How to Paint Your Garage Floor | Easy DIY Tutorial
If you’re a DIY-er like me or you spend much time in your garage, you may feel like it’s one space in your home that’s just missing… something. After seeing photos of a beautiful garage with epoxy flooring I started to wonder why my garage couldn’t look good too! Then I realized it could, and it was a DIY project I could do all by myself! So today I’m sharing how to paint your garage floor with this easy DIY tutorial (plus a few tips on what NOT to do!).
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Why You Should Epoxy Your Garage Floor
When I first decided to paint/epoxy my garage floor, it was because I wanted it to be pretty. To me, that’s a good enough reason to do almost anything! However, a pretty garage floor isn’t the only reason you should coat with epoxy.
Garage floor paint with an epoxy coating can help protect your floor against stains and abrasions. Concrete surfaces are very porous and can easily be stained by spills. With an epoxy floor coating, many spills and messes are even easier to clean!
(Even if you drip a little latex paint while painting your walls later – it’s super easy to just wipe up!)
Similarly, painting your concrete garage floor (or basement floors) can also easily cover any existing stains or imperfections. Those unsightly dark marks and small cracks are quickly covered by a beautiful color and decorative flakes!
If you plan to live in your home forever, you deserve to have a space that you truly love. That includes your garage! And if your home is only temporary, painting your garage floor is an easy and fairly inexpensive way to add interest and appeal for potential buyers in the future.
Disadvantages of Epoxy Flooring
Although there are plenty of advantages of painting your garage floor, there are a few things to consider:
- The paint/epoxy mixture has a strong smell while it’s being applied. You’ll want to make sure you are able to get plenty of ventilation while you work.
- You have to do a lot of prep work before applying the paint. It’s not as simple as painting a wall. (See my explanation below for the full process.) If you aren’t committed to doing a lot of work to get the concrete slab ready, you won’t get good results. Hard work pays off!
- It can take a good 48-72 hours to fully dry, depending on temperature and humidity. You’ll want to be sure you can stay out of your garage for the full dry time until the floor finishes curing to avoid damaging the finish.
- Like any smooth surface, a smooth epoxy flooring can be slippery when it gets wet, but that has a simple solution – just apply decorative flakes to the wet epoxy for a more non-slip finish!
Even with these disadvantages (or more like what I’d consider “need to know before you have a whoops moment”), painting my garage floor was totally worth it!
Our Garage – Before
Y’all, I didn’t even know how bad our garage looked before. Only now that I’m comparing photos of before and after painting our garage floor do I see how different it is!
This is a little embarrassing, but here is our garage before. Eep.
Our 2-car garage floor had become a catch-all area for too much stuff.
So gross. And while I hadn’t actually cleaned the garage floor (we’ve only lived here a year), I definitely have swept it out multiple times!
Anyway – before pictures may be gross but they show just how much of a change you can make! So let’s move on to the cleaning, etching, and painting the garage floor so you can see the end result!
How to Paint and Epoxy a Garage Floor
- Daich Coatings DAIHARD 100 (includes concrete floor paint, epoxy, cleaner, decorative color flakes, gloves, and a wooden stirring stick)
- deck brush with stiff bristles
- extension pole
- paint roller tool
- foam paint roller for smooth surfaces
- paint tray and plastic paint tray liner
- safety goggles and safety boots/waterproof boots
- (highly recommended) pressure washer
- (optional) paint brush
- (optional but HIGHLY recommended) electric drill and paint mixing attachment
Preparing the Garage Floor for Painting
One of the most important parts of painting your garage floor is the prep work. If you don’t prepare the surface well, the paint will not adhere properly and you will not have a beautiful, lasting finish.
After you remove everything from the entire area, it’s time to clean the floor. I swept most of the leaves and random bits of trash up, then used the leaf blower to remove the rest of the dust and spiderwebs.
Then I used a cleaner/degreaser to get as much of the dirt, oil leaks, and grime cleaned out of the pores of the concrete as possible. Oil stains will keep the concrete coating from adhering to the bare concrete floor, so it’s a good idea to really scrub those spots well.
I mixed the cleaner with water as directed and scrubbed it into the floor with the deck brush that I attached to my extension pole.
Using a pressure washer, I rinsed the cleaner away and then let the floor dry before moving on to the etching.
(We actually upgraded to a high quality gas-powered pressure washer with this project. It was able to get the floor much cleaner than an electric power washer!)
With both the cleaning and the etching, I made sure to wear safety goggles to protect my eyes. I also wore rubber boots because it was really wet and I didn’t want to risk getting any chemicals on my tennis shoes.
I’d rather be extra safe than sorry!
Here’s how the floor looked after cleaning. Not bad! Next up was etching the concrete to prep for the paint.
Etching the Garage Floor
Etching helps to open up the concrete so it’s not so smooth, which allows the paint to attach when you apply it. Included in DAIHARD 100 kit is a bag of citric acid powder which is used to create an etching solution (and it’s a better option than muriatic acid).
After mixing the etching solution, I poured it onto the garage floor and got back to work.
I used my deck brush again to really work the etching solution into the concrete, then used my power washer to slowly go over the entire floor to make sure all the cleaner and any other debris was removed.
Here’s how the floor looked after the etching was complete. You need to wait until the floor is completely dry before applying the paint – and in hot, humid Georgia, that means waiting a few days. But once paint day comes, the fun really starts!
Painting the Garage Floor with DAIHARD 100
The DAIHARD 100 kit from Daich Coatings comes with two buckets – one with paint and one with epoxy. These two liquids are mixed together to form the beautiful epoxy concrete floor coating that you apply to your floor.
**SUPER IMPORTANT TIP** The paint and epoxy MUST be mixed together completely, or the coating will not dry correctly! (Don’t ask me how I know.)
For this reason, I strongly recommend using a power drill with a paint stirring attachment. Nothing fancy, just a tool that will help you mix the solution for 3 minutes so you will get the best results.
You’ll first stir the bucket of paint for about 30 seconds, then carefully pour the container of epoxy into the paint. Use your drill and paint stirring attachment to mix them together for 3 full minutes.
Carefully scrape against the side of the can to get all of the liquids mixed completely.
The paint/epoxy mixture is only usable for about 60 minutes, so make sure you’re ready to work quickly to get it done.
Put your plastic paint tray liner in your paint tray, then pour the epoxy mixture into the tray. With your paint roller attached to the extension pole, roll your smooth roller into the tray and apply a single coat of the epoxy to the floor.
As you apply the paint to your garage floor, try to work in smooth motions to get the paint applied in a thin coat. You want to avoid or at least minimize the need to reapply over the same area, to avoid any bubbles in the paint.
I don’t have any great pics of me actually applying the paint, but here’s a video I made of the process:
For areas close to the wall, you may want to use a paint brush to keep the roller from getting paint on your baseboards. I only used the paint brush in some areas, as I planned to repaint my baseboards anyway.
Once you have a section of the garage floor complete (about 4-5 feet deep across one quadrant), sprinkle the decorative flakes onto the wet epoxy. The flakes are like little paint chips that of different colors that will sink into the surface just enough to create a beautiful design as they stick and dry!
Don’t worry about getting the flakes too even – and I recommend using more than you think you’ll want!
I started painting in the far corner of my garage and worked my way out, then went back in to the other corner and worked toward the outside again. Whatever you do, don’t paint yourself into a corner!
Also, don’t leave your phone sitting on a storage rack in the garage and forget about it. That definitely wasn’t something I did… I’m just making sure you guys don’t have to walk on a wet epoxy floor and have to paint back over your footsteps.
One coat is all you need for this project – no need for a second coat over the decorative flakes.
After about 12 hours, the floor will be dry to the touch. I avoided any foot traffic for about 24 hours, and then gave it another 48 hours before driving my car inside.
It’s super humid in Georgia in August/September, so I wasn’t sure how that would affect cure times – and I was a little cautious just to make sure the floor was fully dry!
And that’s it! Enjoy your beautiful painted garage floor with its durable finish! After seeing how gorgeous my floor was, I made a spontaneous decision to paint my walls too. Now I can REALLY enjoy my pretty garage!
If you decide to do this project and add an epoxy garage floor coating to your home, let me know how it goes! Send me an email or a DM on social media with any questions or pics of your garage!
Painting Garage Floor FAQs
How much epoxy do I need?
The DAIHARD 100 kit covers up to 250 square feet. If you need additional coverage for more square footage, you may need to use 2 kits. Only one coating of this type of epoxy is needed.
How much does it cost to paint a garage floor?
The DAIHARD 100 kit currently costs $124.95. Daich Coatings advertises free shipping on all orders.
What is the best paint and epoxy for garage floors?
Our vote goes to DAIHARD 100 Industrial Strength Garage Floor Epoxy Kit. The application is easy and the results look amazing, with no additional top coat needed!
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I completed this task last week and I am ready to move shelves back in the space. My concern is that the some of the flakes are coming off and when you walk across the area there is a lot of “crackling” underfoot. Is this normal? I was thinking that maybe the flooring should be coated with a sealer of some kind to prevent the flakes from moving? If I spill paint on the floor will it still clean up easily and leave no trace of the spill? The paint store I go to said nothing else needs to be applied but I saw a friends garage the other day and it appeared to have a top coat over the flakes. He hired someone to do the job and has no idea how he did it.
Hi Deby! Hmm, I didn’t have any crackling issues so I’m not sure what that is. As for the flakes, there were maybe a few that came loose, but most of them stuck just from settling into the wet epoxy. I definitely did not put a top coat on my floor and the flakes are still holding strong almost a year later. You actually gave me an idea – I’ll try to add in a one-year update to show how it looks now (I just need to clean out some clutter first haha!).