Concrete Paint – What to look out for

Concrete Paint

Concrete paint is incredibly versatile! Few products are able to improve and transform the appearance of your garage floor as cost effectively as a suitable garage floor paint.  While many homes have tired, ugly garage floors, choosing a floor paint that compliments your home and is of a high quality can transform a very ordinary space into part of your home to be really proud of!

Concrete paint options

Latex acrylic concrete paint

Concrete paint is available in two different formulas. The cheapest (and lowest quality) is traditional latex acrylic concrete paint. This basic paint is fairly easy to paint on following appropriate floor painting preparation. A number of colours are available, but importantly, the durability of latex acrylic concrete paint is lower than that of epoxy garage floor paint and floors on which this paint are used are more likely to suffer from hot tyre pickup. It should also be noted that painting in this less durable product will make it more difficult to apply the higher quality epoxy floor paints without proper preparation.

Epoxy Garage Floor Paint

1-Part Epoxy Floor Paint has become an increasingly popular standard product for painting garage floors. Whilst it is slightly more expensive than latex acrylic concrete paint it has epoxy resin added to the mix which significantly improves the durability over a standard paint. In harsh environments like a garage floor, this means that the integrity of the floor surface is maintained far longer than with the inferior product. 1-Part Epoxy Floor Paint is also just as easy to apply as traditional latex acrylic concrete paint and is available in a great variety of colours.

In addition, if it is your aesthetic preference, you can add in coloured acrylic paint chips which can be embedded onto the surface of the painted floor after it’s initial application to create a great design statement.  People who live in wet or snowy areas find additional benefits available from these products as you can use a anti-slip floor paint. Regal Antislip Quick Dry Concrete Floor Paint is a single pack quick drying floor coating. It provides very good durability and impact resistance. This paint provides a surface resistant to solvent, salt and water damage. Its anti-slip properties are enhanced due to fine flat-aggregated finish. These paint are suitable for both heavy duty commercial and industrial areas.

Two-part epoxy paint kits are another variation of this formula.  The most expensive of these choices, these kits technically are not paint but are worth mentioning here because of their relatively low cost and tougher finish.

Properties of Concrete Floor Paint compared

People sometimes choose the cheapest and easiest option without considering the lifespan and usage of the painted concrete floor. The traditional latex acrylic paint provides a garage floor with a moderate amount of protection, with some choice of colours. It it is mould and mildew resistant, provides water resistance, and allows for easy cleaning of the garage floor.  It is somewhat resistant to most oils and fuels that may leak from vehicles providing they are cleaned up quickly. This having been said, it is really important to check and quickly clear up spillages as fluids such as anti-freeze and oil can rapidly stain this type of paint, while petrol and brake fluid can cause this type of concrete paint to simply wrinkle and peel away.

When considering the lifespan of the concrete floor you wish to paint, 1-part epoxy paints have become a more popular option. This epoxy resin based paint shares many of the advantageous elements of acrylic latex, being both water resistant, mould and mildew resistant, providing protection from dust and being easy to clean.  This type of garage floor paint is also much more resistant to most automobile fluids including petrol, diesel and brake fluid. Even so,  it is still good practise to clean up fluids quickly since most epoxy paints will not stand up to them for long periods.

The cost of 1-Part epoxy paint is typically a third more than for the latex acrylic product, however it typically lasts twice as long! As a result of the epoxy additive, it is much more durable concrete paint and creates a far better bond to the concrete floor than latex acrylic.  This means that it is much more resistant to chipping and heavy traffic.

2-Part epoxy concrete paint is superior to the 1-part variant. To be pedantic, these products are technically are not paint; they are a 2-part epoxy product that is usually marketed as paint.  This is due to the lower percentage of solids content compered to commercial epoxy by volume.2-Part epoxy systems are easy to apply and provide a thin coat like paint does.  If you have the available budget, you will get the best protection from 2-Part epoxy paint compared to a 1-Part epoxy paint.


Whatever concrete paint you choose, don’t skip preparation!

One thing to remember when planning for your project is that regardless of the type of concrete paint you end up using, the foundation of a great looking floor begins with correct preparation of the floor prior to painting. Concrete is usually very porous, absorbs oils, dirt, and other contaminants and if it has been used for some time, it will need some preparation work to be done so that  the paint will adhere properly. Simply hosing down the garage floor or cleaning with a household detergent will not be sufficient.