Can You Paint Over Garage Floor Epoxy?


Most homeowners prefer an epoxy paint for their garage floor because of its durable and scratch-resistant appearance. However, like most flooring materials, an epoxy paint doesn’t last forever. So how do you paint over your epoxy garage floor?

You can paint over garage floor epoxy as it is one way to restore the shine of the surface when the wear and tear start to show. For the process to work, however, you need to prepare the floor properly so that the paint will adhere.

The process of painting over a garage floor epoxy is an elaborate one that requires sticking to recommended best practices. The rest of the article will cover all you need to know to ensure you get the results you are looking for.

When Is It OK to Paint Over a Garage Floor Epoxy?

After a few years, your garage floor epoxy’s topcoat will probably begin to show its age. Once that happens, its a good time to give it a fresh coat of paint to get the floor looking brand new again.

Since epoxy floor paint comes in a lot of different colors, you may be looking to give the floor a new paint to match the remodeling done in other parts of the home. If you’d like to see all of the amazing colors that you can get garage floor paint in, check out my article where I show every paint color from all the major manufacturers.

Applying a paint that’s compatible with your existing epoxy floor is a great way to get the results you’re looking for.

If you’re not sure about what types of paints would work with your garage floor, talk to the paint manufacturer first. A good rule of thumb is if your existing garage floor epoxy contains a two-part resin like polyurethane, polyurea, polyaspartic, you should be able to complete the painting without any issues.

If you’re unsure what the difference between a polyurethane and polyurea paint is, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. You can check out my article explaining the differences here.

When Should You NOT Paint Over Garage Floor Epoxy?

If your garage floor epoxy is peeling or showing signs of delamination, you should avoid painting over it.

Delamination is when a painted surface starts breaking down and cracking into specific layers. If you’ve ever been able to pull flakes of paint off and see the different layers underneath, then you’ve seen delamination at work.

Unfortunately, the underlying causes of delamination mean that painting over the floor will only lead to deeper problems.

If this describes your floor, you’ll need more than just a fresh coat of paint. Definitely talk to a professional. In many cases, delamination can only be remedied by completely removing the old epoxy flooring by grinding the floor.

How to Paint Over Your Garage Floor Epoxy

To paint over garage floor epoxy properly, here are the basic steps you need to take.

Repair Holes and Chips

The first thing you should do is to repair and holes, chips or cracks that you have on the surface.

Not only will this ensure you get a smooth, clean finish, but this will also reduce the risk of the paint chipping off around the holes,. That can lead to additional damage down the road.  

To complete the repair, use an epoxy patching compound like MAX TPC or patching mortar.

An epoxy patching compound is the faster. You’ll wait for a few days for the surface to dry. Patching mortar on the other hand, can take up to two months for proper curing.

Clean the Floor

Don’t skimp on this step!

If you want the best results, you need to use grease-cutting detergent and some warm water before you get started. A general purpose cleaner like Simple Green would work if you’re meticulous about cleaning your garage floor.

If you have tough oil stains, paint or other greasy deposits spread out on the floor, you’re going to need something stronger. A mop or rag won’t remove the grease, so consider using a scrub brush first before mopping up later.

I ran a test on my own garage to find which concrete cleaners worked the best. The stains on my floor had been there for years, but I found a couple of concrete cleaners that were absolutely amazing!

Sand the Floor

One of the most important things you need to do before painting over your garage floor epoxy is to make the floor coarse enough for the paint to stick. This can be done in one of two ways:

Using a 120-Grit Sandpaper

This type of sandpaper will help you to easily rough up the surface. An orbital sander or a pole sander like the WEN 6369 Variable Speed can also achieve the same results.

At the end of the sanding process, the surface won’t look glossy. Instead it’ll have fine scratch marks, which is exactly what you want.

Sweep up the residue and then vacuum the floor with a shop vacuum.

After that, wipe the surface with a towel dipped in denatured alcohol. This will ensure no fine dust particles are left behind. The alcohol will also evaporate quickly, cutting down the length of time you have to wait for the clean surface to dry.

Using a Floor Buffer With a 100-Grit Sanding Screen

Your local home improvement center will most likely have one of these for rent. You’ll also be able to buy sanding screens from them.

If you can get access to a floor buffer, it’ll make this process go so much faster.

While using the floor buffer, don’t forget to check your sanding screen for wear and tear, and also to ensure it hasn’t clogged up.

Once you’ve completed the sanding, clean the floor using denatured alcohol, as you’ve seen above.

If there are any areas where the floor buffer can’t reach, use 80-grit sandpaper to get to work on them.

Mix Your Hardener and Epoxy Paint

This part of the process will depend on the manufacturer of the paint product you’re using.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

No, really.

Many garage floor paints have special mixing instructions to get them to work. Some will harden faster or slower than others. Don’t assume that you know what to do.

Important note: Mix what you really need for the section of floor you’re working on.

Finally, take good measurements of your garage before you buy the paint. Nothing is worse than buying too much or not enough paint to finish the project.

Paint the Surface

When it is time to paint, start by using a paintbrush to apply paint to the edges of the garage floor. This is going to be the most time consuming part.

Once you have that finished, you can use a paint roller on the middle of the floor. This helps get a quicker application and cover more surface area.

Allow the surface to dry for at least 24 hours.

Depending on the manufacturer, you might need a second, or even third coat to complete the process. Oh, and don’t expect to park your car in the garage for at least several days.

Pro Tips

  • Don’t paint over cracked or peeled garage floor epoxy. This is because the new paint won’t stick. If you have peeled finish on the floor, remove it completely before painting over the floor.
  • Use non-skid granules in the mix to avoid slipping. Painted epoxy floors can be slippery. If you want to reduce the chances of a slip and fall occurring in your garage, using some non-skid granules and epoxy texture on the paint is a good idea.
  • Work quickly. Once you have mixed the hardener and epoxy paint, you won’t have a lot of time before the mixture cakes and becomes harder to apply on the surface.
  • Talk to a professional. Is your garage floor epoxy too damaged? Are you unsure of what paint to use? Get advice from an expert to prevent wasting your time and resources. If you don’t want to undertake the project on your own, you can also outsource the job to them to ensure it is done perfectly.

Conclusion

Painting over your garage floor epoxy is a great way to freshen up your old paint or to get a new look entirely.

To do it successfully, you first need to ensure that the floor is in good condition and then choose the right paint. There are several different types of paint and they can look very similar to each other. If you want more information on what the different types of garage floor paint are, I have an article that should help clear that up.

If you’ve already made the decision to repaint your epoxy garage floor, then the next thing is to choose what color you want. Earlier I mentioned that I have a super-detailed article that shows all of the possible paint colors for each major manufacturer. It’ll help you get some ideas on how to transform your garage.

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