Using color chips to complement epoxy flooring

Using color chips to complement epoxy flooring

Embedding color chips into epoxy flooring is both an art and a skill. Often the art portion is left to the client, but some helpful tips can assist them in making good choices. A good rule of thumb is to select two colors of chips to be added to the floor, oe color lighter than the floor and one color darker. Refraining from multiple colors and applying good taste promote highly attractive finishes. The key, of course, is good taste. Other factors for obtaining optimum results with color chip floors revolve around (1) the size of the color chips used, (2) the proportions of each color, and (3) the density at which the chips are distributed onto the floor.
It is often a good idea to put the base color coat down first. Once the base code is hard, sprinkling the selected color chip blends over the color will help visualize the end result. Often the starting point is equal proportions of each of the color selected for test purposes. A simple pinch of each color into a cup or container will be a good start. Sprinkle these chips by your feet, creating a variation in density from light too heavy. In this way, you can get a feeling for the effect of size and density of chips. Next, it is often good to squeeze the remaining chips in your cup a dozen times or so to break them into half-size and repeat the process. This allows comparing large chips and various densities alongside smaller chips in various densities. Once the size of chip and density are identified, then changing the proportion of chips will often help achieve the result desired. Often dominant colors will overpower the more muted shades. As a result, cutting back on the proportion of the dominant color will sometimes improve the look. Resist the temptation to make the floor too much of a distraction. In showroom applications, often the objective is to highlight the product and not the floor. In this case, muted sympathy colors may be most appropriate.

Once the color density and chip size have been established, it is best to mix up those proportions and size them before starting the flooring project. Now is a good time to check the floor for any imperfections. Because the floor is now one color after its primer coat, many more imperfections are often found. Using grout to bridge small cracks in pits followed by a quick once over with sanding screen and rotary scrubber is advisable. There will be some epoxy dust, grout particles, and other debris generated by screening. Note that you don’t have to wait for your grout to fully dry before doing the screening. Durall-supplied grout is designed to allow epoxy to penetrate and bond successfully, even when slightly damp. Once screening is complete, sweeping with a kitchen broom and dustpan is advisable. Push brooms often leave too much debris, while a kitchen broom is more apt to move dust and particles off the floor. Kitchen brooms not only sweep but also tend to blow dust off the floor with their sweeping motion.

Now you can start coating the floor. The key, of course, is to disperse the color chips into the wet finish evenly before the finish sets up. The goal is for all those color chips to be glued into place on the floor before curing. A good technique for achieving this is the roll from one side of the room to the other an area of about five or 6 feet deep. Then walk along the wet edge of that coated area and throw three finger pinches of your chip mix high into the air. If you can hit a ceiling light fixture or back wall with that pinch of color chips, it will burst into an even cloud and settle surprisingly uniformly on the wet floor below. Once you’ve completed throwing chips over the width of the floor, walking back along the trail and throwing two finger pinches out for less dense areas will complete the process. Note that as you get towards the wet edge density does not have to be uniform, as there will be some overlap on your next pass. Often some chips fall on non-coated floor areas. Normally, if rolled over with wet epoxy paint, those small chips disappear into the color and do not pose a problem.

A clear coat over your distributed chip areas will bind them in place more perfectly and durably. But normally, simply broadcasting chips to the topcoat will hold up quite well, although some expectation of chip size deterioration over the years along with density is to be expected when the chips are exposed to the surface. This is really a cost issue, deciding whether a third coat to bind them is more cost-efficient than to recoat a few years down the road.

For a detailed quote of materials needed to apply epoxy paint to your floor, please visit our free cost analysis page at

For more information, contact Chris Biesanz at or phone 1-800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488 (24/7).

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