Weekends are always busy for us. Sometimes it’s projects, sometimes it’s racing (drag racing) and sometimes it’s adventure. And some weekends are more fun that others. Last weekend, we headed out for a sponsored trip to Michigan’s Adventure/WildWater Adventure in Muskegon, MI (more on that later this week) and this weekend we’re stuck around the house doing some things for our day jobs. We have a road trip to NC coming up in a few weeks, and then I’m really hoping for a lazy Saturday to mill around in yoga pants and watch TV in my bed. We really haven’t stopped “going” since we moved into our new house at the end of May.
After we closed on the house (but before we moved in), the other half started talking about epoxy coating the garage floor. In my mind, we were having someone do this for us. In his mind, I was crazy if I thought we were paying for someone to do this. DIY here we come! We hit up our local home improvement store to see our options, look at colors, etc. There are tons of options, and after some online research, we chose a dual color kit that was supposed to give a high-shine, marbled finish.
Between the instructions and the feedback we read online, we both knew that prepping the floor correctly was super important. The epoxy brands sell their own prep kits, but with both of us having construction backgrounds, we went straight for the muriatic acid. Because we used an acid, making sure we thoroughly rinsed and neutralized the concrete was important. We scrubbed and rinsed scrubbed and rinsed. Prepping and drying was pretty much an all day process.
You cannot prepare the epoxy in advance, so before you start mixing, make sure you have everything ready to start application. And I mean everything. Once you break the seal on the epoxy pouches, you’ve got about 45 minutes max to work with the material. This includes the time you spend mixing the pigments. For our application, we had two different pigments, so each batch had to be split and mixed into two separate colors. The is a very specific rolling technique that has to be used to get the marbled effect. We didn’t exactly follow the directions to start and ended up with a light brown and had to redo our first section.
We took turns rolling the floor and cutting in around the edges. Cutting in the edges was the hardest part, mostly because you were trying to keep the marbled effect going but were trying to do it by hand with a brush. We also coated the exposed concrete foundation block. We eventually plan to finish the drywall and install trim to really finish out the garage.
It took us about half the day to roll out our three car garage. We took short breaks between each pack of epoxy, mostly because we knew we wouldn’t e taking breaks during the limited working time we had with each pack. Thankfully, it wasn’t very hot out and we got pretty close to 45 minutes to work with each pack. If it had been hotter, the epoxy would’ve set up quicker, reducing our working time.
Once we finished rolling out the floor, we let it cure for almost 2 days before putting anything on it. That was a little longer than what the instructions called for, but after all the work we put into the floor, we wanted to be extra sure it was good to go. In the end, we really do like the marbled pattern and LOVE the high-gloss finish, but the chip style finish would’ve been a lot less work. The garage floor is super easy to clean now and I feel like we drag less debris into the house than we used to from our old garage.
The one caveat to the epoxy coated floor – it is SUPER slick when it gets wet. The kids were playing in the driveway with the water hose and my daughter ran into the garage with wet feet and immediately fell. She was fine, but we have all been more conscious of the floor and water since that. If I had it to do over again, I’d go with a solid or a chip finish rather than the marble (just for the ease of application) but I would absolutely recommend epoxy coating your garage floor to anyone. And it is a project you and your other half can do without killing each other. After all, we did it and we’re both still standing.