DIY Epoxy Garage Floor Tutorial

Epoxy garage floors are a great DIY project you can do to spruce up your home. Epoxy will make your floors look nice, clean up easily, and give your garage a finished look. Over the years I’ve epoxied about 10 garages for friends and family. All of them have turned out great, and the floors have held up extremely well.

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I chose epoxy over garage floor paint because it is a much more durable and long lasting finish. The key to having a long lasting epoxy garage floor is to properly prep your floors. I am going to relate the prep project to one of my favorite quotes by Abe Lincoln.

If I had 8 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend 7 of them sharpening my axe.”

This quote rings true in the world of epoxy floors. You must spend the time to properly clean and prep your garage. If you do, the end results will be fantastic.

In this post I will show a garage floor I recently did for family. Usually I start with a bare concrete floor, but this particular garage had been painted years ago with epoxy and was needing a facelift. The steps are very similar to that of doing a garage without a coating previously on them. I will show photos from various projects I’ve done so you can get a good idea of what your floor will look like. Let’s go through the basics.

Average cost to do a 2 stall DIY epoxy garage floor using ArmorSeal HS1000 – Between $300-$425

Materials Needed:

Prep:

Broom
Push Squeegee
Concrete Etcher
Power Washer – Borrow from a friend if available – Optional (do not need to use if garage floor is newer or very clean)
Scrub Brush with hole for stand up handle
Concrete Crack Filler – Fill in larger cracks if needed (Available at Home Depot)

Painting

Quality Paint Brush
3/8″ nap roller – 9″, 12″, or larger (your preference)
Paint roller tray
ArmorSeal 1000 HS Epoxy from Sherwin Williams – (Buy at your local store) – Approximately $85/gallon. Need a part A and Part B – 2 coats recommended
Coverage – Approximately 206-350 Square feet per gallon. When mixing part A and B (2 total gallons) you’ll be able to cover between 412 and 700 square feet. I was able to do this garage with 2 coats (850 square feet) using 2 gallons of part A and 2 gallons of part B. Buy less and if you need more you’ll be able to have additional paint mixed up.
* Sherwin William will custom mix your epoxy. I chose to go with a tan/brown color. Our dirt has a lot of clay and iron in it, so the color we picked hides dirt and mud well. Flakes also help. Ask your local representative what they’d recommend. 
Decorative Flakes – Optional
Paint Thinner (to clean brushes)
Painters tape
Paint Respirator Mask

1. Remove everything from your garage floor

The first step is to take everything out of your garage. You’ll need to have the items out of the garage for 48 hours after the second coat is applied. I typically move a few things into the house and other items into the driveway or yard. Cover everything with a tarp in case it rains.

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2. Sweep the Garage

You’ll want to remove dirt and debris from the garage using a shop broom. Use a smaller broom to clean out the corners.

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3. Clean oil spills and remove paint. Etch Concrete

Chances are, you’ll have a fair amount of gunk on your concrete floor. You will need to clean everything as good as you can prior to applying epoxy. Use a rigid bristle scrub brush to clean oil spots. Pour concrete etcher (available at Home Depot) on each oil spot, let soak in, and then scrub. For paint drops, use a razor or orbital sander to get rid of them.

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concrete-etcher-for-epoxy-floors

Another great tool for removing gunk from the floor is called a wet concrete polisher. If you have one, it will make removing paint drops and other gunk a breeze. This is not necessary though.

concrete-polisher-for-epoxy-floors

Here is a photo of a floor I did that had been painted in the past. If you are in this situation, make sure to clean the floor very well. Then, scratch up the surface so the new epoxy will be able to bond to it. For this process, I rented a floor buffing machine and used both the black and green scotch pads.

how-to-prep-old-epoxy-floor-for-new-epoxy

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4. Clean entire floor

Once you’ve focused on cleaning the worst areas, use a hose to get the entire surface wet. Periodically sprinkle the etcher or cleaner/degreaser evenly around the entire area and scrub the whole floor using your brush. Etching the concrete will give the epoxy a better surface to bond to. If you’d prefer, you can also use muriatic acid to etch the concrete. Be very careful with it though. Put a 1 to 10 ratio of muriatic acid to water in a bucket and evenly pour on your floor. (1 part acid, rest water) Make sure to wear a respirator, rubber boots, and rubber gloves.Do not get muriatic acid on your skin. If you’d prefer not to use muriatic acid, you can use a non acidic concrete etcher (found at Home Depot). It will do the job. Once you’ve finished scrubbing, use a push squeegee to remove all the water from your garage.

muriatic-acid-for-cleaning-garage-floor

5. Power Wash

If you have access to a power washer I’d recommend using one. It can help remove stains and other grime. A 3000 PSI pressure washer is ideal, but any pressure washer will be better then none. Borrow a friend or neighbors if you can!

how-to-power-wash-an-epoxy-garage-floor

6. Squeegee and let dry

After you’ve finished scrubbing, etching, and powerwashing, squeegee all the water out of the garage. Let your garage dry out overnight prior to getting started with the epoxy. The garage must be 100% dry.

epoxy-garage-floor-prep-squeegee

Prepped and ready for Paint!

If you are painting over an existing epoxy floor, your prepped floor might look like the photo below. I used a floor buffing machine to scratch and clean the surface as much as possible.

how-to-paint-over-epoxy

7. First coat of epoxy

Finally, onto the exciting transformation. You will need a brush, roller, and epoxy to get started. For all my projects I use a two part solvent based epoxy from Sherwin Williams called HS1000. Solvent based epoxies bond very well and are super durable. I like to start by going around the entire perimeter with a brush to get next to the walls. Simply paint the epoxy on. Once you are finished with the trim, use your roller to get a nice even coat of epoxy on the rest of the floor. Work in small 4×4 sections at a time.

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8. Let the first coat dry overnight. Relax and have a cold one!

pete sveen - how to make a concrete table

9. Apply second coat

The second coat will make the floor look complete. First do the trim, then fill in the remaining areas with the roller. Work in small 4×4 sections. If applying flakes to your finish, sprinkle them on in random patterns right after painting each small section. The flakes will fall into the wet paint which will give your finished floor a terrazzo like finish.

how-to-paint-a-garage-floor-with-epoxyIn the photo below I just started the second coat using the roller. The small section in the back left was painted and then I sprinkled the decorative flakes over it. Work in small sections so you can apply the flakes to the wet surface evenly and without the paint drying.

applying-flakes-to-epoxy-garage-floor

Continue working your way out from the corner you started in. Below is a photo once I was about halfway through the second coat.

second-coat-eposy

how-to-epoxy-a-garage-floor-with-a-rollerTo spread the flakes grab a small handful, throw them in the air, and let the flakes fall on the wet paint.

applying-decorative-flakes-to-epoxy-floor

10. Let second coat dry for a minimum of 48 hours

Let your second coat dry for 48 hours. Once dry, you may move items back in the garage. Allow the paint to fully cure for 5-7 days before driving a vehicle in the garage.

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Second coat of epoxy complete!

I purchased about 3 bottles/bags of decorative flakes from home depot to give the floor a terrazzo like finish.

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Up close look at the decorative flakes

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Finished Epoxy Garage Floor

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Finished DIY epoxy garage floor!

I created this tutorial to show some of the basic steps involved in creating a high end epoxy garage floor finish. Take the time to prep your garage. With proper preparation your floors will look great and will last for many years to come. This will resist oil stains, clean up easily, and look awesome. Good luck and comment below if you have any questions! Cheers – Pete

  • Herculees

    then after you get all that completed,get on line and book a condo at the beach to relax a few days from the hard work..facebook/ panama city beach rentals… over 300 condos available all verified thru the bay county tax assessors office for ownership…

  • CandyAddict

    I’m not a pro but if you are going to do two coats, I would recommend the color as a base coat followed by the flakes and then a clear epoxy coat on top. The flakes are the thickness of several sheets of paper and create a bumpy surface. This surface might be better for traction but it makes it more difficult to sweep your floor clean. The bristles of your broom hit the square flakes and skip over a small amount of dirt on the other side. Also, if flakes fall on top of other flakes, it may only be a single edge (or nothing) that sticks to the epoxy. The second clear coat on top of the flakes ensures the partially adhered flakes are not going anywhere and protects them from wear. It also fills the valleys between the flakes making it less likely dirt/dust will be left behind while sweeping. As a bonus, your creeper will roll around much better on a smoother surface and visually it should look more professional. The flakes are flat (not glossy) so perhaps you might prefer the contrast but I like the even gloss shine that would result from a clear epoxy coat on top.

    • Hi CandyAddict! Great idea. I’ve done floors with the clear epoxy top coat, and I agree it definitely is a nice finish. It did add a descent amount to the cost, but is cool!

  • Domenic Pieragostini

    Hi Pete,
    How did you deal with cracks in the concrete? My garage has a fair size crack. Thanks.

    • DIYPETE

      The epoxy will fill in the cracks, if you have a larger crack than it will take more to fill. Be sure it cures and hardens completely before adding a second coat, though. Cheers!

    • Hi Domenic, for the very small cracks, I simply epoxied over. For larger crack, you’ll want to fill them. You can find crack fillers in the concrete section at your hardware store. Fill the larger cracks. Let the filler cure and then epoxy over it. You may need to sand the filler area if you want a perfectly smooth transition.

    • Herculees

      you can buy a small pail if concrete at your local big box store, add water and make up a small amount of concrete to fill big cracks.

  • Herr Wolf

    I have a 750 sq ft garage. Will I need 2 kits(4 total gallons) or will I need 4 kits(8 total gallons) for 2 coats?

    • Hi Herr! Great question.

      I was able to do this garage with 2 coats (850 square feet) using 2 gallons of part A and 2 gallons of part B. The 1st kit of A&B will probably come close to completing the first coat. You might need to open the 2nd kit to finish the first coat. The first coat will definitely take more paint then the second. So the second coat will be finished with the second kit. This will be a total of 4 gallons used for the entire project. ( 2 gallons of part A and 2 gallons of part B. I had about a 1/4 of part A and Part B left over from my second coat)

  • Rodneil Harris

    Good Morning Pete. Great post. I have a much smaller garage (180 sq ft) and I am in the process of doing the same thing. I went to Sherwin Williams and priced the Armorseal 1000HS Part A and Part B they were about $235 each per gallon. Is there any thing else I can use or you only recommend that? I do not want to use a water based epoxy I want to use solid only on my floor

  • Hugh

    Hi. Are the flakes ok to set into the wet second coat without sealing? Thanks!

    • Hi Hugh! Yes, they are. They dry in the epoxy and stick in pretty well. I like the added texture and the the look. You can use a clear sealer over them, but that adds quite a bit to the cost and I don’t think it is worth it.

  • Jerome Keehn

    Did you use a primer prior to epoxy? Why or why not?

    • Hi Jerome,

      It will depend on the type and brand of epoxy you end up using. Mine did not require a separate primer. But it did require 2 coats.

    • Jerome Keehn

      Thank you for responding. I have two follow up questions. First, did you use a reducer with your first coat? Second, did you use one kit per coat? One kit equals one gallon of part A and one gallon of part B? I have a 400 square foot garage and am trying to figure out how much I need for two kits.

      Thank you, Jerome

      • Hi Jerome! It’s been awhile since I did this project, but I do think I added just a bit of reducer to the first coat. I’d do whatever the brand recommends. I remember the first coat taking quite a bit more than the second. I believe I used a full kit for the first coat and then ended up needing a second kit but only used about half of it. Check out the instructions on the can when you have time, but you can always have one kit mixed up as that will easily cover the first coat for a 400 sq foot area. You’ll most likely need two kits — and will have quite a bit extra. So don’t activate all of it — that way you can use extra epoxy for other projects — like a boiler room concrete floor or closet in a garage.

  • Jared Keller

    I have my first layer down of armorseal 1000 in dark grey, now I’m going to do a clear coat of armorseal 1000. How did you clean your floor before the second coat? Dry sweep, wet mop? Im worried because i walk across it and i can see my dust prints.

    • Hi Jared, I did the second coat and did not have issues with dust. A light sweep would probably be the best option. Otherwise you could use a damp slightly damp mop.

      • Jared Keller

        Got it done, Thanks.

  • ralph dempsey

    how do you know when the oil stains are clean enough? Also, you used a green and a black scratcher pad. What are the differences? How were these used and in what order?

    • Hi Ralph, ideally, you’ll be able to poor water on the area and it will not bead up. If it beads/repels then you still have oil in the surface and the epoxy may flake / fail in the area down the road. Do your best, to scrub/powerwash the bad areas. The differences between the pads are that the black pads are much more aggressive and made more for stripping surfaces. Green pads are made more for cleaning/scrubbing and so are less aggressive. I used the black pad first to get areas that I needed to remove stains or paint from as best as possible and the green afterwards to simple scrub the floor. Hope that helps!

      • ralph dempsey

        You mentioned you worked in 4 x 4 sections. Do I assume you mixed enough part A and Part B to do a 4 x 4 section or did you mix differently? Thx
        ~Ralph

        ~Ralph

        • HI Ralph, I worked in the 4×4 sections but once the area was done moved immediately on to the new section. So I mixed up enough epoxy to do 1 entire coat on the whole garage floor. Let me know if that helps. Thanks! – Pete

  • Very good looking post thanks…………..

    • Thanks!

      • Kirstin Rowan Kelly

        Hi I am curious about the fumes getting to my house. I have young kids and don’t want them to have any health issues as a result. Would you recommend leaving the house while the epoxy is being applied / dries? I have a contractor applying it for me

        • DIYPETE

          Kristin, that is a very good question! There are a decent amount of fumes associated with epoxy or any finishes really. To be safe and for the safety of your kids, you should consider leaving or setting up an exhaust fan. There are other types of less-toxic, lower VOC products you could look for too. Best of luck!

          • Kirstin Rowan Kelly

            How many days would you recommend leaving for

            • Kirstin Rowan Kelly

              Are the fumes better or worse than oil based polyurethanes for wood floors?

            • DIYPETE

              Kristin, it might be best to consult your contractor regarding this and ask them if they can use a Zero VOC product. That way you wouldn’t need to leave or worry. Best of luck!