Have you ever been to someone’s home and their garage floor is finished and “fancy”? Have you had garage floor envy? Well, if you’re ready to have that “fancy” garage floor without breaking the bank, then this article is for you!
I’ve had people tell me they’ve received quotes upwards of $2,000 to have their garage floor finished! Yikes! I’m going to tell you how you can do it yourself…YES YOURSELF…and if you’ve ever used a paintbrush and a paint roller, then you (yes, You!) can for under $200!
I know have 3 garage floors under my belt. The first and last, were new construction, so the garage floor was pristine. The 2nd, well, it was bad, stained and smelled to high heaven (old house with pet stains)! I’m going to do my best to break down each piece of this not-so-mysterious, easy DIY project.
Measure Your Garage
First, you’ll need to figure out how big your garage is. Measure the width and depth. Multiply those two numbers and you’ll get your approximate square footage. For a 2-car garage, you’ll have a number around 400-500 sq ft.
I’ve used two different products now. For my first two, I used the Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Kit, which comes in 3 different colors and runs around $117 per kit, which should cover a 2-car garage (450-500 sq ft). The kit includes a floor cleaner, the epoxy paint and decorative flakes.
This last time, realizing we didn’t need the floor cleaner (I’ll talk about that next), we opted to just get Behr’s Self-Priming 1-Part Epoxy Satin Interior/Exterior Concrete and Garage Floor Paint. This comes by the gallon in either a pre-mixed color or you can get the “base” and have it tinted to pretty much whatever color you want. The cost is about $34/gallon and states that it will cover 500 sq ft.
If you’re not getting the kit and you’d like to add the decorative flakes to your floor, you can buy a bag of Rust-Oleum Decorative Color Chips for about $10. One bag is more than enough for a 2-3 car garage.
Other supplies you’ll need will be:
- Painters Kit ($11) OR buy separately…
- Paint Tray ($4)
- Paint Roller ($4)
- 2″ – 3″ paintbrush ($5)
- 3/8″ nap roller ($3)
- Roller extender pole ($7)
- Painters tape ($6)
- Broom and Mop
- Optional: Decorative Chips
PAINT NOTE: I always buy more paint than the instructions on the kit or can state. Better to have it ready if you need it then have to run back to the store. You can always return your unopened/unused paint after.
Cleaning/Prepping the Floor
This should be a no-brainer – but…clean out your garage so nothing is in there except the floor you’re going to paint. Well, except water heaters and things like that.
Now, the instructions will tell you that you need to do an acid wash (etching) of the floor first. The kit I mentioned above even includes it. However, I can tell you that when I’ve used the kit and skipped the acid wash step, I’ve had NO ISSUES. You can read the kit reviews and you’ll see I’m not alone in this.
All you do is sweep and mop the floor really really good. That’s it!
Once your floor is clean and bone dry for at least 24 hrs, using painters tape, tape off areas you don’t want to paint. This could be around the base of the door, the edges around your garage and even the front edge where you want the paint to end at your driveway.
NOTE: If you have oil/grease stains on your floor, I would use the acid wash step. I haven’t dealt with this issue, but I’m guessing that if you don’t do it, the paint won’t adhere. Also, if you have holes/chunks out of your concrete, I’d say you should use a concrete patch/repair kit first too.
Time to Paint!
Pour your paint into your paint tray, get your paintbrush and paint the entire perimeter of your garage (cut-in). This will save you time, headaches and touch-ups later. Take your time on this step and get all those edges to perfection.
Next, attach your 3/8″ nap roller to your roller, then your roller to your extender pole. Working from the closest point of your house out towards your garage door, start rolling paint! Think about how you mop a floor – you have to work your way out, without having to step on the wet floor and mess it up until it dries. Same concept here. So have all your supplies at or right outside the garage door.
Roll the paint on thick (“load” your roller with a good amount of paint) and smooth it out. Work in 3′ x 3′ sections at a time. When one little section is painted (and still wet), sprinkle on some decorative flakes (optional). Then, do another small section, sprinkle flakes, move to the next section, over and over until you’ve worked your way through the entire garage and you’re done!
Don’t worry if you paint over some flakes, just make sure you completely cover and overlap with paint in each section. This paint is very forgiving, so as long as you’ve done a good job spreading the paint evenly, it will look good. The decorative flakes also really disguise any small imperfections too.
How Long It Will Take
I’ve done it by myself in 3-4 hours, but with one other person helping, it took us 1.5 hrs. Not bad!
Once done, please, PLEASE, read the instructions on either the Kit or the Paint you purchased. To walk on it, ranges from 24-48 hrs, to drive on it 72 hrs to 7 days. So follow the instructions provided!