How to paint garage floor?

Garage floor painting is a great idea to add protection, appearance, and cover to a bare concrete floor. Along with adding additional protection against heavy foot and vehicle traffic, it adds appeal to your overall garage’s appearance.

You can rely on two types of paint when it comes to garage flooring; Latex paint and Epoxy. The latter is slightly expensive and durable.

Painting a garage floor can be costly, depending on the material used. A typical epoxy flooring cost range from $750 to $4,928. Most homeowners willingly spend over $1700 for both materials and installation. You can save almost half of this cost by painting your garage floor yourself.

According to,

An average 12×22 foot one-car garage of 264 square feet costs $792 to $1,848 to epoxy. An average 20×22 foot two-car garage with 440 square feet costs $1,320 to $3,080 to epoxy. An average 32×22 foot three-car garage with 704 square foot costs between $2,112 to $4,928.

Garage Size Square Feet Cost
1-Car 264 $792 – $1,848
2-Car 440 $1,320 – $3,080
3-Car 704 $2,112 – $4,928


Do-It-Yourself Garage flooring is easier than you think. You can rely on proven DIY methods to learn and paint your garage floor. To help with this cause, many manufacturers provide DIY kits to help the homeowners—all you need to know what and how much paint you’d need to buy.

Garage Floor Painting

Epoxy flooring is a quick and intelligent choice for floor coating. By far, it’s the most durable floor paint. The best DIY garage floor paints are epoxy-based, and a few are available as kits, including Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield. A single kit includes enough paint to cover 500 square feet, a bit more than a 2-car garage.

Concrete floor paint only offers slight protection. It’s a stricter version of paint that goes on walls. You can choose from Latex paint or oil-based based, where the latter gives a glossier look.

Typically, latex paint should last you about two years, while epoxy paint should give you three to four years. Let’s talk about applying epoxy paint to your garage floor.

Paint Garage Floor (Epoxy Painting)

Start with assembling the tools. You’ll need a 2-part epoxy kit with concrete etch and surface flakes, degreaser, floor patch, floor scraper, plastic spackle knife, painter’s tape, bucket, and a carbon-filter paint odor mask.

1. Clean and Prepare the Floor

You’d need to clear the floor of all the debris, dust, dirt, and other residues before applying the paint. It’s easy for the concrete floor to collect dirt and grime over time which needs a thorough cleaning.

Use a pressure washer and degreaser to clean the floor. The pressure washer can help remove the debris easily once the degreaser has worked inside the debris. As an alternative, you can use a stiff-bristled scrubbing brush, but you must apply a lot more elbow grease. Laundry detergent can also be used as a cleaning agent.

Note: You’d need to use a chemical stripper to remove oil paint or urethane sealer from the garage floor.

2. Check for Moisture

Before repairing the cracks and applying the paint, consider checking for moisture issues. If your concrete slab was poured initially with no underlying vapor barrier or lies close to groundwater, it’s possible for water vapor pressure to lift the garage floor coating.

You can tape a 2×2 piece of clear plastic cover over the slab for 24 hours to check if the water vapor darkens the concrete or water droplets form.

3. Fill the Cracks

Cracks will typically cost $300 to repair, depending on the extent of the damage. As long as the sub-base and the concrete are in good shape, you can quickly fill the cracks.

A concrete patch and repair kit will cost approx $25. You can use concrete/mortar repair compounds for more minor cracks and concrete patches for thicker cracks.

For more resounding cracks, you’d need to fill the crack in layers to ensure that the layer dries up before applying another.

If the foundation is damaged, it can cost you anywhere up to $5000 to fix. Consult a foundation repair specialist for an inspection if you notice visible foundational damage.

4. Etch the floor

Start with etching the concrete floor surface to open up the concrete pores. It allows the paint to absorb better.

Mix the citric acid concrete etching solution with warm water per the manufacturer’s instruction. Once done, you can apply, scrub, and squeegee off the floor. The citric acid will open the top pores of the concrete.

5. Apply a Bonding Primer

After completing all the initial steps -inspecting, cleaning, and etching, you can focus on applying the primer.

A primer is usually a pre-treatment for porous concrete. It helps to improve the adhesion of the garage floor epoxy paint. Applying epoxy without a primer can result in poor results.

Use a paintbrush to apply the primer on the edges around the garage. For the rest of the floor, you can use a roller. Let it sit for at least 4 hours before applying your paint.

6. Apply the Garage Floor Epoxy paint

Once the primer has dried, it’s time to paint the floor with epoxy. You can choose from two different types of epoxy materials; water-based epoxies and solid epoxy.

Water-based epoxy is a two-component, amine-cured, epoxy coating that will demonstrate solvent-borne epoxy’s physical properties. Solid epoxy contains two components, a resin and a hardener which are blended.

You can empty the can evenly over the smooth surface. Use a paint roller and paintbrush to apply epoxy paint to all places evenly. You must apply epoxy heavily to cover the entire floor generously. Once the pores start to absorb the epoxy, the floor will start losing the gloss.

Check how your floor looks after applying the first coat. You can add any decorative flakes after the first coat. If you aren’t relieved by the first coat, you can start applying the second coat. Once the first coat dries up, you can start applying the second coat in the opposite direction than the first coat.

Epoxy paint vs. Epoxy coating

Many homeowners mistake epoxy paint with epoxy coating. A vast difference between the two epoxies is that the coating cures while the paint dries. Besides, when 100% solid epoxy coating is used, the surface becomes rugged and durable.

An epoxy coating is the best choice for high-performance flooring. It provides a long-lasting effect and prevents damage from chemicals, oil spills, oil stains, and dirt.

Depending on the epoxy type, pricing varies from $0.37 to 1.40 per square foot for materials. Applying 100% of epoxy coating results in three times the cost of water-based or solvent epoxy.

How long does it take to dry?

  1. Water-Based Epoxy dries in 1 to 1.5 hours, is tack-free in 5–8 hours, and ready for the second coat in 8–10 hours, lightfoot traffic in 16–24 hours, and heavy traffic 2–7 days.
  2. Solvent Epoxy dries in about 3.5 hours, is cured in 24 hours, and is ready for the second coat in 12 hours.
  3. Solid Epoxy dries in 30–40 minutes, is tack-free/cured in about 12 hours, walk-on dry in 18 hours, ready for the finish coat in 24 hours, and ready for service in 7 days.

Applying concrete floor paint is similar to applying epoxy paint. Once done, you can enjoy a sturdy and resilient garage floor for years to come. A well-coated epoxy garage floor can easily last over four years. Ensure inspecting the finished floor and applying the epoxy correctly to avoid moisture problems and poor bonding.

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