Epoxy paint for coating concrete floors

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Instructions for applying Dura Seal 400

We are in the process of preparing a YouTube video series covering all of the steps for preparing a garage floor and applying epoxy paint to it. New videos will be added to the series in continuing updates. Please click here to go to our page on How to Paint a Concrete Garage Floor.

1. Equipment

If possible, use a rotary scrubber (like a school janitor uses to clean floors), preferably with grit type bristle. This is often called a cement brush and having a little grit or carbide in the plastic bristles is best (Nilo or Malo Grit). If not available, a black pad with pad driver can be used. The better the tool, the less work for you. Additional equipment items include wet/dry vacuum, floor squeegee, long-handled scraper, roller cage with long handle, paint brush taped to a long handle, drill mixer or paddle, as well as vapor mask and cartridges if sensitive to volatile organic/acid vapors and odor.

2. Product mixing

  1. Defoamer: use 2 or 3 oz. in the vacuum tank to keep foam down before sucking up each tank full of cleaners and rinse water. If foam blocks the drain or vac, put a few ounces of defoamer directly in the vac hose or drain. Note: do not put defoamer on floor as it may cause finish problem.
  2. Mix Degrease Rite with water 2-to-1 for clean surfaces, 1-to-1 for dirty surfaces. Apply by pouring pails-full over the entire floor to allow it time to work and help your cleaning. You can then scrub from end to end. The more time the cleaner has to work against the surface, the less work you will need to do. Once you have cleaned from end to end, use your squeegee to pull the liquid over to your wet/dry vac or to a drain.
  3. Dura Kleen can be used at 100% if applied evenly with a mop for hard smooth surfaces; mix 1 to 1 when you do not have a mop to assure even distribution. Note that an even application is important and that you may need to add fresh Dura Kleen to your bucket as you dip into it to keep its pH level at strength. Once you have applied from end to end on the area you are working on, scrub from end to end. Then use your squeegee to pull the liquid over to your wet/dry vac or to a drain.
  4. Scrub rinsing is a must to stop the chemical action and avoid bubbles! Use a garden hose or pails of water to saturate floor then scrub from end to end and remove as was done with the detergents. Repeat if you find heavy suds persist. Breaking the surface tension is needed and a pressure washer just can't break that surface tension effectively.
  5. Final rinse. Use a garden hose, if you can, to rinse debris from walls, corners, cracks, and cavities onto the open floor. Then squeegee dry, and allow to dry until the floor turns dry (usually a white color). Use a rag to absorb material that may seep out of cavities back onto the floor. Watch for low spots that may have water pooling and remove water with a rag or clean mop.
  6. It is very important to mix Dura Seal for at least 200 strokes (or 2 minutes) to avoid soft spots. Soft spots are a lot of work to fix so avoid them by attention to your mixing. Dura Seal is a 1-to-1 mixture of epoxy to catalyst. Mix as much as you are going to need before starting to apply. This will assure that there is no color variation in your coat. Dura Seal does not harden in the can for up to 20 hours after mixing if kept in a cool location with a lid. The warmer it is, the faster Dura Seal will set up on the floor, usually 5 to 6 hours. Assign someone to mix the product as needed. It is a good policy to set each kit of epoxy and catalyst in a stack to avoid forgetting to mix in the catalyst. For a smooth floor, plan 325 sq. ft. per gallon.
  7. Epoxy can get on things you did not intend to coat. A little epoxy thinner can save you, your car seat, or other items from damage. Thinner is to be used undiluted on fresh epoxy to clean spills, hands, etc.

3. Surface Texture options

Gloss is the standard easy-maintenance look as applied from the can; clear epoxy offers the best camouflage. A flat, non-gloss look can be achieved if a flat catalyst is requested instead of the standard gloss catalyst. For skid-resistant finishes, shark grip can be added to the mixed product. Shark grip gives a texture like emery paper, yet is still easy to sweep and squeegee. A shark grip topcoat gives a satin look and helps hide imperfections. This look is the safest application for a good looking surface, and is still relatively easy to keep clean. (Color quartz, skid-resistant finishes are close to diamonds in hardness and will stand up to steel wheels but require a thicker (Dura Poxy) finish for best results.)

Color chips can give great looks but require some skill and must be applied while the top coat is still quite wet (just a few minutes after application). Color chips are usually not applied with color quartz applications. Usually, simply throwing three finger pinches of chips bounced off ceiling and wall every 8 ft. of wet application during the second coat works well. Two-finger pinches can be used to fill in any spots that need additional chips. If you like, you can use spiked overshoes to walk over the applied color. You can also fill a pail (having holes the size of your chips in the bottom), rotate the handle side to side to shift out chips to achieve the desired look. Use about 1 lb. per 400 sq. ft. for a normal density of chips (about 5% coverage.)

Our epoxy melts at 400 degrees and gives off CO2. Water and steam temperatures over 180 degrees can affect epoxy and urethane floors. Hot metal from welding, etc. can damage epoxy floors leaving slight discoloration burn marks ("cigarette" burns). Exposed edges where epoxy meets other surfaces or stops can allow water, brake fluid, and other liquids to work their way between your floor seal and the substrate and should therefore be avoided.

4. Characteristics of Dura Seal 400

Dura Seal has a strong odor that lasts for 8 to 10 hours. Most office staff will find the odors difficult to work in. Dura Kleen can produce a strong sweet lemon smell and on occasion a hazy vapor cloud with an odor that some find objectionable. A vapor mask can avoid discomfort from Dura Seal odors. If odor is going to create problems, you can switch to Dura Poxy which has no odor but covers less per gallon, increasing material costs.

Dura Seal is a catalyzed product and will harden in 20 hours once mixed. Any hardened product will have to be discarded. Do not glue down doors, drains, etc. that are in contact with Dura Seal when it is wet. Dura Seal hardens to 90% within 7 days and to its fullest extent over 28 days. Allow it to set up at least 12 to 48 hours before use for best results. Dura Seal will remain sticky in temperatures below 55 degrees. Dura Seal will eventually harden but the longer it remains sticky the more vulnerable it is to contamination from dirt, bugs, and other debris. If the epoxy remains wet, avoid wind and warm the surface when possible. Do not use kerosene or diesel fuel for heaters as they can discolor the coating. Do not allow flame to make direct contact with the wet floor.

5. Application of Dura Seal 400

The first coat should be applied with rollers 9 in. or 18 in. wide. Wider rollers can hide roller marks better. Airless sprayers are recommended for larger wall areas. The second coat can go on after 5 or 6 hours. For urethane topcoats, do it as soon as possible after each coat hardens. Urethane coats are susceptible to air bubbles and using very thin coats with an airless sprayer or 3/16" mohair roller spreading urethane poured on the floor will help avoid air getting into the coating resulting in bubbles forming. Epoxy coats can go on anytime once you can walk on the floor and re-coats even years later are compatible. For the best-finished look, we recommend using a screen-sanding disk on your scrubber between coats. Be sure to sweep up the dust generated from sanding before applying your final coat.

6. Repair of problems and irregularities

If there are imperfections or bubbles between coats, using a screen-sanding disk on your scrubber between coats is required. If gases are coming up through the floor it is sometimes safest to use our grout compound to seal in the bubbles before your topcoat. If you see a small hole at the base of bubble craters, this means gas can come up so glazing is a smart precaution. Two workers can glaze in 1,200 sq. ft. of bubbles in about an hour. Be sure to screen and to sweep up the dust generated before a final coat. Leaves, rodents, bugs, etc. can get in the surface when wet. Shave them off, and you often cannot see the problem.

7. Crack and Hole repair

  1. For eroded surfaces showing pits, using our Dura Poxy Crack Filler may level holes and stones. This heavy-body, 100% epoxy does not shrink. It can be used to fill up holes, cracks, and to float on eroded areas. Note that Dura Poxy is a honey-like mixture; it lies flat but like honey, or even a water drop, its surface tension will hold it slightly above its surrounding surfaces. To blend this hardened product to be level with surrounding surfaces, allow it to harden and then use a 4 in. grinder with a masonry disk to blend its edges to match surrounding surfaces. Your second coat of Dura Poxy will usually mask any slight scratches that the grinding leaves behind. For larger, heavily eroded areas you can use a notched squeegee to pull out the surface of Dura Poxy, then lightly follow with a 3/16" nap roller to level out any rack marks. Often just using a 3/16" roller and pulling it toward you like a squeegee will create a flat even surface over eroded areas. What you see is what you get when it hardens. As with honey, gravity will not make it go perfectly flat.

    We do have several viscosities of Dura Poxy. Our thinner 914 series of Dura Poxy flows more easily and may be better for large areas. Note that cracks are often bottomless. The product may leak out the bottom of the floor. If you suspect the crack to be bottomless, pour some sand in the bottom of the crack and use our foam cord to fill the bottoms before filling with epoxy. Use your grinder to even out surfaces so they blend well. Dura Poxy can be forced out of deep holes by the weight of color quartz creating uneven volcano-like edges that may need to be ground off. To avoid these, mix a peanut-butter-like trowel mix of color quartz and epoxy to pre-fill deep areas. You may then coat over these trawled areas even before they harden.
  2. For hairline cracks, we recommend using our grout compound after your first Dura Seal coat. Just use a putty knife to fill the hairline cracks. Once the cracks are filled and hardened, use a sanding screen on your floor scrubber to remove the excess and to blend the edges so the cracks will disappear. Grout compound is too soft for large holes but can be used to fix hairline cracks and for light applications can be used in a pinch to fix irregularities missed when doing the Dura Poxy work.

8. Stripping old finish

This can be achieved by apply our 922 stripper. Wait 25 minutes and use a scraper or scrape-away tool to remove and then begin with step # 2 above. Full stripping may not be required. Often, using a 4 in. long handled scraper as you are doing your cleaning prep can remove all the previous finish that is about to come off the floor. Then your coating can adhere to the finish that remains with a minimum of risk. If it will be a problem to see some of your old finish though your topcoats, then full removal may be needed.

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Durall Concrete Floor Coatings  |  9655 Newton Ave. South  |  Bloomington MN 55431
info@concrete-floor-coatings.com   |  www.concrete-floor-coatings.com
Tel: 952-888-1488