How to Paint a Garage Floor

A DIYer painting a garage floor.
  • 4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-150
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Stiff-bristled scrubbing broom
Pressure washer
Duct tape
Floor etcher
Rubber boots
Safety glasses
Garden pump sprayer
Epoxy paint
3/8-inch nap paint roller
Extension pole
Paint trays
Anti-skid material

Painting your garage floor is a good way to protect it for many years to come. The total process can take up to three days, but proper planning and prep can make it easier to get the lasting result you want.

Step 1 - Plan

Before you start anything, make sure the weather is in your favor for the duration of your project. Epoxy doesn’t like humidity or rainy weather during application.

Special two-part epoxy paint is your best option for a garage floor. Before buying, however, measure your square footage and decide whether you want one or two coats of paint so you know how much you'll need. The label on your paint will give a suggested coverage in square feet. In some cases, you can also get the paint tinted to your desired color.

Step 2 - Prep and Clean

First, check your floor for cracks and potholes. These have to be repaired and the patches must cure before you start the etching process. You also need to find out if there is still sealer on the concrete. If water beads up on the floor, then there is a sealer on it and it will have to be chemically removed before you can paint with epoxy. You can only coat the floor if it is not chipping or peeling.

Sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly and wipe up any oil spills. Then, hose it down with a pressure washer or high pressure nozzle on a regular hose. Once it's dry, test several sections for cleanliness by taping a strip of duct tape to the floor. If there is any dust or residue on the tape when you pull it up, you will have to keep cleaning until it's gone. Any debris left on the floor will be detrimental to your paint job.

Step 3 - Etch the Floor

Next, you will need to etch your floor to give the epoxy paint something to grab on to. To do this you can either buy a specially formulated floor etcher at a hardware store or make your own with muriatic acid and water. Whichever you choose, get on your rubber boots and safety glasses before starting.

Spray the etching solution onto the floor with a garden sprayer in 4x4 foot sections. If the solution is working correctly, it will foam up. Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes, and then scrub with the brush. Scrub first in one direction before going in a perpendicular direction. Do not let the solution dry as you work. Rinse until the water runs clear, and then continue to the next section. The floor will look and feel like sandpaper if etching is done correctly. Let it dry for at least eight hours, but the longer the better. The floor has to be completely dry for the epoxy to adhere properly.

Step 4 - Paint

Now that your floor is clean, etched, and ready to be painted, open both cans that were in the kit and start stirring the paint. Slowly pour in the hardener as you continue to stir until it is completely blended. Have your roller and paint tray set up in advance as you will only have about two hours to work with the paint once it is mixed.

Compared to regular paint, epoxy paint will feel heavier and glue-like. Work in 8x8 foot sections, rolling in one direction first and then perpendicular just like the etching solution. Feather the edges so you don’t create any seams or lines. If you are going to do a second coat, let the first dry for at least 15 to 24 hours.

Once the floor is done, do not walk or drive on it for at least 72 hours. A full cure for an epoxy floor is about 30 days. If you live in a snowy or cold climate you might want to add some anti-skid material to the second coat of paint, which can also be found at the hardware store.

Epoxy paint is great protection for your garage floor, and it should last a very long time. Additionally, it will be much easier to clean than it was before. Wiping up dirt and oil spills will be as easy as if it were on an indoor floor. Your garage is now ready for your Lamborghini.