Epoxy Floor Paint - Types and Options

 

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Best advice from an Epoxy PRO on how to avoid a $$$ DIY epoxy floor disaster

(you won't learn this on any other epoxy floor site)

If any of the following apply or might apply to you:

1) no vapor barrier, or don't know if there is a vapor barrier under your slab; 2) suspect there might be moisture issues in/on the slab; 3) suspect the concrete was not 'vibrated down' and contains lots of air spaces (which can cause bubbles and blisters in the wet epoxy); 4) cannot professionally prep the floor (usually means a shot blast contractor); 5) any existing coating on the floor is peeling and lifting; 6) the concrete seems dusty, gritty, weak or crumbling; 7) you are worried about "hot tire pickup" lifting off your epoxy floor; 8) you have oil stains on the floor (especially OLD oil stains).......

If so, consider putting an inexpensive epoxy primer / sealer (such as ESP 155 - an Internet Favorite epoxy coating - not for sale in California) on the entire floor or over those potential trouble spots. Then wait a few weeks or months and see what happens. If everything looks great it is very likely that a 'fancy' epoxy top coat will be successful and probably issue free. You might even decide to just keep the sealed floor and skip the thicker mostly decorative (or at least thicker and pigmented) epoxy top coat (such as 0% VOC INDUSTRIAL FLOOR EPOXY).

If problems developed with the thin, nearly clear ESP 155 epoxy sealer, it is not that big a deal. No worse than having some deck/porch enamel paint lift and peel. You won't trip over it, it is not so 'in your face', and you saved big $$$ that you would have spent on the epoxy, paint chip, top coat. Some existing concrete surfaces are just not good candidates for an epoxy coating. QUESTIONS? email OR call 603 435 7199. Floor Links Page. Learn all about epoxy floors.

 

 

Epoxy Floor Paint - Types and Options

 

There is a lot of confusion about epoxy floor paints, much of this confusion is promoted by epoxy floor vendors who try to gain a leg up on their competition by making wild claims, half truths, and omitting useful information. Also experienced application contractors have different views on the best way to apply vs. the views of the epoxy manufacturers. All very confusing. Talk to Pro (the Epoxy Guru is a good guy to call!).

There are basically two types of floor epoxies. Water based floor epoxy and solvent free floor epoxy.

The water based epoxies are very thin (lots of coverage per gallon) and easy to work with. That said, they look like a coat of enamel paint. Many experienced contractors don't think they are right for garage floors, but the manufacturers think differently. Low end water based floor epoxies can be found in the big box stores and retailers like Walmart.

Solvent free floor epoxies are thick. They have a pot life  / working time of as little as 10 minutes so work in small batches! They have little or no odor and hide all sorts of cracks, defects and old paint spots on the floor. See the Industrial Floor Epoxy link below.

Many people like to add decorative paint chips to their epoxy floor. The most DIY approach is to just sprinkle the chips onto the wet epoxy. Professionals tend to apply the chips into intermediate clear coats of epoxy or polyurethane, thus making these floors a multi-coat system.  Buy your chips direct at Chips Unlimited. (chipsunlimited.com helpful and impressive service with one time DIY customers).

Many folks like to add a clear top coat over their epoxy floor. Most clear top coats are 'crap' and do nothing to protect the epoxy floor. To stay competitive vendors that sell clear top coats must offer a low cost (cheap = low quality) product to stay competitive. What you really want is a 2 part ($$) poly similar to auto clear coat (or skip the clear coat entirely).

SAVE MONEY USE AN EPOXY PRIMER ONLY AND SKIP THE $$$ EPOXY DECORATIVE TOPCOATS - LEARN MORE


Call Paul (the Epoxy Guru) at 603 435 7199 anytime to talk more or to order these materials

 

When it comes to floor epoxies, the way to pick/evaluate your vendor/supplier is not by what they tell you but by what the don't tell you

Putting down an epoxy on a cement floor can be tricky and lots of things (some outside of your control) can go wrong, almost all of which have nothing to do with the epoxy (so not the vendors' responsibility). Informing you of possible problems and possible ways around those problems could cost the vendor your business and send you off to a more 'cheerful and happy (and cheaper)' floor epoxy vendor web site. An example is an epoxy primer under the epoxy floor paint. It some situations it could save your butt, but more likely you'll just go to a site that doesn't mention using a primer (thus saving you money and time - but also a flooring failure).

What To Watch Out For From Epoxy Floor Vendor Sites:

1) There are water based floor epoxies and solvent free (sometime solvent based) floor epoxies. Some vendors don't explain the differences and use those differences to to make their product sound so much better (when it is an unequal comparison).

2) Epoxies yellow in sunlight (UV) and over time, especially the non-water based epoxies. This should be make know to you up front.

3) If your concrete is weak or crumpling (lots of dusting) - it could be your surface is not a good candidate for an epoxy floor, or at least one without a primer to 'firm' up the surface. Does your vendor mention weak or dusty concrete?

4) Lots of cement floors do not have a vapor barrier under them and those floors may have water - dampness issues (especially in below grade basement situations). Moisture issues under, on, and inside the cement could make an epoxy coating job a potential failure (there are some things you can try). You should be informed of this possible issue.

5) Many cement floors are full of air (cement can be like a sponge) and as the day warms the air in the cement expands and forms bubbles (popped or unpopped) in the starting-to-harden epoxy. The result is a disaster. Where you warned that this could happen? Diid they suggest fixes if your concrete has lots of air?

6) Old oil and grease stains can cause epoxies to peel right off. You may never be able to remove and degrease these areas no matter what you do to clean them. You should know this up-front.

7) Finally, do these vendors rely to emails or phone calls during the evening or on the weekends when you are working on your floor? Shoot them an email on Friday night and see if you get a reply before Monday or ever.

 


Related Links:

 

Progressive Epoxy Polymers. Inc - HOME PAGE

 

buy Solvent Free Industrial Floor Epoxy (sample kits or full size) - BUY FLOOR EPOXY

more epoxy floor paint basics - FLOOR EPOXY BASICS

epoxy floor paint links master page - FLOOR LINKS PAGES

 


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TO: info@epoxyproducts.com

Hi, I train spray painters in Queensland Australia the technical aspects of Polyurethane paint. However some people just can’t get the difference of the two major types. Polyester vs Acrylic. I would like to use your excellent discussion paper in my training as an unbiased view and give credit to author Paul Oman and your company. http://www.epoxyproducts.com/lpu.html 

 Regards --Andrew (11/14)

 

 

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Paul Oman - MS. MBA

A.K.A. “Professor E. Poxy”  -- "The Old Goat"  -- "Epoxy Guru"

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