So you have decided it’s time to paint the garage floor….Where do you start?
Most people initially think painting a garage floor is relatively simple. Sweep the floor and begin installing paint. But, with this approach the paint will likely be removed with your tires during the first few months and you will be unsatisfied with the finished results as the floor wears with time.
Actually there is a lot involved with painting a garage floor. Over the last decade, we’ve receive calls after a home owners realizes there in over their head. The floor has been repeatedly painted and the material just won’t stick. After contacting the manufacture and even installing to their instructions the product just doesn’t hold up.
The problem with covering the floor in paint is that there isn’t a single component product available that that can withstand auto traffic.
Garage floor coatings are in a class of their own. In the past it has been difficult to find products that can stand up to the abuse typically found in a garage.
The first generation of garage floor coatings involved the use of macro epoxies and epoxies designed to work and protect warehouse flooring. In a warehouse it is typical to use epoxy to repair uneven slopes, damaged corners and groves and dings from the steel forks. The problem is that the fork lift tires never exceed 120 degrees, like car tires. The fork lift also generally doesn’t drip oil all over the floor and the brake fluid is not really an issue either. Plus the fork lift doesn’t stay parked in the same place every day for more than 12 hours.
Basically, the conditions of a garage floor coating are different than every other coating on the market.
The general system people use to talk about garage floor paint is Epoxy. Most paint manufactures produce epoxies that are acceptable to use on a garage floor surface. They suggest that the product will work on concrete, but you need to make sure the preparation is thorough and follow the entire process.
What I’ve learned about macro epoxies is almost every other over the counter material currently marketed as a garage floor epoxy will fail in less than 2 years. Most manufactures will just tell you to touch up the area of failure, but fail to mention the color and sheen will be completely different in two years.
If you’ve experienced a garage floor coating failure it can be very frustrating. And if you have a failing system, there isn’t a solution for fixing the system other than to remove it and start over.
If removal is necessary it will most likely take the use of a professional concrete grinder or shot blasting machine. Just removing the original coating is expensive, not to mention chasing the cracks and preparing surfaces that are damaged or uneven in the process.
If you’re on a tight budget, the only option maybe to simply repaint the floor every few years, scrape up what’s damaged and paint it again. But if you have the choice to do it right the first time, why not pick the best products.
As a professional floor coating installer, we only warrantee floor coatings over bare concrete surfaces. We have no way of knowing what products or spotty surface preparation was used before. So, we mechanically grind or shot blast the concrete prior to all coating application.
We prefer the use of rapid setting materials; so that once the prime coat is installed we can jump right back on the floor and get spreading the base coat and aggregate. After a lunch break, we scratch the base coat and prepare for the clear coat. If the floor is less than a 4 car garage, we can usually have the floor finished in the same day, if the preparation is complete.
I always suggest a three coat system. While most of the products on the market only suggest the use of two, we have found that practically the best looking and functioning system require three coats, Prime, Base, and Top Coat Clear.
Prime is important for adhesion. It is important to use a product that not only chemically bonds, but also mechanically bonds.
The Base Coat is important for leveling and texture. This is really the body of the floor coating, you can decide how much to level the floor and how the finish texture or character of the floor should look.
The Clear Coat or Top Coat is the first surface to wear mechanically and should be chemically resistant and resist scratching. Ideally this is the only coating that should be maintained in the future and is great to install in 5 to 7 years after the system is initially installed to reset the clock for the coating lifespan.
After a decade of floor coating experience we know what works. Contact us today if you have a floor coating question.
Here are a few reasons why it’s best to start painting in the spring:
- The Weather is very comfortable and generally mild temperatures. Not to hot and not to cold, so the target temperatures of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit are easier to reach.
- Plan to paint before you invest time and energy in landscaping. Moving ladders and equipment around does take a toll on the vegetation.
- Summer events are just around the corner, you may have a party or backyard barbeque planned and it will be rapidly approaching. Every year time seams to accelerate as we move closer to fall and more people tend to think about painting in the fall as the window shortens.
As a Painting Contractor in Salt Lake City, we know the drill when it comes to custom colors. The options for selecting colors are endless.
Designer Brands like Eddie Bauer, Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren and HGTV are a few examples. The answer is a good paint store can mix just about any color you want, regardless of the color or sheen. But if you want some help selecting the color, there may be a brand you identify with and just prefer their colors.
What is different about a Designer Line of Paints is in the color selecting process. They simply do an extraordinary job collecting colors in a harmonious pallet. In addition to solid colors they generally offer a faux finish or specialty finish which is not available elsewhere. In the past, I’ve enjoyed installing Ralph Laurens Suede Finish. There are metallic and faux finishes that are designed to complement and be interwoven with the designer’s solid colors.
With a little research you will find a major paint manufacture behind the designer’s line, so with a little homework you can find the products are made by Sherwin Williams, Glidden Professional, Valspar, and other conglomerates.
Well, after receiving a price increase notice from a paint manufacture, I decided it was time to write about the subject. Why pay more for paint? Why not just buy the cheap stuff? Is there really a difference between $20.00 a gallon paint and $40.00 a gallon paint? And other than the price of paint, how do you really know if one’s better than another?
Quality Paint and Cheap paint look almost identical in the can. In fact if you look at the labels of most inexpensive paints they look almost identical to higher quality paints, but the label isn’t what you’re buying. The ingredients inside the can are what you’re buying and it’s made up of binders, pigments, additives and colorant. The quantity and quality of the materials is what you’re purchasing. In addition the amount of colorant and sheen also may factor in the total purchase price.
As a professional, I’ve tried 1000’s of different products, the options are endless. So, how do you know what you’re purchasing? I only have one simple solution. Talk with a professional painter; not someone that owns a painting company or a paint manufacture, they don’t install it every day. My suggestion is to simply ask a painter that installs paint every day, “What’s the most bang for my buck?” They will give you a simple answer, and probably a price point and where they purchase.
But will you be able to install like a professional painter? Probably not, but finding a product that is more forgiving than another will help. Paint products designed for homeowner use, may not be advertise on the label so ask. Generally, a professional installs the material much quicker than someone who only installs occasionally, so select a product that has a large open working window.
The good news is the war between waterborne products and oil is largely over and waterborne paint products have won. Even though oil still maybe the choice for high-wear surfaces like handrails and kitchen cabinets , beautiful hard glossy oil shine can be found in waterborne products.
Out of all the ingredients in paint the most important is the “Binder”. The binder also called the polymer or resin and is the most expensive ingredient; it is the glue that holds the paint film together. The binder is the key to color retention, durability, UV resistance, flexibility and overall performance. The most common binders is a blend of latex acrylic.
I prefer the use of all acrylic paints, they are more durable, more expensive than vinyl acrylics but have the highest color retention and seem to hold there sheen longer. 100% Acrylics are harder to work with and are generally stickier than blended products. But the installation of the paint is only temporary and the finish itself needs to last for years to come.
We often use the words Oxidization and Rust interchangeably, but not all the substrates we paint are steel which interacts with oxygen molecules and actually disintegrates into rust. Most of the Oxidation we fight is very similar to what happens with iron, and the process helps to explain what is happening.
In the case of iron, the oxygen creates a slow burning process, the result is an orange-brown substance we call rust. When oxidation occurs on copper the end result is a greenish coating, “copper oxide”. Metal is not weakened by oxidization but the surface may oxidize and be changed causing the loss of the original substrate.
The process of oxidization depends on the amount and quantity of oxygen present. True oxidation happens on a molecular level and we can visually see the effects as the oxygen causes free radicals to break free.
So, how does this relate to the paint found on the outside of my house? Well, since the outermost layers of paint are constantly exposed to air and water, i.e. oxygen; the oxygen molecules will eventually start interacting with the exterior paint found on the outside of your house. As the free radicals contained in the paint are exposed, the finish becomes duller and duller, and there is a reduction in sheen. This is why it becomes important to finish a very small amount of the total surface of an object to prevent oxidation of the entire substrate.
We generally suggest the use of clear coatings, like polyurethanes, acrylic sealers, densifiers, and UV stable urethanes.
The purpose of paint is to prevent oxidation caused by moisture and the continual change in available air. This layer of protection prevents oxidization by limiting the exposure. Painting prevents the destructive oxidization because it partially prevents oxygen from penetrating a surface to reach the free radicals it craves.
I’ve been painting and coating objects for the last decade because, “oxidization happens”.
There is a lot of industry talk about going green. What does that have to do with the painting industry and what does that really mean? Most painting manufactures discuss the options of using a “Low VOC Paint” or a “Greener Paint”. VOC refers to the Volatile Organic Compounds found in paint products.
Greener paints generally are friendlier to use, both for the occupants and the painters. During the installation of the products there are few solvents in the air and less of the bad stuff floating around. When you spend some time to investigate what is in the contents of paint, it can be very scary.
There have been great strides in the Low VOC category of interior paints and the durability of Low VOC’s now rival traditional paint. For your health and the health of others, suggest only the use of GREEN PAINT.
Confidence in Choosing Colors
Color will change the mood and emotional feeling about your home. Consider the interior paint colors that are right for you and create a space that’s all your own. While some interior color schemes have a calming or soothing effect, others can give you an uplifting or energizing response. If you’re looking for paint ideas, paint schemes, or interior house painting colors, the following may be helpful.
Start by taking a look at the pillows, rugs, artwork and objects in your home that you find inspiring. Plants, flowers or trees may be inspiring to some. The colors you enjoy may be found in your space and you just haven’t had a way to connect those colors to the home. If you’re not finding the color you prefer, flip through some home décor magazines for color ideas. After you find a general selection of the colors you prefer, take those colors to the paint store and have them matched. There are many color selections at most paint stores, but finding your color may just have to start with a photo or object you take with you. Once, you have a color or colors, use designer inspired color palettes within the paint store to discover other colors you want in your life.
The best interior color designs come from art; do you have a painting or photo, you absolutely love? Take this work with you to the paint store and don’t be afraid to point to a color in the photo and tell the paint clerk, “I want this color”.
Neutral Color provides a sense of openness, simplicity, cleanliness and light. Whites and off whites work well in areas with limited light and smaller spaces, think kitchens and bathrooms.
Reds, Orange and yellow are bright and bold. These colors are warm and can provide energy and stimulating response. They work well in areas that social activities and dining may occur, think dining rooms, family rooms, entry or hallways leading to these spaces.
Blues, greens and soft purples are relaxing and will take away energy and provide a calming, contemplative, and retreat like response. These colors work well in bedrooms, libraries and areas where you relax and recover.
Remember it’s easy to buy custom paint colors, but it may be difficult to find the objects and art you prefer, so figure out the items that are going to be associated with the space and then select interior paint colors at the end of the process.
There are literally thousands of colors available at the paint store, if you have a general sense of what you want, purchase a quart of material and start applying the paint where you think it will work. It will be obvious in a short time if you love it or need another.
While it may make sense to paint first, before the furniture, carpet and items are in a room. Without having selected the items you will only select neutral safe colors that won’t be designed around the theme of your space. Painting at the end of your collecting process, will provide a complete solution for tying the space together.
Painting the exterior of your house is simple because furniture and landscaping are probably not in the way and you have a complete color picture. Think about how to get that same interior color palette as if you were painting the exterior of the house. Most paint contractors will provide color help with their painting service. The professional painting contractors will provide interior and exterior painting schemes from previous work and provide house paint colors and house paint ideas as part of the house painting cost.
Now you have the confidence to choose you house painting color combinations.
How long does exterior paint really last? Take a look at this photo, It’s snowing today, hence the snowflakes, but it’s been 10 years since we painted the exterior. You can see some discoloration where water is making it’s way down the building in rain or snow, but 10 years later it still looks great! This product was considered an experimental or new product from Sherwin Williams at the time, “Duration”. Well, Duration is now a common premium paint sold at Sherwin Williams Paint Stores everywhere. It took some convincing the Engineering department to try something new, but eventually Lynn made the right decision. It will probably last another 10 years if the building is still standing.
Tell me what you think? Kind of difficult to think 10 years since I completed this project. I guess time fly’s when you’re watching paint dry or oxidize.