Garage Paint vs. Epoxy
What is Garage Paint?
Garage paint is exactly what it sounds like, a floor paint that is single component, in a gallon can, and comes from manufacturers like Behr or similar. These can be purchased at big box stores for apprx $36. Much like a wall paint, these floor "coatings" are dipped and rolled onto garage floors. These are extremely cheap and quite easy to apply. Many people think that these products are good because why would a big brand sell it if it wasn't, right? Wrong. Products like these are no more than wall paint, with good marketing and the backing of Home Depot or Lowes. Think of this, wall paints scratch and fade over time, what makes us think that the same product won't after driving and even heavy foot traffic?
On the label, it states:
- No cleaning until 30 days after install
- Premature heavy traffic will cause paint failure requiring spot re-coating.
- No driving until 7 days after install
- No more than 2 coats
- No pressure washing
So you're telling me there's a chance!? No, not really. Epoxy paint products WILL fail. Meaning, all the work you did ie. removing your possessions, prep the floor, buy the products, apply the product and put everything back in the garage was a waste of time...& money.
True epoxy is not a paint, although it looks and sometimes is applied similar to one. Epoxy is a 2 component product containing a resin and catalyst (A&B). Separately these products stay in liquid form, when mixed together at the proper ratios, they catalyze and for a durable coating. Are all epoxies created equal? No. Every epoxy product from every manufacturer is different, contains different solids content (high solids are better material), chemistry, moisture blocking capabilities, etc.
Are the epoxy products at Home Depot or Lowe's good products? Loaded question, they are better than paints described above...however in the eyes of epoxy they are still mediocre at best. Low solids content means they are diluted to bring a higher profit to their manufactures while still claiming the epoxy title. These products are extremely thin, don't cover well, and without proper primers and clear coats these will fade a wear quite easily.
There are many nuances to understand when working with high quality epoxy coatings that an experienced installer will understand. Does the concrete shows signs of moisture? If so, the use of a moisture vapor barrier is required. Is the concrete very soft? If so, you will require more product. In very general terms, a two component 100% solids epoxy product is what you're looking for.
This article doesn't even touch on preparation of the concrete for a long lasting coating. The best products in the world without proper preparation are going to fail, period. The picture that I'm trying to paint here (no pun intended) is this...if you are reading this article, you are ahead of the game because you are doing your research and actually care about how your project turns out. Don't be fooled by marketing giants that their products are sufficient, because we grind their products off on a daily basis. 60% of the garages we do a week are grinding off failed coatings.
If you are researching a DIY project, give us a call to talk you through it and give you the right tools and materials for a job well done. If you would like a professionally installed garage floor coating, no garage paint here, give us a call. We serve all of Naples, Fort Myers, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding cities of South Florida.