Clints Metallic Garage Floor Epoxy Project
A DIY Metallic Garage Floor Epoxy System from Beginning to End. Pictures and Video!
You can download the original review for best viewing in PDF
You can watch Clint’s video here on YouTube or scroll to the bottom of the page to watch here. Garage Flooring LLC offers a complete line of Garage Floor Coatings
This was my first dealings with metallic epoxy. Overall I am happy with the results; the floor looks great with the exception of a few areas. I think it could look better but for a garage floor I will be more concerned with the durability than the looks. I am just an average weekend mechanic who wanted something different than all the other grey floors with flake. If I were say Jay Leno my finished product wouldn’t be acceptable, but if I were him I wouldn’t be working on a garage floor.
I had my garage built about 9 years ago and my only stipulations then were that it must be bigger than my house and be within my budget. Well our house is 1789sf and the garage is 1800sf whoo hooo beat ya by 11 sf honey. (it’s a joke my wife gets) I told the contractor not to put anything on the concrete because I planned on coating it myself and as you can see he didn’t listen.
At the time I had just spent a ton of money on a new shop so I really didn’t have the cash for a high dollar floor coating so I opted for the cheap big box store floor paint, it lasted pretty good but every time you spit or got something on the floor it would flake or bubble up. It wound up looking pretty bad. Luckily between the sealer the contractor put on and the cheap paint I put on there weren’t any oil spots in the concrete to deal with.
On to the present. I decided I wanted to redo my floor so I started looking at epoxy, after lots of reading I was going to need a floor buffer and a Diamabrush coating removal tool. We live in a small town so rental wasn’t an option for me. I found a used floor buffer and ordered the mastic removal tool. The mastic removal tool worked but it didn’t seem to work fast enough so after some more research I ordered the diamabrush concrete prep tool. When I started looking Garage Flooring LLC didn’t offer a rental of the Diamabrush, but they do now. The above tools are basically the same except the concrete prep tool has more blades. I found the web site www.garagejournal.com and this is where I did most but not all of my research. I found several epoxy suppliers and sent emails to 4 of what seemed like the best known ones. After getting the quotes back from 3 of the suppliers I decided to order from Justin at garageflooringllc.com he blew everyone else’s prices out of the water. I told Justin I wanted something durable but I didn’t want the everyone else grey with flake. I had thought about checkerboard but was leaning towards trying metallic and his quote was by far the best. Justin recommended the following products.
TL137 Epoxy binder
TLMP-MN metallic pigment in silver. (several colors available)
TL321 Aliphatic Urethane Clear
TL829 Flexible joint sealant (if you want the seamless look)
Ok I have the tools; epoxy is ordered here are the steps I followed and mistakes I made.
- I removed everything except the cabinets from the garage.
- Following the Diamabrush instructions I started grinding with water. I quickly found out that this makes a slurry and the buffer will sling it all over the place. You cannot let the slurry dry or it will need to be ground off again. I decided to make me a homemade shield of sorts to block the slurry. The diamabrush with water makes a little dust so I added a port to connect my shop vacuum with a bag and filter attached.
The dust is gone but still slinging slurry. I opted to grind without the water. I still had to deal with concrete dust but I think it was the lesser of 2 evils. My buffer didn’t like the dry dust either but if you have the ability to rent one I wouldn’t worry too much about it. This combination worked well enough and I ground my whole floor. I ground the areas close to the wall with a diamond cup wheel on my angle grinder and a vacuum attachment. For the corners I used a chemical paint stripper.
- I now needed to clean my floor. I couldn’t pressure wash the area because I don’t have a drain and it would have gotten water everywhere. I tried scrubbing and moping with a few different products like ZEP garage cleaner but I still had fine dust left on the floor. Finally I used simple green and this picked up the dust and didn’t leave a residue. (sweet stuff)
- I wanted my floor to be as seamless as possible so Justin recommended the TL829 Flexible joint sealant. I ground out the expansion joints trying to make as much of a V shape as possible. I read that you don’t want the top of the seam to be a sharp edge.
- I cleaned and re-cleaned and vacuumed out the joints.
- I filled the joints with the TL829. (You are supposed to be able to trim the excess with a razor knife but I was filling the joints at night and wouldn’t be able to get back to them until the weekend so the sealant would be fully cured by then. I will try the razor trick if I ever use this again.) Make sure you mix the 2 parts in their separate containers before you mix them together
- I ground the joints flush with a diamond cup wheel on my angle grinder.
- I now needed to clean the floor again in prep for the coating. Grinding the joints left more dust so simple green to the rescue again.
- I didn’t really worry about masking because I plan to repaint the walls when the floor is done. If you don’t want to repaint I would mask the area off.
- I bought several rollers, spike shoes, mixers and supplies from zoro.com they had the best prices.
- Make sure you de-lint them before use. I ran them over a strip of gorilla tape.
- I made a drawing of the garage and marked off on the walls the sq. foot area that each batch of primer, binder and clear should cover
- Ready for the TL015-BLK Primer.
- Started at 6:00PM Friday night. Stir both parts A and B and then combine. I mixed them with a low speed drill and mixer, just follow the instructions and it will work great. My wife applied the primer to the corners and along the walls while I rolled out the rest of the floor. It went pretty quick with an 18” roller.
- 5:00 AM Saturday morning. Don forget your spiked shoes and be careful they may slip. I mixed the pigment into part A of the TL137 binder, making sure it is thoroughly mixed. This was done for all the kits that we would need, in this case 6. 6 buckets were also ready to mix part A and B of the binder. The instructions say to pour into another bucket and mix again but I didn’t see the point in wasting another 6 buckets so we skipped this step. I had my son mix, I was to spread with the squeegee and my wife was rolling with an 18” roller. The instructions say you have 20-30 minutes pot life @ 70°F but I think it was quite a bit longer. We rushed to mix, spread and roll. Every batch was mixed for a minimum of 3 minutes so 3×6=18minutes we were worried it was going to start curing within the 20-30 so we got it down. The instructions say to use a ¼” notched squeegee, we quickly abandoned this simply because it didn’t work. The 18” roller spread the epoxy just fine and evenly. I think a smaller notched or no notched squeegee might have worked but the roller still did the job.
- Once the binder with the pigment is spread it’s up to you to choose how to apply the effect there are lots of different techniques and lots of videos out there. I chose to just splatter denatured alcohol on the floor. I bought a little sprayer set it on course spray and sprayed it into my hand and broadcast the alcohol over the binder. The one thing I think I would do different here is I started applying the alcohol right after the binder was spread. I think if I had waited a little longer the end result might have been better.
- The next morning the binder was set up and it was time for the clear. This is pretty straight forward just mix parts A and B and roll out on the floor. Again I used an 18” roller. You’re left with one hell of a shiny floor.
That’s about it I’m just waiting for the 7 day cure time so I can start painting walls and install molding. Overall like I said I am happy with the floor and I would try it again. I would use the same product and I would absolutely buy from Justin at Garage Flooring LLC again.
The customer who provided this review was given a rebate in return for the review and pictures. The terms of the rebate were set forth in advance and the content of the customer’s review were not contingent on a good review, just a review and photos.