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The garage in the "before" image has cracks in the floor as well as stains and deterioration showing (Image 1).
This project requires epoxy paint, a tough finish that will hold up longer to wear and resist cracking and peeling. The garage floor will be easier to maintain (Image 2).
Since this project will involve paints and cleaners that may produce harmful fumes, make sure that your work area is well ventilated. Wear eye protection and protective gloves to protect your eyes and hands against caustic chemicals.
Before you begin painting, sweep and clean the floor thoroughly. Then, to remove stains use a 3-to-1 water-to-bleach mixture or a commercially prepared concrete or driveway cleaner. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection. Spray the cleaner on the stains, allow it to soak in for a few minutes, then scrub the stain using a stiff-bristle brush.
After you've scrubbed the floor, rinse the entire area well with clean water -- starting at the back of the garage and moving forward. For tough stains, you may want to use a pressure washer to clean the concrete quickly and thoroughly. Pressure washers are available at most rental centers.hands against caustic chemicals.
Once the floor is clean and dry, repair any cracks in the concrete using concrete/mortar-repair compound for smaller cracks or concrete patch for larger ones. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, and make sure that the cracks are very clean and dry before applying the compound.
Next, you may need to etch the surface of the concrete -- a process that opens the pores of the concrete surface so that the paint can be absorbed better. To check whether your floor needs to be etched, sprinkle a small amount of water on the floor. If it is absorbed into the concrete quickly, the floor probably doesn't need etching. If the water does not absorb quickly, apply a commercial concrete etcher following the manufacturer's instructions. A "fizzing" as the etcher is applied indicates that it's working.
After etching, allow the floor to dry thoroughly (at least overnight) before you begin painting. Fans will help speed the drying process. The properly prepared surface will have a texture roughly similar to medium-grit sandpaper.
Before applying paint, apply a primer coat using a long-handled paint roller. A good primer coat is the key to a long-lasting paint job. Allow the primer to dry for at least 8 hours before applying the paint top-coat.
There are many types of paint and primer products available for this type of job. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the ones you select. Make sure that the paint is well mixed and apply a thin even first coat. Allow the first coat to dry for about 24 hours before deciding whether you want to apply a second coat.
Important: To apply the paint, be sure to use nylon brushes and lint-free, all-purpose, solvent- and water-resistant roller covers.
Avoid applying more than two coats. Wait about 24 hours before walking on the newly painted surface, and wait about a week before driving on it.
You'll likely need to do touch-up work on the heavy-traffic areas of the floor every year or so.