You don't the permission to view this video

Garage floors can take a beating, but an epoxy finish to your garage floor will help transform the space from dark and dingy into colorful and cool. In part one of this two-part video series, we’ll show you how prep your garage floor the right way to get it ready for a fresh coat.

Read Video Transcript

Refinishing your garage floor with a fresh coat of paint is something anyone can do to freshen up and prolong the life of your garage floor surface for years to come. But to make it last, you should consider an epoxy floor finish from your local independent home improvement retailer. Not only will it last longer than a traditional finish, it will make a lasting impression on anyone who sees it.

In the first episode, we’re going to show you how to properly prepare the concrete surface of your garage. Then, in the second part, we’ll demonstrate the proper application techniques to ensure your new finish lasts for years to come. So let’s get started.

As with most painting projects, surface preparation is key to getting a good finish, especially for an older garage floor like the one you see here. For the epoxy paint to adhere properly, it must be clean. First, we’ll completely remove everything from the garage. Then we’ll scrape off any debris, like this drywall compound and dried on glue.

Then we’ll sweep the floor completely to remove dirt, dust and any other debris, such as sawdust.

Once the floor has been swept, now it’s time to hose the entire surface off. After hosing off the surface, we’ll check for beading water, which indicates that the surface has been sealed. The manufacturer of this product states that any sealer present must first be removed for the product to work correctly. With no beading water present, it looks like we’re in good shape and can proceed. But first we have to let the area dry completely. These floor fans should help speed the drying.

Now that our floor is dry, it’s time to check for any cracks or spalling in the concrete that we need to repair. Looks like we have some work to do. For the cracks, we have some liquid filler we simply pour into the crack. However, before we do that we have to clean the crack out completely with a putty knife or an old 5-in-1 painters’ tool like this one. Now we’ll vacuum out the remaining dust from the crack, and fill it with the crack filler using a putty knife to level off the beads.

Areas like this hole and this cracked area that is spalling will require some additional attention. To fill this type of hole, we first need to back chisel the bottom of the hole to give the filler something to hold onto. We can do this with a hammer and a small cold chisel. Notice how I’m back chiseling the bottom of the hole to create a notch for the patch to grab.

After we’re done, we’ll vacuum out the hole and it’s ready for the patching material. Use a putty knife to install patch material and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While we’re waiting for our patches to cure, we can do some additional investigative work to check for moisture problems in the concrete. According to the manufacturer, if your concrete is new poured, you have to wait 60 days for the concrete to cure before you can apply this product. To check for moisture problems in our floor, we’ll tape down this 2’x2’ piece of plastic wrap and let it sit for 24 hours, which is how long it will take our concrete patches to completely cure.

If any water droplets appear on the patch after 24 hours, it indicates that the concrete has moisture problems that need to be addressed first before proceeding. Looks like we’re good to proceed.

The next step is to scrub the floor using this product to etch the surface of the concrete. This will make it so the epoxy paint will adhere better. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, we’ll apply this product to the floor and use this stiff bristle brush to completely scrub the floor, concentrating on heavily stained areas.

The last bit of preparation is to completely rinse the floor with the garden hose. Let it dry and check for any remaining residue by wiping your finger over the floor to check for dust. If any remains rinse again.

There you have it. Now we’ll let our floor dry overnight and be ready to apply our coating tomorrow.

If you have questions about this or any other home improvement project, be sure to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which includes a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re not sure where to find your local store, check out our Store Locator.

Good luck with your project and thanks for watching.

Read Video Transcript


  1. 1.move stuff

    Move everything off the garage floor.

  2. 2.scrape

    Scrape off debris.

  3. 3.sweep

    Sweep the floor.

  4. 4.wash

    Wash off the entire surface with a hose. If the water beads up, that means there is sealer that needs to be removed.

  5. 5.vacuum cracks

    If there is no sealant present, vacuum out cracks.

  6. 6.fill cracks

    Fill cracks with some crack filler and spread evenly with a putty knife.

  7. 7.holes

    For holes, chisel out and vacuum dust away.

  8. 8.fill holes

    Fill holes with concrete patch and a putty knife.

  9. 9.test moisture

    Tape down plastic for 24 hours to test for moisture seeping up through the floor.

  10. 10.scrub floor

    Scrub the floor with cleaner, rinse with water and let dry.


Project Faqs « back to project

My garage floor has cracks. Can I still use an epoxy finish, or is it primarily for relatively new floors?

You can use an epoxy floor finish on your garage, but you must first fill all the cracks using cement crack filler or a hydraulic cement patching... More »

I have a painted concrete floor in my garage. Can I still apply an epoxy coating?

It depends on the shape it’s in. If it’s in good shape, you can forego the etching process, give it a good cleaning with an all-purpose cleaner... More »

Do the paint flakes that you shake on when the garage floor epoxy is still wet help with slip resistance?

A little, but they are mostly designed to hide imperfections and offer a custom... More »

I want to give my finished garage floor more traction. Is there a way to add traction?

You can still use the epoxy finish, you’ll just need to apply two coats. In between the first and the second coat, you can add a non-skid... More »

Do I need to remove the old vinyl floor before installing my new vinyl floor?

No. It will be easier to leave the old floor if you can. You will need to completely clean the old floor and fill in any low spots or embossed areas... More »

Once I mix the epoxy base with the hardener, when can I start painting the floor?

It varies by manufacturer, but some of the more common products require a 30 minute set up time minimum before using. They, you have 2½ hours... More »

Is there any way to easily separate a joint where an epoxy has been used?

Although it is not easy, it can be done. Apply an oven cleaner, such as Easy-Off, to the bond and let it sit for 10 to 15 minuets. The epoxy will... More »

Can I install a hardwood floor over a concrete slab?

Generally, you should not install a solid wood floor over a concrete slab. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you want to install... More »

Are there other options besides brick trim for trimming the doorway of my home?

There are a variety of other trim options that can add a lot of detail to the entranceway. Options include caps or headers over the door, pilasters,... More »

I don’t want to completely replace all of my cabinets, but would like to give them a facelift. What are my options?

You can try refacing the cabinets by replacing the front of the cabinet with new doors and facings. Or, you can apply a new finish or paint to the... More »

« back to project

Comments (0)