Epoxy paint is what you will find at a home improvement store in a kit with nice labeling.
When you look at the box you’ll think …wow, I can roll that on my floor in an afternoon.
So, you buy the kit. Roll the garage floor epoxy paint on the floor, and then stand back admiring your masterpiece.
You’ll think you beat the system. No need to hire an expensive contractor. You were right.
You wait a few days for it to fully cure then drive your car in the garage.
The next morning you walk into your nice garage. Start your car. Back out. Then you notice something odd.
You get out of your car. Walk to the garage and see … the paint just peeled off the floor!
What the heck just happened?
Epoxy Paint from Retail Store vs. Contractor Grade Epoxies
The garage floor epoxy found at most home improvement stores is a thin coating. It’s not engineered to withstand hot tires caused by the friction with the road and your tires.
That’s why when you do it yourself, you see peeling paint on your new garage floor!
Manufacturers recommend surface prep using an acid etch to roughen up the surface of the concrete. The problem with acid etching is that you mix with water, then saturate the floor. When it appears dry, you are ready to apply the garage floor epoxy.
The issue is that the concrete may look and feel dry, but the concrete surface pores are full of moisture and acid.
When you roll on the floor paint, you trap moisture and acid in the floor. This becomes a bond breaker. Typically, floor paint and coating failures are due to moisture issues found within the concrete.
Most professional grade epoxy coatings are 3-5 times the thickness of home improvement store epoxy paint.
The epoxy floor contractor process for a new garage floor starts with floor grinding or shot blasting. Then, contractors apply a primer followed by a second coat and final seal coat. The best finish coats are epoxy, urethanes or polysapartics.
How Much Does Garage Floor Epoxy Paint Cost?
If you search online you will find many epoxy floor paint kits available for approximately 30 cents per square foot or about $150 to cover 500 sq. ft., which is the size of a 2-car garage.
Compare that to a professional epoxy coating in the range of $1 to $2 for material plus additional tools, brushes, buckets and drills. Cost will also vary depending on application of decorative chips or quartz.
Expect to pay in the ballpark of $4.50 to $5.50 per square foot if hiring a contractor. A 500-sq. ft. two-car garage will cost you approximately $2,500 or more depending on the system.
If you choose a highly decorative metallic epoxy system, expect to pay in ballpark of $7 to $12 per square foot.