Tuesday, 20th February 2018 Shabby to Showroom – transformational epoxy floor paint
Concrete, it’s the flooring of choice for garages, utility rooms, sheds, kennels, workshops, stores and much more besides. Hard wearing, even surfaced (usually!) and load bearing, concrete flooring is endlessly versatile in domestic, commercial and industrial situations.
But it is not always beautiful and all concrete can become fragile if it is not well maintained. In fact concrete is vulnerable to more than we often realise including – moisture contamination, heavy or regular abrasion, chemical spillages, frost, de-icing salts and even ammonia in kennels or stables.
So how do you protect and decorate a concrete floor whilst retaining the durability, versatility and toughness that is the very hallmark of concrete?
School of Hard Knocks
The answer is that you need a coating which exhibits the same tough characteristics as the concrete you are applying it to! ….And that means an epoxy paint.
Kingfisher Epoxy Floor Paint is hard wearing, easy to clean, chemical resistant and crucially it won’t flake off at the first sign of muddy feet or tyres. Unlike standard floor paints, Kingfisher Epoxy Floor Paint is a two pack system comprising a resin and an activator. Mixed together these two components form a highly adhesive coating which cures to an attractive hard shell finish.
Epoxy paints were originally conceived for harsh industrial applications so the resultant premium grade resins and pigments are designed to survive the rigours of production facilities and professional workshops.
Transforming old floors.
Older floors will generally need more preparation, but time spent at this stage will massively improve the final result.
Remove all furnishings, equipment and materials from the floor space and thoroughly clean the floor surface. The extent of cleaning required will depend on both the type of contamination and how extensive that contamination is.
Organic dirt and grime from foot traffic can normally be removed with hot water and detergent worked-in with a deck scrubbing brush or alternatively a mechanical pressure washer. Accumulations of dust should ideally be vacuumed before washing to avoid unnecessary particle absorption into the substrate.
Floors suffering from oil or chemical contamination can be effectively cleaned with de-greasing cleaner such as Kingfisher “Bio 3”.
Once your floor has been cleaned, examine the surface for any defects such as gouges, cracks or holes. Minor cracks can be filled with Kingfisher 1 for All EXTREME MS Polymer sealant which is a cartridge applied sealant. Larger holes can be reliably and permanently filled with Kingfisher Tuff Patch which is an epoxy concrete repair mortar. Both of these products are fully compatible with Kingfisher Epoxy Floor Paint.
Protecting new concrete floors
New concrete floors should always be sealed to harden the surface and to protect against “dusting”. The question we are most often asked is… “how long should I leave my new concrete before painting or sealing it?”
Before answering this question it is useful to understand that although concrete cures sufficiently for light traffic within about 24 hours, the curing process continues in most cases for many months (approx. 1 month per 25 mm thickness). So moisture continues to evaporate as the concrete cures and must be allowed to escape.
You can “seal” a new concrete floor within 24 hours of pouring it, as long as the sealer you choose has a degree of breathability. Typically you should only apply one coat. e.g. Kingfisher Floor & Wall Sealer or Ultimate Topcoat. This will provide the surface with an initial protection and is the ideal primer for subsequent application of Kingfisher Epoxy Floor Paint which should ideally not be applied until at least 8 weeks after the concrete was poured.
If the floor has been in use in the interim period, make sure you wash it clean and allow to dry before painting.
Painting by numbers
Measure up the total floor area to calculate roughly how much Epoxy Floor Paint is needed for each coat. You should only mix up what you need and whilst the temptation is to pour all of the activator into the resin pot, this will result in waste if you don’t use it all because the pot life is only about 1 hour at an ambient temperature of 20 degrees C!
Tip - If you decant equal portions of resin and activator into a separate clean container you can limit waste. Mix the liquid thoroughly, ideally with a power paddle and apply by brush or roller.
For a neat finish it helps to “cut in” the perimeter edges by brush and then apply by roller to the larger floor area.
Two coats are essential for the best finish and once cured you will have a stunning looking floor which will provide the ideal background to any showroom, garage or workspace for years to come.