Epoxy floor paint tips and tricks that can save time and money
Over the past 40 years of installing epoxy
and urethane floor seals and coatings on Fortune 500 company concrete floors, as
well as basements, garages, and decks, a few tricks have been learned. These
tricks can help you avoid making mistakes that can limit the life of your floors
and require re-coating or repair.
First some basic rules:
Do no harm.
The value is the cost divided by the years of service.
Let the chemicals and equipment do the work.
What can go wrong, will go wrong.
Technique is what separates mortals from Rembrants.
An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Now lets get started with tips to think of
while you do your job.
1. Plan the job. Save trips to the
store and costly delays by getting everything you need ready before the job
starts. One quick step would be to go to a website like
www.concrete-floor-coatings.com/costanalysis.aspx for a free cost
analysis which will list everything you need to do your job including
2. Stick your coating to something that is
not going to move. Remember that a floor that has 3,000 lb. or more going
over it every day needs much better adhesion than a wall that may get brushed by
an elbow occasionally. Stick your coating to something that is not going to
3. The better the tools the less work you
have to do. Renting power scrubbers, walk-behind vacuums, double-bladed
squeegees, and long-handled scrapers are all multipliers that reduce your work and
increase your performance. You can do without lots of fancy tools but you could
end up stopping your project earlier than you should because its just too much work.
4. Some things must be abraded off.
Gum, adhesive, asphalt, some paints, concrete splatters, silicone sprays from
Rain X or tire shine are just some of the things that you may need to scrape or
grind off by hand when doing a floor job.
5. Take a break. I always take a break
after floor preparation to let the floor dry. Putting down a coating can be
smooth and uniform or splotchy with misses. A little rest before the artistic
part of the job will up the quality of your application process.
6. Mix 200 strokes. Two-part flooring
products can cause a click when you first walk over them. That clicking often
means that the two-parts were not mixed well. Clicking is sucking dust off your
feet and could cause both lifting and discoloration problems down the road. Yes,
the floor will usually stop clicking and harden but that may not be coming from a
strong chemical change but from aging. Mixing is not a science, but you must be
able to count to 200.
7. Easy work makes for a better job.
Tape your cutting brush to a broom handle, use a wheeled bucket for 18-in
rollers and several pails if using 9-in. rollers, and wear a mask if using
solvent-based products. Save your back, and let yourself move quickly. Moving
fast is more fun but it also sets a rhythm, which keeps a repetitive job
interesting enough to maintain focus.
8. No one is perfect. I do floors, lots
of floors, and still have misses, marks, and errors. I just can't rely on myself
to be perfect all the time. That's why two coats are always planned.
9. Don't worry about tricks of gravity.
As you put your first coat down you will find things, bugs, sand, water, lint,
etc. What was in the air will eventually be on the floor. Remember this is a
two-coat process. Yes, remove what you can as you go but those small bits of
debris may be easier to remove when you screen between coats and sweep before
your second coat.
10. A rag may not save you. The strong
two-part coatings you are applying are not the water-based latexes that wipe
easily off with a rag, or a little water. If you get the coating on something you
did not want to coat, it may be less harmful to leave it than to smear it all over
the place. You may be better off chipping it off once it dries a little, or
coating over it with paint that matches what you got it on.
11. Technique, technique, technique.
This is an application pattern I like to teach and can serve you very well.
your roller and remove it quickly before it fills with liquid. Apply a quick wet
line 3 or 4 ft. back from where you had stopped coating. Now fill in the area
between that wet line and your previous rolled area. As you overlap the new wet
part, you're re-moistening your roller and as you over lap the previous area your
roller is again moistened. When you get to the end roll back over the same area a
second time. This re rolling will spread any lines that may have come off of
your roller edges as you move across the floor.
12. Push the roller on, not off. I
always flip my roller so that I move towards the open end. This little step
pushes the roller onto the frame not off. Each time the roller moves on the
frame you have the danger of opening a gap at the end that fills the roller with
coating as you dip. Soon you are getting lines as the liquid drips out of the
ends of the roller. And soon the roller is sliding back and forth on your frame
because the interior is now very slippery.
13. Don't hit the roller. If your
roller cover starts to slide off the frame don't tap the roller tap the frame.
If you tap the roller you often get dents in the roller that show up as marks as
you roll. If you tap the frame end of the roller, it will slide on without
changing its shape.
14. There is dirt in that pail. I
can't say how often I have compromised the quality of a job by pouring my last
amount of coating out of the pail onto the floor as I exit. The problem is every
piece of sand, lint, or bug that had stuck to the roller is resting at the
bottom of my pail. Right where I want the floor to look its best (at the
entrance/exit), I have poured out all my debris on the floor so that I can use
that last 3-oz.of coating. Don't do it! You will be sorry.
Return to How-to main page.
Well it is hard to recap 40 years of coating experience in just a few tips, but
the above will have to do for a start. These two-part flow
coated floors are the future. By following the rules, we can make
the jobs turn out with the looks we all want.
For more information, contact Chris Biesanz at
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488
(C) Durall Manufacturing. All rights reserved.