In this instructable you can learn how to cover your workshop or garage with a durable epoxy resin coat. Hopefully this provides a good starting point so you can renew your own floor.
Stuff you need:
- Durable Epoxy Resin I used Easyground, but of course this tutorial also works for any other resin.
- 1 Big and 1 Small Paint Roller or Brush
- Masking Tape (For areas you don´t want to paint)
- Sealing Safety Glasses (Sealing is better than those normal glasses.)
- At least 10 pairs of gloves.
- Paint Stirer (Essential for mixing a lot o fEpoxy)
- Paint Roller Extension
Household stuff you should keep nearby:
- Kitchen wipes.
- Soapy Water
Step 1: Make a Plan.
How big is the area you need to cover?
The resin supplier will tell you how much material you will need according to your surface area. This number should always be rounded up since manufacturers tend to exaggerate their coverage.
What surface do you have?
Epoxy bonds well on pretty much anything except silicone and old paint. This stuff should be removed. Get an epoxy that is recommended for your floor. My floor was tiled and the epoxy could be poured straight on top. If your tiles are glossy, you should sand them first, or remove them all together.
Is your floor even?
Any cracks should be filled with crack filler.
Step 2: Clean Up the Mess!
My workshop floor was abused for 8 years. It got covered in paint, epoxy, oil and sawdust. For the epoxy to stick well to the floor, it needs to be absolutley clean!
- Sweep the floor to get rid of the loose dust and debris.
- Pressure wash or scrub it with a stiff wire brush to remove paint drips and other stains.
- Clean with soapy biodegradable water to remove any oil residues.
- Let it dry for at least a day. You don´t want to trap any water.
I had some epoxy pudles leftover that I removed with an old chissel and a hammer. My hope was that the epoxy coat would hide those crimes, and it did!
Step 3: Paint Your Walls Before You Paint the Floor.
Painting the walls created a lot of fresh paint drops that made the floor even worse. It is a good idea to paint the walls first and the floor later.
Step 4: How to Mix the Epoxy.
Mixing the Epoxy right is crucial!
Epoxy or Polyester Resins are thermosetting polymers. That means that they are formed by mixing two components and curing them with heat. It is absolutley crucial to get the ratios of both components right. Every molecule in Part A needs to find matching partners from Part B. If they don´t, the resin will stay soft, or become very brittle. So when mixing and epoxy, it is absolutley important that you mix them up all the way.
Our Epoxy came inside 2 buckets with Part A and part B. We mixed them together and stirred them for about 2 minutes with a cordless drill and a paint stirer. Mix until you think its enough and then mix some more.
Make sure to scrap the sides really good. Unmixed resin will ruin your day. We didn´t scrap out the buckets to avoid any unmixed resin.
Step 5: Base Layer - a Thin Application for Good Adhesion
Make sure you have plenty of time and all the right tools. This only took 2 hours, but working with epoxy sucks if you are in a rush.
We quickly went around the edges of the room and covered the details with paint. This is a thinned down mix according to the manufacturers instructions. Is gets applied lightly and is only there to seal any pores and to get adhesion with the entire surface.
This layer is then cured for 12-24 hours and then the main layer is applied.
Step 6: Adding the Thick Main Layer.
I came back 12 hours later to add the final layer. You cannot wait to long with this because fully cured epoxy needs to be sanded before you can add more expoy.
This is the main layer that gets applied quite thick. I started with the edges again and a small brush. Then I poured all the epoxy on the floor. It is a good idea to pour all the epoxy in one go to evenly spread it around the room. Once everything is dumped, you can spread it out evenly with the big roller and the extension. As long as you are careful not stepping into any puddles, you can get away with clean shoes.
Step 7: Colour Chips
My epoxy manufacturer also sells these colour chips that add a nice texture. They are mainly there to hide any dirt later on.
I used the leaf blower to spread them out, which worked, but there were far more at the entrance than the back. Next time, I would just step onto the fresh paint and start spreading the stuff at the back. Then I would move towards the entrance, remove my footprints and cover them also with the chips. So that way you cover the room step by step and remove your foot prints.
At this step you could also distribute fine silicate sand, but then you need to add a third layer to cover the sand.
Step 8: Admire Your Work.
If you did everything right, you should end up with a clean and beautiful floor that will decades.