the rooms in your house.
Decorative flakes can be sprinkled on top of epoxy paint. This will have your floor resembling marble and your neighbors will think you had your floor professionally done. It will bond with the paint and you don’t even have to add another layer on top.

But how do you get an even effect? Sprinkle it on top of the second coat as you finish each section and duplicate your sprinkling movements.

You can place the sprinkles in a discarded seasoning bottle. If the holes are big enough to let the pieces through, it will help spread them evenly.

Drying and curing

Now it’s time to wait again. And you must keep to the times stipulated on the products. Some paints won’t be safe to walk or drive on for up to three days. If you do, you’ll ruin the stunning job you just completed.

Smart Questions to Ask

Unsure about anything? Here are some questions we know people love asking.

How long will it take?

An average sized garage can be painted in one to two hours but drying and curing determine the final timeline. Usually you should see this as a weekend project, rather than a quick DIY task for a Saturday morning.

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When is the best time to paint?

And don’t simply jump in and start painting in the middle of the winter. The weather will determine your outcome:

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    It must be warm enough, so you can leave doors open for ventilation
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    It must not rain because moisture will prevent the floor from drying
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    Very cold conditions can prevent the epoxy from curing properly

A Few Tips

There’s always ways to do DIY projects more effectively. This is what will impress your friends. If you have time and patience, add this to your to-do list:

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    Paint the bottom section of the wall as well. When you wash your garage it will be easier and you’re protecting your walls against damage
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    You can add non-skid granules to the paint if you don’t want a glossy, smooth finish. This is also a way to improve safety if you use your garage as a workshop

Ready to start painting? You can see it’s not so difficult if you know all the pitfalls, and we mapped them out for you. Now you can paint your garage floor like an expert. 

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