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  1. #21
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    Aug 2015
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    charlotte
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    Prepping update

    Ok so while I wait (again) for the concrete to dry I figure I'll post up my prep progress for all the DIYers at home. Keep in mind I've never done this before and it seems like every step reveals something else that needs to be done.
    Anyways, I plan to bring my car home in the coming weeks, and I just bought this house with my fiancé so while the garage is still relatively empty, I wanted to set it up as best I could.
    To prioritise the job list, I first had to finish the 11 year old drywall, install lights, door insulation and of course, speakers!





    Once this was done I started by cleaning up the outer edges, not everyone will have to do this but I'll show it anyways, It's just basic concrete repair and I wasn't too concerned with the finish as I plan to install base boards after paint.




    At this point I was satisfied I could start on the floor. It was very dusty after dealing with the drywall and paint so I blew the majority out with the shop vac, then purchased some heavy duty degreaser. scrubbed it in as best I could, then pressure washed it out and repeated.
    Then came the first etching, It went easy enough, It stated my bottle was good for 500sq/ft so I used it entirely hoping it would be sufficient. The etching is easy, but cleaning afterwards is a rinse and repeat process, the very fine concrete dust takes several rinses, brushing and squeeging to get it all out. Since this is all that the cheaper DIY kits suggest as necessary prior to paint I thought I was done...





    As per the basic procedures the next step is to repair concrete damage, I barely had any other than a couple chips and a a crack running the entire center line of the garage. So I picked up Rustoleum concrete patch and repair epoxy. It's a nice 2 component product which applies easy enough and takes 8 hours to dry. At first I thought I did this step prematurely but in the end I am very happy I did it now.



    Well once this was dry I reassessed the concrete and wasn't satisfied, By this time I was deep into youtube and other forums learning of the process and with all the bad stories I figure I'd do it right, do it once. And without a diamond grinder, etching is really your only option.

    So I bought a different branded Concrete etcher, a water pale, and did it again, keep in mind I'd previously used the epoxy sealer, and I figured I'd have to do it again after re-etching. etch, scrub, rinse, rub, rinse, squeegee, rinse, squeegee, let dry overnight...
    Well to my surprise after etching again, the epoxy was exactly as it looked prior, and with the now repaired crack and smooth surface, it made it much easier to clean the concrete dust out.

    Settled on the product I purchased Sherwin Williams Armorseal 1000 HS



    A couple days ago my fiancé' decided to bring up the topic that one of our close friends' father does this for a living... how sweet of her..
    So I contacted him and he has given me a lot of help. I've sent him pictures,(as shown above) and he pointed out that the darker grey spots are signs of concrete sealer still existing and this should all be removed.

    He recommended Muriatic acid to finish the job. For those who haven't used it before, It's a very strong and potent acid, so don't forget your Breathing apparatus, goggles, non-latex gloves... probably rubber boots too, although my old sneakers held up fine, I can't recommend it to anyone else... He also recommended to use it at a ratio of 50/50 with water, the bottle recommended 1/8 so I chose a happy medium seeing that it was my first time.
    With the acid you poor it down, disperse it with a brush, then wait 5 or so minutes for it to do its job, then scrub and rinse it off, several times. you'll be so sick of scrubbing by the end but perhaps if you start with 50/50 Muriatic acid you won't need to do it 3 times like I did.
    However with each etching the concrete became noticeably lighter and more absorbent to water, so it goes to show what is required to get it to the point to allow the epoxy to really cure with the concrete.



    If you've read this far you're probably hoping for results.. but there aren't any, Should I finally be satisfied with the concrete tomorrow, I will be applying the first layer of Armorseal, SW say thats enough, but EVERYONE else recommends two so I see myself doing that unless magic happens.

    ALSO, This is not a step by step DIY, this is just the process I took, and if anything, learn from my mistakes and try make it a quicker project than I have.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Texas
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    A commercial epoxy floor would be fantastic, but sorry, I don't have the $2K - $4K to have it done (4 car garage). I applied the SW Armorseal 2 part epoxy to new garage floor about 10 years ago and it has held up well. Plenty of good feedback above so I'll try not to repeat any of that. Here are some tips to consider for any of you thinking about this type of product.
    (1) If you want to put it on thick, you may want to buy double the number of recommended kits. I had 2 garages to do connected by a door. I did one first and then the other some weeks later. I purchased the kits separately, many weeks apart and they were from different "lots". The color was very close between the 2, but not exact so buy all you need at once and make sure they are from the same manufacturing batch or lot. You should be able to return an unopened kit. I double coated mine since I did not get enough on the first coat, still way way cheaper than the commercial epoxy, like an order of magnitude cheaper.
    (2) Go light in color. The dark colors will suck all the light from your garage and reflect none from your ceiling lights. A friend has a dark grey color on his garage and it is very dark and he even has windows in his garage door. I used the tan color and it is nice and bright. I would not even buy a house with a garage coated in a dark color, makes the garage too dark. The light colors will show dirt however, so you may need to clean it periodically.
    (3) The 2 part SW epoxy coatings have a finite pot life (like they all do) and you'd be surprised how long it can take to roll the coating on a 2 car garage floor. Don't waste time doing the vertical surfaces around the floor perimeter or cutting-in, you'll probably run out of coating or time and it will get too thick to apply.
    (4) I purchased from SW a color matching (make a swatch to take into the store) paint to coat the short perimeter wall around the garage floor that I applied with a brush after my floor had dried (I think it was just a plain latex paint). Works great, it's cheap and you can do it at your leisure without worrying if the epoxy will set too soon. The perimeter won't get any wear so you're just coloring it. This also permits you to skip "cutting-in" the floor where it meet the wall, just roll the floor and the small area of floor that the roller misses can be painted with the brush when you do the short walls.
    (5) Don't put too many chips on the floor, it will be hard to find washers and nuts you drop.
    (6) I put on the clear coat with the abrasive in it and it works great, no slippage when wet.

    Hope these tips help in making a decision about your floor coatings.

  3. #23
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    3 and 4 are great to know, I was concerned about this, I've been trying to get someone to come help out today so I wouldn't be concerned about the epoxy curing in the tray, but I think I'll take your advice and just paint it.

  4. #24
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    UPDATE:

    No progress...

    I still wasn't happy with several areas still holding sealer, I've purchased more muriatic acid and will hit it again, but it has now snowed in NC so I probably won't be able to etch again until tomorrow. I'm in too deep to rush anything now.

  5. #25
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    Sep 2016
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    Kingman AZ
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    Just a thought. If you can't get the floor clean to your satisfaction. When we coated the floor in my shop
    We sandblastied the concrete to insure adherence. Dirty job but with grease and oil involved it certainly
    Worked.
    Ray

  6. #26
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    Aug 2007
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    James, I think the extra work you're doing in the prep work is more than going to pay for itself. I agree with you, don't put the coating until your positive you've done the best prep work you can do. Just remember to let it dry very, very well before starting the sealing process. Porous concrete can hold a lot of moisture. Looking great so far though..

    Carl Wilson
    1968 Camaro - T-56 6 speed - 383 Stroker, 2014 Mustang GT seats

  7. #27
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    the concrete is 95% perfect and ready, but some darker smoother areas where the acid and etching never got to well enough are still bothering me. It really seemed like the concrete etched perfectly where I directly dropped the muriatic acid prior to scrubbing, and as I separated the garage into sections, the problem areas are the separations of these areas, so that is where I'll target tomorrow, and I'm more than confident it will then be perfect.

  8. #28
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    Jul 2006
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    PPG makes a two-part epoxy called Aquapon that requires two coats but not a clear topcoat (so it won't turn yellow from UV sunlight). It is a high abuse induatrial coating that you can tint to any color.

  9. #29
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    There are tons of videos on youtube about epoxy flooring. This is just one of many but after watching a number of these I get the sense that the floor prep is not as critical as one might think.

    Steve Hayes
    "Dust Off"
    68 Camaro

    Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you!
    "Jeremy Clarkson"

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJDMan View Post
    There are tons of videos on youtube about epoxy flooring. This is just one of many but after watching a number of these I get the sense that the floor prep is not as critical as one might think.
    I agree, depending on your plans for the garage, I've seen some deceptive youtube videos where a light etch was all they required. The SW rep said that you can basically prep to what your level of use will be, he suggested what my garage was like after my first etch would be good enough for a nice garage with nothing too extreme to test the epoxy, but with high performance tires(especially living close to the freeway like I do), trolley jacks, jack stands etc it is best to etch it correctly for a proper bond.
    My uses for the garage are nothing too crazy, perhaps the home depot boxed sets would have sufficed, but it really isn't all that much more expensive to use industrial epoxies and the prep seems similar with either.
    Anyways, I spot etched the garage again, then hit it all again entirely in Muriatic acid, and now, a week later than planned, the concrete is perfect, I have let it dry for two days while continuously vacuuming the surface to remove any remaining concrete dust.
    I would paint it today but it is too cold, so I'm all set for a start tomorrow.

  11. #31
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    Coat 1

    So the weather was finally warm enough on monday to lay down the epoxy. The temp was around 55 degrees so I calculated it required about an hour and a half sweat-in time, and since it was so cold, it meant my pot life time would be about 5hrs so I figured I'd have enough time to also epoxy the raised lip around the outside of the garage. Not long into this I realised just how much epoxy was being used on this job so I decided to scrap the idea and just make sure I got the entire floor down. The epoxy goes on really thick, and I was concerned I wouldn't have enough to complete the entire garage. to my surprise I finished it with about 20% left over.



    To keep it brief, I wasn't blown away by it, it really absorbed into the pores, and it never filled the larger pores, and even worse, the etching revealed fibreglass hair reinforcement in the concrete that are impossible to remove without burning, and the epoxy showed them all like imperfections.
    The good news is it all cured perfect, no problem areas in the concrete as yet

  12. #32
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    coat 2

    I never purchased the 2nd coat initially, partly because the SW rep said 1 could be enough....wrongggg.
    After some drama with SW not having any left in stock and the epoxy only having a 7 day window to lay a second coat, we got our hands on some and I laid it down today at 60 degrees air temp.
    just over an hour of sweat-in and a pot life of about 4 hours I got to work.
    the second coat spreads at 150% coverage of the first coat seeing as it does not absorb into the pores. So I spent the first hour finishing the raised edges of the garage and then began a nice thick coat on the floor.
    I decided to purchase the decorative flakes just to have on standby for if I still wasn't happy with imperfections, and after completing a small area I decided it is best to use them just to hide any imperfections my OCD will never leave alone, In the end I'm happy I did.





    I'm much happier with it now, although It is being left alone to cure before I fully assess it and decide whether or not a clear polyurethane finish is needed.
    Also, something I will need to figure out soon when I begin installing cabinetry, the plastic sink in the garage will be removed for a kitchen style sink, but the first coat managed to fuse the legs to the concrete... might be a job for a grinder to remove it

  13. #33
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    Looks really great, I like it better with the flakes. Great shine even without the clear top coat. I figured you'd need two coats. I suspect the super expensive professional coats cover in one application, but they should for the cost. Good job! Garage transformation for sure.

  14. #34
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    Good job James. The second coat really made a big difference. I know your happy! The OCD thing. That's me, I need to get over it to an extent though. Good looking floor regardless.

    Carl Wilson
    1968 Camaro - T-56 6 speed - 383 Stroker, 2014 Mustang GT seats

  15. #35
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    Thanks Carl, and this also reminded me that I forgot the final update:
    I did go ahead and add the clear coat, its called Sherwin Williams rexthane, I also added a small amount of anti slip additive to it, not because I was worried about slipping but because I just wanted a uniform finish.
    Counting back that's 4 weeks since the last epoxy went down, 3 and a half since the clear coat. The mrs has been parking in the garage for about 10 days now and I've been wheeling around powersaws and tool benches and not a single mark has shown so far.
    I'm happy with the results to say the least and now I can focus on cabinetry and finishing the walls! just in time for the Camaro to come home.

  16. #36
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    It's funny, the flakes in the paint make it look like the GM trunk spatter paint, only with larger flakes. Good job!

    Carl Wilson
    1968 Camaro - T-56 6 speed - 383 Stroker, 2014 Mustang GT seats

  17. #37
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    Were those pics above before or after the clear went on?

  18. #38
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    those pictures were from before the clear coat, although it doesn't look any different with the clear, it just has a more uniform shine

  19. #39
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    for reference.

  20. #40
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    looks awesome - thanks

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