Work­ing with epoxy paint

I’d like to paint my pa­tio and garage with coarse epoxy paint; how should I go about it?

Home Paint It - - ADVICE -

Hein­rich Eh­lers of Sans­bury Un­par­al­leled Ren­o­va­tions replies

Epoxy is a tough, long-last­ing coat­ing that you paint onto con­crete. It re­sists grease, oil and other sub­stances that would ruin or­di­nary paint. It also cleans eas­ily and can be found in a va­ri­ety of colours. But not all con­crete floors will ac­com­mo­date a coat­ing and prepar­ing con­crete can be labour-in­ten­sive.

Re­mem­ber that suc­cess lies in the prep work. Spend the first day re­mov­ing oil spots, clean­ing and de­greas­ing the floor, etch­ing it with a mild acid as well as scrub­bing, vac­u­um­ing and rins­ing. On day two, fill any cracks and ap­ply the first coat of epoxy fol­lowed by a sec­ond coat on day three. It’s a good idea to rent a walk-be­hind power floor-scrub­ber with a stiff brush at­tach­ment from a tool hire shop such as Sales Hire ( Brushes work bet­ter than scrub­bing pads on con­crete, but buy two pads if a brush isn’t avail­able. Also, rent a wet vac­uum if you don’t have one.

Be­fore you even con­sider epoxy paint for your floor, test to de­ter­mine if damp is ris­ing through the con­crete. Check for mois­ture by ad­her­ing a piece of plas­tic (about 1 x 1m) with Duct Tape or pack­ag­ing tape to the ce­ment floor and leav­ing it overnight. If there is con­den­sa­tion on the plas­tic the fol­low­ing morn­ing, the floor is still damp. If mois­ture is ev­i­dent, your floor isn’t suit­able. Also, forgo the project if a con­crete sealant was pre­vi­ously used (you’ll know be­cause wa­ter beads up when ap­plied to the sur­face).

If you’re deal­ing with a new slab, you must wait at least 28 days, prefer­ably two months, for the floor to cure and dry thor­oughly be­fore ap­ply­ing a garage floor coat­ing. If you are deal­ing with a pre­vi­ously painted floor, it’s best to re­move the paint, es­pe­cially when ap­ply­ing a solvent-based epoxy that could soften any leftover paint. Then make sure the weather is set to play along. The tem­per­a­ture of the con­crete must be a min­i­mum of 12°C with an air tem­per­a­ture be­tween 20–30°C for op­ti­mal cur­ing/dry­ing. >>

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