Painting concrete that is not completely dry
So what happens if you paint concrete which is not completely dry?
Even though you may think that the concrete is bone dry, there may still be moisture in the substrate which needs to evaporate.
Should you mistakenly paint over still-damp concrete, you may find that the paint starts to delaminate. This happens because as the moisture rises during evaporation, it becomes trapped underneath the layer of paint. The moisture has no means of escape and so it literally pushes the paint from the surface.
To avoid this, please always check the moisture level of your concrete. Please see our blog on how to do this.
Painting a power-floated floor that is not properly prepared
A power-floated floor has a very smooth surface. It is the smoothness that prevents the floor sealer from penetrating and locking with or bonding with the surface. The floor sealer will merely sit on the surface of an unprepared power-floated floor. Then, after a topcoat floor paint is applied, no matter if you buy a cheap or expensive product, with time the sealer and topcoat will peel from the floor. This is known as delamination.
Power-floated floors are expensive and, generally, people who have spent a lot of money on an amazing floor want an equally excellent finish from the paint.
It is absolutely paramount that if you have a power-floated floor you properly prepare it by means of mechanical abrasion or chemical abrasion. The method chosen will depend on how smooth the surface is.
Abrading the floor creates a certain level of roughness on the surface of the smooth concrete. These tiny undulations give the sealer coat something to key into and therefore increases the likelihood of a bond between substrate and coating, reducing the chance of delamination.
We always recommend the use of a sealer coat on any bare concrete floor as the sealer acts as the glue between substrate and topcoat.
For more information, please see our blog on painting a power-floated floor.
Painting a poorly prepared floor
There are many phrases out there but to coin one: you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Similarly, you can't create a showroom-finish floor by buying some paint and just slapping it on the floor. It is imperative that you prepare the surface prior to painting. Moisture, dust, dirt and stains, poor quality concrete, air holes in the concrete, too smooth-a-finish etc can all cause issues with paint when it is applied. Similarly you can't use paint to smooth out a floor by putting it down thicker on bumpy parts of the floor - you will create pools of paint which will surface dry and stay soft underneath as the solvent becomes trapped under the cured top skin.
If you are unsure about floor preparation, please have a look at our blogs or contact us and we are here to help.
Painting an external floor
Our products are manufactured for commercial and industrial use, usually inside factories, garages etc. Our paints have not been tested for use on an external floor, however we do know that many of our customers use it for this purpose. We always try to explain that with any paints on an external floor, there is a risk that water, e.g. if it rains, may become trapped under the paint as it tries to evaporate and so may lift it. This is always a risk, however many customer are happy to try and have some great results.
Applying the paint too thickly
Our paint is manufactured with a high opacity. This means that there is a good coverage and you don't get the 'see through' effect of some paints you may have bought elsewhere. You don't need to apply the paint thickly to give good coverage.
Thickly applied floor paints are likely to take a lot longer to dry. This is especially true when the weather is hot; in hot weather, thickly applied paint will cure on the surface quite quickly as the solvent evaporates and the paint cures at an accelerated rate. However, what happens to the paint below the surface? The solvent which is trying to escape has nowhere to go as it has to battle its way through the hardened surface. So the paint will look dry, may feel dry to the touch, but will most probably still be 'soft'. If you were to dig your fingernail into it, there may be a mark left. If you were to drive on it, it may leave marks.
If you are experiencing this problem, paint a thin amount of paint onto the lid of the can (if you still have it) and check to see if it dries properly.
If you are unsure, please contact us and we are here to help.
Re-coating before the paint is dry
This is a big no-no! Please always make sure that the sealer coat or first coat of paint is completely dry before overcoating. You shouldn't really need to do a second application of topcoat unless you haven't used a sealer. Irrespective of this, any overcoating of uncured paint may lead to problems such as solvent entrapment.
Getting epoxy wet within 7 days
Getting epoxy paint wet without giving it at least 7 days to cure may lead to white patches appearing on the paint. This is known as amine blush or amine bloom. For more information, please see our blog post.
Not using a primer coat
The use of a floor primer coat is always recommended to give you longevity of finish. The primer coat acts as a bond between the substrate and the topcoat. Sometimes people choose not to use a primer coat - this may be due to the cost involved or, for example, if you are moving premises and need to make the floor good before vacating. This is not a problem for a short-term solution. However, to make your floor coating last longer, we do recommend that a primer coat is always used over a bare surface.
Mixing epoxy and then leaving it in the can for hours prior to use
The nature of epoxy is such that once the activator is mixed with the pigmented resin, the chemical curing process begins. Epoxy paint has a pot-life of approximately four hours so do not mix it until you are ready to use it. If you mix the two parts together and then leave it in the can for hours, it will 'go off' in the can. It will become a solid, unusable chunk of colour.
Using a roller tray
Using a roller tray may create more problems than it solves. Our paints dry quickly; paint in a roller tray is likely to become crusty in parts, as the residual paint starts to dry. This may then peel from the plastic tray and become mixed in with the paint freshly poured into the tray, creating a bitty or lumpy mix.
We recommend pouring the paint directly onto the substrate and then rolling out with a solvent-resistant sleeve.
We have application instructions available for you to look at, but we are always at the end of a phone call or email if you would prefer to ask directly.
Not mixing paint properly
The ingredients used to make paint vary in density. Similar to the cream rising to the top of the milk, the less dense particles in paint are likely to reside at the top of the can and the heavier particles towards the bottom. The paint will therefore need a good mix before using. If you do not mix paint properly prior to using, you might find some of the heavier pigments may remain at the base of the can.
We recommend the use of a mechanical paint mixer which is attached to a drill.
If you haven't mixed the paint prior to application, you may see streaks of pigment and/or may have curing problems.
Not adding the activator to the epoxy resin
If you have done this, you are certainly not the first person to make this error. Please always read the technical information which is alongside each of our products online. If you have never used industrial floor paints, whether single pack or two pack epoxy, please contact us as we have a wealth of knowledge to share with you and to help you get the best for your floor from our products.
If you forget to mix the two parts of the epoxy system together, and simply paint the pigmented resin onto the floor, it is not good news. Without the activator, the paint is incomplete - the chemical reaction which starts the curing process cannot happen and the pigmented resin will never dry. It will need to be scraped up off the floor.
Two-pack epoxy is paint is like any other epoxy product, such as glues, which require two parts to be mixed together in order that they work as a whole.