What is the best epoxy paint to use for my garage floor?

So you’ve finally decided to spruce up your garage by adding some color to the concrete and you want to find the best garage floor paint that won’t break the bank. It must be easy to apply and reliable. With so many products available today, it can be difficult making a good decision on which to purchase. So, let’s take a quick look at which type of paint is best for your garage floor and why.

One of the biggest advantages to garage floor paint is the relatively inexpensive cost to completely change the look of your garage when compared to other floor coverings. But first of all, we need to make sure that it’s paint you are after and not an actual epoxy coating. If you aren’t sure what the difference is, then we suggest you take a moment to learn about epoxy vs. paint.

Best type of concrete floor paint

Since paint is not as durable as other garage flooring options, the key is to choose the right formulation for the best wear. There are generally two types to choose from – latex acrylic for concrete floors and pre-mixed 1-Part epoxy garage floor paint. Hands down, your best choice between the two is the 1-Part epoxy paint.

The reason 1-Part epoxy paint is the better choice has to do with the properties of epoxy itself. When mixed in with the paint, it will provide for a coating that is more resistant to mold and mildew, chemicals, gasoline stains, oil, scuff marks, and chipping. It also tends to bond to the concrete better than latex paint and this helps with resisting peeling and hot tire pick up.

Typical latex acrylic floor paint needs to be retouched or painted over about once a year or so depending on how much use and vehicle traffic that your garage sees. 1-part epoxy paint will last almost twice that long for an additional expense of only $10 or so per gallon depending on brand.

Best garage floor paint by brand

The problem with choosing good garage floor paint is that reviews for these products are all over the map in terms of good and bad. Part of the problem is just poor garage floor preparation and application and not with the product itself. Plus, this type of garage floor covering does best with foot traffic and not so much with vehicle traffic. With that in mind, we’ve selected our favorite brand that we can recommend and a second that falls in the honorable mention category.

We feel that this product is one of the best garage floor paints that you can purchase. It has the highest moisture tolerance of other paints, it dries to a thicker coating, and it is one of the few paints that don’t require a primer to work at its best. It also has better reviews regarding resistance to hot tire pick up among other 1-part epoxy garage floor paints.

Dryloc E1 starts around $50 per gallon and is available in 4 popular colors. You can find some of the best prices here

Our honorable mention would be Epoxy-Seal garage floor paint by Seal-Krete. This is one of the lesser expensive choices that is a 1-part epoxy/acrylic hybrid and starts around $35 per gallon. They offer some of the best color choices and can be found at most home improvement centers. Hot tire pick up seems to be more of an issue with this product however.

You can find some good prices on this product here at Floor Coatings, Painting, Sealing Perth WA

Why is varnish (and, more generally, paint) the thickness that it is?

Dry Film Thickness (DFT) of an alkyd resin based Enamel Paints and the Varnishes are dictated by the Total Solids Content present in them. A composite painting system consists of four parts namely the Putty, Primer, Finish Paint and a clear coat (Varnish or Lacquer). A putty fills all the valleys on the profile of the substrate. It has the highest solids to the liquid ratio and is porous. The primer sticks to the surface to protect the substrate and provide better mechanical key to finish coats which follows. A finish coat protects the primer from the environment. A varnish coat gives a highly smooth and aesthetic finish. The solids to the liquid ratio of each component of a composite system is given below.

Two ingredients of a composite system providing solids in a paint are the Binders or Resins and the Pigments. The Binder is a fluid at the initial stages of application. After application on a surface, expulsion of volatile contents to the environment occur. The solvents and thinners are the volatile constituents in a paint be it a primer, finish or varnish. The binder or resin by using the oxygen in the environment, cross-links to a thermosetting three dimensional network. and converts to a solid film.

A paint applied initially on a surface has more volume and thicker. They dry by the evaporation of solvents from the coated surfaces and starts compressing loosing their volume. Later after around 2 hours, the binder starts to convert into a solid film through a process of cross linking of the alkyd resins by reacting with atmospheric oxygen. Oxidation of the alkyd resin occurs due to presence of Double Bonds of the unsaturated oils present in the resin and metallic soaps acting as catalysts.

If you require further details, go through the following answers appearing in Quora with the links provided. They could provide answers to several questions on Enamel Paints, Varnishes and Alkyd Resins.

  1. What is enamel paint and how is it made?
  2. What does it mean when paint is "cured"? How long does it take? Does it depend on the paint?
  3. What is difference between paint varnish enamel and lacquers?
  4. What is the difference between solvent and paint thinner?
  5. What are some reasons that would cause enamel paint not to dry after 24 hours?

Application of a varnish: If done at the recommended consistency, cures in 8 to 12 hours to a solid film with a DFT of 25 to 35 microns (one thou to one and half thou). The question is why a varnish should not be thinned further to yield a thinner coat to get a good covering and a smooth finish. You can repeat the application of the same diluted spray three or more times to get a finish which is far better.

The answer is Yes! It can be done. Also take into consideration the following factors.

  1. Such a thinned coating with a higher flow and lesser viscosity could run on vertical surfaces with a resultant sagging. If you can overcome this, you shall end up with a coating which could be 10 to 15 microns thick. You have to apply two or more coats to reach the required DFT. You need to sand each varnish coat to improve adhesion of the subsequent coats.
  2. Thinning by 30% with a less volatile thinner results in a prolonged drying and hardening time. Result could be a dust pick up leading to poor acceptance of the next coat. As mentioned earlier, sand each coat to improve adhesion. If this problem could be eliminated using High volatile solvents check up on the compatibility issues. (I would recommend solvents like Xylene).
  3. As you are using solvents, you are increasing the volatile matter in the varnish. Ensure better ventilation and use protective glasses and air mask. Also take care of children and pets ensure that they shall not intervene or touch the painted surface until the entire surface cures.
  4. The total estimated solids in a varnish could be around 45 to 50% and contributed only by the alkyd resin. Addition of 30% of thinners actually increase volatile constituents by close to around 70% 100%. Some thinners bring down the viscosity with smaller dosage. Identify such thinners and solvents for use as you shall get better thinning by using smaller quantities.
  5. Of course it is a compromise on the time taken to finish the job, but you shall get the desired effect and finish.

The Second portion of your question deals with why you cannot apply even enamels by thinning with 30% of thinners. Answer to this part of the question is shown below.

Any surface has a profile by which we mean the surface is not smooth and uniform. Under a microscope they look more like hills and valleys. An example, is a sand-blasted steel surface which under a microscope looks like a terrain of highs and lows or like hills and valleys. A measure of the average height of a hill from the bottom of a valley is around 50 to 60 microns. For a composite paint to work well, it has to be at least 100 microns thick to cover the surface and ensure that there are no hills showing. A cement plastered wall or concrete, the profile is way higher than steel. But the paints used are different and not like an enamel.

Now it does not make sense to apply a thinned down primer with more number of coats. To be on the safer side, it is better to give two coats of primer giving 50 to 60 microns thick with the recommended thinning. Then comes the coat of finish paint and varnish. With two coats of finish we shall build a composite paint of thickness between 100 to 125 microns. Upto this stage, it is better to continue with undiluted coats of paints. The last coat will have to be the contending coat to achieve the smoothness we desire. It can be a third coat of finish paint mixed with a varnish or the pure varnish coat of 10 microns thick applied twice or thrice.

The varnish being the top most coat, needs to flow and level well to get a better finish and gloss. A rough estimate tells that we need two coats of primer to cover the top of the hills and two coats of finish paints to 45 to 60 microns to get covering and hiding of the color of primer. The last coat could be the varnish which produces smoothness and gloss levels of 85% to 95% or more.

I am sure what you are talking is definitely workable within limits for a varnish coat. But when you talk of a composite painting, at least two coats of primer and two coats of finish are needed. The primer coats, covering and filling the valleys of the profile. The first coat of finish takes care of the hiding of the primer and the second coat imparting the color and finish. Application of the thinned down varnish can then follow.

Good luck for your effort.

How do you paint an aluminum-sided travel trailer?

I'm just starting a restoration on an old aluminum camper myself, and found excellent info on painting here: http://www.freewebs.com/kc8jwa/p…

I have also gotten very useful info in the Vintage Trailer Talk forum: vintagetrailertalk.freeforums.net. You can find tons of answers in the existing discussions, plus the community there has been quick to respond on new threads.

Good luck!

How often should one wax a black car to maintain the paint?

Carnauba car waxes typically last 30-45 days on a daily driver. This is the nature of carnauba wax. On darker colored cars, this time period may be reduced. Sealants, on the other hand, last 3-6 months.
As to swirls, a wax will mask them slightly since it slightly fills those swirls. If you are willing to polish your car first, you can minimize the appearance of the swirls and THEN top it with a wax or sealant.