Painting your garage floor with the best floor paint specifically designed for such applications has many benefits. It will help protect your floor and make it easier to maintain. It will also extend the useful life of the surface, sometimes for 20 years or even longer.
Also, bare concrete can achieve a more attractive and finished appearance when it is painted. Walls and floors in porches and garages are two such examples where a paint job is desirable. There are various kinds and grades of paint that can be used for concrete projects.
Finally, a painted concrete garage floor can give your garage a showroom-like appearance. For choosing the best garage floor paints for your needs, there are 4 basic types of concrete paints that you can apply to your garage floor following.
Latex garage floor paints
A water-based latex paint’s most attractive feature is that it is the least expensive of the 3 types of concrete paint for garage floors. It is quite easy to apply, non-toxic, and works best on new concrete. Easy clean up of painting tools is also a benefit.
On the negative side, water-based garage paint is not as durable as either oil-based paint or solid-based epoxies and polyurethanes. Water-based latex paint does also not provide a moisture-proof seal and is not as durable as other concrete paint choices.
If using latex paint on concrete, apply at least two coats for maximum coverage. It is not very effective as a waterproof barrier and most latex concrete paints require at least 2 coats to provide full coverage.
Oil-based garage floor paints
Oil-based concrete paints cost about the same amount as water-based concrete paints, but they provide a superior, longer-lasting finish. Applying an oil-based paint is a little more complex of a process than water-based paint.
It’s a good idea to apply an oil-based primer for concrete prior to applying the paint because this base will fill in any small holes or pores on the concrete and allow you to start painting on a receptive surface.
Be sure you purchase oil-based paint that is made for concrete application. Clean up of your painting materials requires mineral spirits when using oil-based paint.
You should also have plenty of ventilation when applying this type of paint. Oil paints take a longer time to dry and clean-up requires the use of mineral spirits or some other chemical paint remover.
Epoxy garage floor paints
The best concrete paint for garage floors has long been thought to be an epoxy-based product. Epoxy is the premier choice with polyurethane for painting concrete because it will provide a durable, water-resistant, high gloss finish for your garage floor.
While not everyone needs the best concrete paint for their garage floor, if you want the best, the choice can be epoxy. While the price of epoxy concrete paints can be double the price of water-based or oil-based latex concrete paint, it is also very true that you get what you pay for when you buy this special type of paint.
When it comes to epoxy concrete floor paints, you have several different choices. A one-part system is the easiest type to apply. There is no mixing involved, but they also are not as strong as two-part epoxies. One part epoxy products are typically sold in home improvement stores and are targeted toward the do-it-yourselfer and not the professional painter.
Professionals, by in large, choose a two-part epoxy paint. The system requires the applicator to mix the solid-based paint with a hardening agent. A true two-party system requires the mixed paint to be applied quickly before it has a chance to harden and be rendered useless.
The results can be stunning. Depending on the particular two-part system, you will get a superior finish, protection against spills and staining, resistance to tire marks and abrasion, and a high-gloss finish.
These paints tend to cover very well with one coat, but for even greater protection, a second coat may be added. The finished paint should always be coated with a protective urethane coating.
The same features that make epoxy desirable for hardness and durability can also prove to be drawbacks. Concrete painted with epoxy can be slippery and cleanup of paint materials is difficult.
Find out about purchasing a non-skid additive if using this paint choice. Epoxy paint requires excellent ventilation, so if using this paint in an enclosed space, be sure to fully open windows or use exhaust fans.
Polyurethane garage floor paint
Polyurethane garage floor paint you might not have heard about yet. Epoxy is quite known these days and polyurethane floor paints are becoming more common as well. It has the same kind of properties as epoxy does and it’s used in the same kind of situations as well.
It is a thermosetting polymer like epoxy is and very high performing. It is different though as you can’t apply it as thick as you can do with epoxy. You might need to apply 2 layers, but polyurethane is more flexible and resistant to scratches.
Polyurethane doesn’t adhere as well as epoxy on the surface so most ofthen it’s recommended to use primer on the concrete. That primer is often epoxy.
Flexibility is a good attribute when you have lots of changes in temperature. It won’t crack as easily as hard epoxy does. It’s also more resistant to chemicals than epoxy is and it includes petroleum which might be good for the garage.
There are lots of good things about polymer, but one thing epoxy beats it in is adhering. Polyurethane also needs to be added in thin layers so it doesn’t hide the faults in the surface as well.
When selecting concrete garage floor paint, there is an objective way to evaluate the quality. Read the label on the can and look for those products that have the highest adhesion ratings, greatest impact resistance, high gloss rates, and minimal wear rates due to abrasion.
Most often when you compare traditional garage floor paint vs epoxy or polyurethane, the latter ones wins. Still there are times when the old fashioned paints will do.
The best concrete paints are usually only available through specialty suppliers. If you want the best for your garage floor, it pays to spend the extra money and get a high-quality, two-part, epoxy paint system.
If you want to go even further, you can try epoxy primer for adhering to concrete and then use polyurethane paint on top of that. If you like the flakes that are used with epoxy often, you can do that with polyurethane as well.
No matter what your paint choice for concrete applications, it is essential that before starting any painting project, you properly prepare your concrete surface. Make sure the surface to be painted is clean and dry, free from any debris or previous paint peelings.