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How to Apply Epoxy Concrete Floor Paint

This garage has an automatic door. There are shelves on the side of the garage and a concrete floor.


Epoxy floor coatings are a great way to update and protect your concrete floors. They come in a variety of colors and styles and can be applied in multiple layers to create a seamless finish.

Epoxy coatings adhere firmly to concrete, making them resistant to moisture, grease, scuffing and chemicals. Their durability makes them ideal for garages and basements, where dropped tools or other heavy objects may damage the surface finish. 

Want to know how to do epoxy flooring the right way? We’ve got you covered — this article will cover the step-by-step process of applying epoxy concrete floor paint to ensure you get a beautiful and durable finish.

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What is Epoxy?

Epoxy floor paints are durable, resin-based paints with two components combined before application. Epoxy paint is available in three forms: high solids, solvent-base and water-base.

  • High Solids: A high solids coating is a one- or two-component paint with more solid elements (binders, pigments and additives) than a standard coat but still delivers acceptable coating and application properties despite the lower percentage of volatile organic compounds.

  • Solvent Based: Solvent-based epoxy works on the same principle as water-based: adding extra substances that must evaporate. Adding solvent to the epoxy has a more modest effect on its strength and is also more resistant to petroleum contamination in concrete.

  • Water-Based: Water-based epoxy produces a surface covering/​film resistant to water and chemicals, has excellent acid resistance, solvent resistance, oil resistance, and gasoline resistance. It also has the best impact, abrasion and scuff-resistance of any epoxy.

Applying Epoxy Paint to a Concrete Floor Instructions

1. Clean Concrete Floor

Before applying the coating, new concrete must cure for 30 days. With a scraper, wire brush or stiff bristle brush, remove all dirt, wax, dust, mildew and loose or separating material. Scrub with a high-powered detergent in warm water to get rid of grease, waxes and oils. Allow the surface to dry fully before rinsing it clean.

  • You can use a pressure washer, but to avoid damaging the concrete, do not use a pressure setting greater than 1,750 psi. Concrete is like a sponge — it retains residual moisture after cleaning and pressure washing and will affect how the epoxy cures.

A person wearing black boots is sweeping their concrete floor with a red broom


2. Mix and Apply Concrete Etch

Concrete etching is the process of roughening a concrete surface with an acid and water solution. The acid wash opens pores in the concrete to ensure a firm bond between the new coating and its surface. Many people are not comfortable using muriatic acid because it is active straight from the bottle.

A safer alternative is DRYLOK Etch. It is equally effective as muriatic acid and only activated once water is added to it. 

  • Before starting, be sure to have eye protection and chemical-resistant gloves. All dirt, grease and grime should have been removed with a detergent solution.

  • Make sure the surface is wet.

  • Mix 12 ounces of Etch with one gallon of warm water.

  • Use a stiff bristle brush to etch the surface and ensure it stays wet throughout the procedure. If painting a garage floor, pay close attention to areas where cars usually park. 

  • Continue rinsing while scrubbing to ensure all pollutants are removed. It’s best to work in small sections rather than trying to do everything at once. The etched surface should feel textured, like medium-grit sandpaper, to increase the adhesion of paints. 

  • When all surfaces are dry, check for any DRYLOK® Etch solution remaining on them before coating them. Allow surfaces the time to fully dry before applying paint.


3. Prepare Room for Painting

Use a suitable cement-based patching compound to seal all holes and cracks. Make sure the repair is smooth. Allow plenty of time for the area to dry fully after it has been repaired. 

Paint that is peeling should be scraped off and removed. Mildew should be removed using a product safe for use on painted surfaces. To improve adhesion, do not apply to surfaces previously finished with two-component epoxy paints/​coatings. Do not etch over painted surfaces.

4. Mix and Apply the Epoxy Coating


Before applying the first coat, make sure you adhere to these guidelines:

  • Make sure the temperature is 50℉ or above.

  • For optimum results, wait for a dry period when there is no rain in the forecast. Do not thin the product. 

  • Using a three-eighths-inch nap roller or nylon polyester brush, apply an even coat. 

  • Never apply paint to a hot surface area. 

  • Provide adequate ventilation for normal drying. Wait a minimum of four hours before applying the second coat. Drying times may be longer in high humidity and cool conditions.


5. Allow Epoxy to Dry Then Apply Second Coat

Apply the second coat of epoxy perpendicular to the first to achieve a uniform finish. Remember, no more than two coats should be used, and if using more than one container, mix the cans together to guarantee a consistent color.

6. After Floor is Dry, Apply Epoxy as a Baseboard Finish (Optional)

For maximum protection, consider painting the baseboards in your garage or basement with DRYLOK epoxy.

Use DRYLOK® Epoxy and Etch for the Best Painted Concrete

DRYLOK® E1 Latex 1‑Part Epoxy Concrete Floor Paint is a semi-gloss high-performance coating that uses an Advanced Epoxy Ester Resin fortified formula to provide greater protection and longevity. Even in busy areas, it is simple to keep clean due to its gorgeous showroom-quality finish.

Our latex epoxy is available in three standard colors, and there are nine additional colors available at your local distributor. DRYLOK Etch is specially formulated to work with our one-part epoxy to provide professional results every time. Contact us today to find a retailer near you, and while you are online, you can look at the rest of our waterproofing paints and sealer solutions.