Epoxy Floor Installation Pt. 3: Topcoat Application
Your epoxy floor installation is incomplete until you have applied a topcoat. Clear coats or topcoats are floor sealers that are designed to provide the floor resistance from abrasion, chemicals and ultra violet rays. Also, since the liquid used in clear coats is highly flammable, it should never be used in a confined space such as a basement. Make sure that when you are applying a topcoat, it is in an airy space where there is plenty of cross-ventilation. Clear coats are great to be used on outdoor flooring and sidewalks. The clear topcoat not only makes your floor abrasion and chemical resistant, but also helps make your floor easier to clean. If a clear coat is not applied, the floor begins to fade out, and the chips become very dirty.
Step 1 – Curing the Floor
Epoxy paints are synthetic raisins and need some time to settle down. Curing the floor is very important when you want to apply a topcoat to it. Once you have applied the basecoat to your flooring, give it at least 6 hours to settle. If you have also used chips in the flooring, increase the curing time to at least 8 hours. During this time, all the water and the solvents from the basecoat will evaporate and the basecoat will harden as it dries.
You can apply the topcoat only after the floor is dry. To check the floor, press lightly with your thumb on the basecoat to see if it has completely dried. If the basecoat is dry, your thumb will not leave any impressions. Be sure to try this only in a corner of the room. Clean the room thoroughly before applying the topcoat because if there is any dirt on the floor, the topcoat will seal it and it will spoil the finish.
Step 2 – Preparing the Topcoat
The topcoat is usually available in two components. Mix the two components slowly into one container using a paint stick or a jiffy mixer. The product instructions will tell you the proportions in which you need to mix them. If you do not mix the product correctly, the product may fail. A clear coat should ideally appear milky white or clear.
Allow the mixture to stand for at least 30 minutes before applying it. When the clear topcoat dries up, it can cause the floor to be extremely slippery. To prevent the floor from being slippery, you can choose to add some anti-skid additives to the mixture while preparing it. However, do not add large quantities of such a material. Add only as per the instructions on the package.
Step 3 – Applying the Topcoat
Using a brush, apply thin ribbons of the topcoat on top of the basecoat. Start with the corner furthest away from the room. You can use a squeegee that is serrated to spread the materials all over the floor. Instead of a squeegee, you can also use a regular roller. Try to remain uniform with the spread of the paint or it could appear cloudy and white in patches. The drying time for the topcoat will be mentioned on the label.