Painting your garage floor is an excellent way to lift the appeal of your house and make the space nicer to use. Whether parking your car or using it as a place for your home office or the band’s practice space, painting your concrete floor will make it feel rejuvenated and fresh.
Here’s the best way to approach painting your concrete garage floor…
Prepare your concrete garage floor for painting
Remove old paint from a concrete garage floor
If the concrete floor has old paint, you’ll need to remove it to re-do the job. Here’s how:
1. Start with a clean floor
2. Apply paint stripper and leave to soak
3. Scrub the surface to remove the paint (you can do this with a wire brush or paint scraper)
4. Wash the floor (using a pressure washer can help remove more paint)
5. Repeat until all the paint is gone
6. Do a final wash to ensure all the paint stripper is removed before moving on
Clean the garage floor to prepare for the paint
Oil and grease from cars can wreak havoc with paint and ruin the finished job. If you haven’t had to strip old paint from the concrete floors, it’s important to clean up any oil and grease stains before starting the painting process.
The best way to do this is to use a degreaser and give the floor an aggressive scrub. It can be a painstaking process, but it’s worth it to ensure your hard work results in a quality finish.
If you need help troubleshooting problem stains and grease spots, check out our complete guide to garage floor stains and how to remove them.
Repair cracks in a concrete garage floor before painting
It’s important to repair any cracks in your concrete garage floor before painting, as any cracks or imperfections will come up through the paint and destroy the integrity of the final surface.
This can easily be done with concrete crack filler purchased at a hardware store. Often it comes in a tube for a caulking gun, or you can get a larger tub and use a putty knife to smooth it on. Ensure it has fully set before proceeding (setting time varies depending on the product you use).
Prepare the garage floor surface with etching
Etching helps roughen the surface of the concrete floor so that the paint can stick to the surface. Unfortunately, concrete garage floors are often too hard for paint to stick to and require an etching process to open up the pores of the concrete.
There are a variety of etching products you can use, all available at paint or hardware stores. For the best result, follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
At the end, ensure that all of the etching treatment has been washed away and removed, and don’t start painting until the floor is dry. It is often worth waiting a day or two to ensure the floor is completely dry.
Decide what type of paint to use for your concrete garage floor
When painting your concrete garage floor, there are two main options: epoxy or floor paint.
Epoxy is arguably considered paint by many; however, it is made of different chemicals and uses a different finishing process. Nevertheless, it is applied similarly to paint, and the final product is extremely durable and sturdy.
Concrete floor paint usually comes in latex or oil-based options. These are stronger than regular house paint; however, not as strong as epoxy.
If your garage is a high-traffic zone used for your car or other mechanical work, epoxy is often the choice for long-term use. Durability is particularly important if the floor encounters ongoing oil and grease stains, as these chemicals will degrade standard floor paint quickly.
Choose the right colour of paint for your concrete garage floor
Choosing a colour for your garage floor will come down to personal choice and your balance of priorities.
The darker your floor, the easier it is to conceal dirt, grease and stains. However, dark colours make spaces feel small and enclosed, and lighter colours will make your garage feel bigger and more spacious.
Often, the best decision is to choose a colour in the middle and find a nice neutral or grey colour to get the best of both worlds. There is also the option to include decorative flakes in the finish, which will help conceal dirt and stains.
Paint your concrete garage floor
The hardest part of painting a garage floor happens in the preparation. Usually, by the time you’ve stripped, cleaned, repaired and etched the concrete, the painting phase seems quick and easy.
How to apply paint to a concrete garage floor
There is a vast range of paints and epoxy products that you can use to paint your concrete garage floor. Each will have different processes or recommendations on how to apply them.
Generally, most products follow this process:
1. Ensure the prepared floor is completely dry and that the garage is well ventilated before starting.
2. Unless you are painting up the walls, use tape around the edges to protect the walls or kickboards.
3. Apply the paint using either a paintbrush or roller. For most garage floors we recommend using a roller as it helps cover a lot more space with ease.
4. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how many coats to use and how much drying time to leave between them.
5. Consider using a final sealer if appropriate for the type of paint and finish you have chosen.
How to stencil a concrete garage floor
You can use stencils to add a large picture or logo to your floor or to incorporate a pattern or geometric design as a part of the finished project.
1. Apply the stencil on top of a base coat (or two) as the final layer of paint before sealing.
2. If it is a large stencil, you can apply the paint with a roller, but a paintbrush will be more precise and give you a better result.
3. Avoid using too much paint, so the stencil doesn’t drip or bleed through and ruin the design.
4. Give the stencil plenty of time to dry before moving it.
How to seal a painted concrete garage floor
A concrete sealing coat isn’t necessary but does go a long way to improving the durability of your floor paint.
If you’ve used epoxy instead of latex or oil-based floor paint, you don’t need an additional sealant, as most sealants are a clear form of epoxy.
It’s important to follow the sealant product’s manufacturer’s instructions, as sealants and epoxy coatings have a chemical drying process, which means incorrect use may result in it not drying. Often the application is very similar to applying a coat of paint.
Making your garage look good
As market-leading garage door providers, we have seen countless garages and garage floor paint jobs. We know the garage isn’t typically a place people first consider renovating, but upgrading things like your garage floors and garage doors is a great way to bring new life to your home.
If painting your garage floor is out of the question, or if you’re interested in other options, we also have an easy guide with more ideas to cover your garage floor.
If you’d like help with ideas for how to upgrade your garage door to match your newly painted floors, or have questions about what’s involved in a new door installation, check out our range of garage doors and give our friendly team of garage door specialists a call – 1300 767 900.