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Steps to success with epoxy flooring

For their 1630' shop, Mike and Marta Clark wanted the benefits of a low-maintenance epoxy floor, including easy sweep-up of wood chips and dust. To ensure top-quality results, they followed the directions from EPOXYShield, a two-part Rust-Oleum coating formulated for garage floors, and learned a few things along the way. Follow along as they take you through the process.

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  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    To make sure their concrete floor was well-prepared, a firefighter and his wife invested two afternoons in a thorough prep before opening the gallon cans of epoxy.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    After sweeping the floor thoroughly, Mike mists the concrete with water. (A damp surface slows the etch in the next step from sucking into the concrete too quickly.)

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    Marta sprinkles an 8x10' section with a citric etch. The chemical action between the etch and alkaline in the concrete opens pores (imagine a slightly pitted surface), which allows the epoxy to adhere.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    After allowing the etch to work on the concrete for 2 minutes, Marta scrubs the floor with a stiff-bristle 18"-wide broom. Unlike muriatic acid, citric etch is safe to plants and doesn't release fumes.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    Mike rinses the etch from the floor while Marta pushes the water to the open garage door with a soft-bristle broom.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    To speed drying of the floor, Mike draws up water from the saw cuts and corners of the room using a wet/dry vacuum .

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    To cover chips and imperfections, Mike levels EPOXYShield Concrete Patch and Repair with a 4"-wide putty knife.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    To check that the concrete is dry enough to apply epoxy, Marta tapes a 2x4' plastic sheet to the floor and waits for 24 hours.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    A good sign: No moisture droplets beneath the plastic! That means the concrete is dry enough to apply the epoxy.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    Mike adheres 2"-wide tape to the wall that will protect the paneling from roller splatter.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    Mike burnishes (rubs down) the tape with a putty knife. This prevents the epoxy from creeping beneath the tape.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    With a paint paddle mounted in his drill/driver, Mike thoroughly mixes the epoxy Parts A and B for 5 minutes.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    Before picking up his roller, Mike cuts in (brushes) the corners and edges of the floor with a 2"-wide brush.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    Mike rolls out the first 4x8' section with a 1/2"-nap roller cover.

  • Steps to success with epoxy flooring

    While the epoxy is still wet, Marta sprinkles color flecks on the floor.

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