Having an epoxy coating installed to your floor can be an excellent way to achieve an attractive finish while saving money compared to other traditional floor coverings. With a DIY epoxy coating, you can save even more money.
Prepping for a DIY Epoxy Coating
Before you begin to apply an epoxy coating, it is vital that the floor be properly cleaned and prepared. Begin by removing furnishings and any other items from the area. Next, you should clean any oil stains that are present. It may be necessary to use a sander across the floor to completely remove stains and smooth out the flooring. This will help ensure it will accept the epoxy coating and is particularly important for flooring that contains old layers of sealant, epoxy, or paint. If you are not sure if there is a layer of sealant on the floor, try pouring water onto the floor. If the water forms beads on top of the flooring rather than soaking into the floor, there is a layer of sealant.
After sanding or grinding the floor, you will need to repair any chips or divots and drive in any screw or nails that may be sprouting up from the floor. Each of these steps is essential to prepping the floor before the primer is applied.
Applying the Epoxy Coating
Epoxy typically comes in several different varieties, but the most common varieties are water-based or solvent-based. Water-based epoxy coatings are usually the preferred option for DIY epoxy coating projects, as they do not produce any toxic fumes.
Once the floor has been prepped, the next step in a DIY epoxy coating project is to apply the primer. Begin by applying the primer by brushing around the perimeter of the floor to get up against the walls and in the corners, this is called “cutting in” the floor. A roller is usually best for covering the rest of the floor. Sometimes a squeegee can be used to quickly spread the primer before back-rolling with the roller. Once the first coat is applied, you will need to allow it to dry for several hours.
It is absolutely imperative to make certain that the primer has dried before moving to the next step. You should be aware that it could take up to six hours for the primer to dry. It is far better to wait and allow the primer to dry than to try to rush the project, which will typically result in a poor outcome.
Once the primer is dry, you can then apply the epoxy finish top coat. The top coat is installed in a similar manner to the primer coat, understanding that this is the final coat and should be done precisely and meticulously. This coat will need to be allowed to set for a minimum of 72 hours before vehicular traffic, but can often be walked on in sock feet the following day.