Garage Floor Paint - A Buyers Guide
As a general rule, products with a higher epoxy count (often sold in two packs) fare significantly better than single pack mixes, and provide a tougher and longer lasting finish for garage floor paint projects
. On the other hand, quality always comes at a premium so there are some questions you may wish to ask yourself before you decide which garage floor paint
to use for your project. Things to take into account before you start…
1: How large a floor area do you want to paint?
Each of our products indicate the expected coverage they provide. If you are in doubt about the size of your garage, the first step is to measure it so you know how many square metres you will need to paint. It stands to reason that if you are planning on applying more than one coat, you will need to double this number!
2: Be mindful of ‘hot tyre pickup’
In hot weather, or with high performance cars, tyres can get very hot. With inferior garage floor paint, the heat of the tyres against the garage floor can cause the paint to lose its adhesive properties and begin to lift. When the paint lifts it can transfer the tyres and this can then cause patches on the floor where the paint picks up.
3: Aesthetic appearance
While some people don’t seem care about their garages and use them as a room to dump things, most people care about their garage appearance. One reason might be that money spent wisely on your home can add value to it if you wished to sell. A poor quality garage with a shoddy floor can really let down the feeling of quality in a home. If you want to get a great garage floor, two-pack epoxy garage floor paint is the way to go! Our garage floor paints are available in a great range of colours including the ever popular grey floor paint right through to more unusual colours like bright orange or post office red! Additional style can be added to a garage floor by adding decorative shards on top of a painted floor and applied on top of a clear finishing coat.
In addition, aesthetic appearance in car showrooms is extremely important. When someone is spending a significant amount on money on a car, the appearance of quality in the retail venue is very important. For the most hard wearing and smooth appearance possible, choose Two Pack High Build Epoxy Garage Floor Paint.
4: Garage Floor Mechanical Toughness
We produce paint in a varying degree of toughness against wear and tear. Not all garages face the same conditions and a garage that is used to store a car that is used occasionally for gentle local runs will obviously face less wear than one that is used as a storeroom, workshop and has cars entering and leaving each day and returning with very warm tyres. For lighter use, our quick dry garage floor paint is a suitable product, but for a garage floor that will stand the test of time in tougher conditions, our two-pack epoxy floor paint offers superior protection!
5: Garage Floor Chemical Resistance
Aside from the more obvious potential sources of damage to a garage floor, leaking oil, petrol or diesel, various cleaning products, screen wash or solvents can also cause stains and deterioration. Epoxy garage floor paint is the best product for resisting chemical damage.
So which Garage Floor Paint is Right for Me?
Garage Floor Paint and the choice of the right product for our needs requires some careful thought as to what we want from our garage floor after we completed the job. Have we really tackled the key reasons why we decided to paint the garage floor? The reasons we paint our garage floor and the type of Garage Floor Paint to achieve this is a critical first step. Reasons can be as simple or mundane as suppressing the dust, covering up a lifetime of marks and old oil stains through more practical reasons including needing a higher degree of anti-slip, or marking out the bay where the car goes so your partner leaves enough room for you to get out without limbo dancing to a specific requirement like reducing water seepage into
garage pit or helping to level up a degraded floor.
Water Based or Solvent Based?
Garage Floor Paint comes in a range of options but generally due to the presence of old oil residues and other contaminants accumulated it is better to choose a solvent based or solvent free option since most water based products tend to give poor adhesion to oil or dirt and this can lead to premature failure. This is also important to bear in mind when considering how much time you have before you can put it back into use as in the UK’s cold and wet climate many water based products have to contain a solvent to help the paint to come together in a film
- especially at our normal temperatures as their “minimum film forming temperature” for the more durable resins can be as high as 28 – 35 degrees without such a solvent. For this reason there are currently a range of options and drying speeds available for this type of application without having to resort to water which is normally a very poor solvent and requires lots of surfactants to overcome this problem.
Paints for a Purpose
If we consider the general purpose or light duty traffic Garage Floor Paint used by modern paint producers these are usually formulated as a single pack product based to a large extent on a modified alkyd resin. These are particularly popular for Garage Floor Paints as they are easy to mix and apply, they can be applied with a brush
or even for the more adventurous by spray application and they have relatively few overcoating or repainting issues making them ideal for consumer use. They are usually available as a quick drying or standard type depending on the time available to first use although it is always good practice where possible to allow a newly painted garage floor to dry through thoroughly for a few days before driving on it (as the twisting action when turning the steering wheel of the car can on the points of contact with the tyres act like a suction cup and pull away small patches of paint where the tread has been in contact with the paint) This type of problem is often caused by solvent being trapped under the dry surface of the garage floor paint and this can take little longer to disappear even from an apparently dry hard surface, especially on areas where the coating is a little thicker than the rest of the garage floor, for example where something has been dropped and left a small indentation in the concrete.
These resins are almost all derived from natural, renewable vegetable oils, sometimes modified with a urethane to improve “toughness” or with an increased anhydride content to improve drying speed and early wear resistance. As with most paints, Garage Floor Paint is carefully formulated to perform a specific role and it differs from general decorative paints in some very important ways. Concrete is generally used to make garage floors, so Concrete Floor Paint
is formulated to avoid saponification (alkali hydrolysis of the alkyd bonds) and this is especially true on new or untreated concrete. It also has to have improved wear resistance and flow (something you don’t want in a decorative paint – you don’t want it flowing down the door you just painted!) and its mechanical properties once fully dry are much more demanding as a car or similar coming to a halt on it applies quite a shear force on the Garage Floor Paint which could cause premature failure. This is why it is always a good idea to follow the manufacturers recommendations especially concerning preparation and priming the garage floor. A garage floor that has been well cleaned and degreased
to remove surface laitance (the white deposits you find on new concrete) and fresh oil contamination will last much longer and give a far superior finish.
Heavy Duty Paints
Whilst these single pack “Modified Alkyd” Garage Floor Paints are good general purpose products – some people want something for more heavy duty use or with a longer maintenance cycle and for this application type there is nothing which can beat an Epoxy Floor Paint
This is such a versatile product for flooring but is more difficult to use than an Alkyd Garage Floor Paint
. It’s chief advantages are longer life, improved chemical resistance and wear resistance. The penalty to pay for this is that epoxy Garage Floor Paints are more expensive, they are usually 2 or sometimes 3 components which must be mixed thoroughly before use and cannot be used outside their pot life which generally means you have to finish the job in a few hours, you can’t as with an alkyd, simply reseal the tin and finish it the next day. Overcoating is more difficult as due to its hardwearing nature sanding previous coats can be hard work!.
To summarise, for the best results, especially for those not familiar with painting floors, a modified alkyd Garage Floor Paint gives good results and is more forgiving. However, for longer lasting or more demanding applications a solvent (or solvent free) Epoxy Floor Paint is worth the extra effort and it is always better to use a more tolerant product if you can afford it. These tend to be much easier for the novice whilst giving a very professional finish. So, if you are only painting your garage floor to hide those old oil stains, to suppress dust or for a cosmetic “clean” finish a single pack Garage Floor Paint will be a good choice. However, if you are planning on longer life between repaints or using the garage with heavier traffic it may be worth considering a two component Epoxy Paint.
Whatever your choice and whether applying by brush, roller or spray always follow the manufacturers application instructions.