How To Prepare An Epoxy Garage Floor

Amazing! How To Prepare An Epoxy Garage Floor

Information about How To Prepare An Epoxy Garage Floor

Phil Puccio

How to prepare a garage floor for an epoxy coatingWith a 7 inch hand sander attached to a vacuum

There are basically five ways you can prepare your garage floor for an epoxy coating.

  1. Lightly sand the concrete with a handheld floor sander or hand sander.
  2. Sand the concrete with a diamabrush attachment and floor buffer.
  3. Sandblast the concrete with a sandblasting machine.
  4. Wash, degrease, etch and rinse the concrete floor with detergents, caustic chemicals and clean water.
  5. Clean and coat the concrete with Crazy Bond Epoxy Primer.

I will show you how to prepare your concrete floor using each method and I will tell you which I think is the best way to prepare concrete for epoxy coatings.

How do you prepare an epoxy garage floor?This is a hand-held floor grinder that we use for preparation.

1. the best way to prepare concrete for epoxy floors

Lightly sanding the concrete is the best way to prepare concrete for an epoxy coating in my opinion. (As in the two pictures above)

With a 7 “or 5” hand grinder or a hand-held floor grinder with diamond grinding attachments, the concrete is cleaned and profiled at the same time. (Of course with attached vacuum cleaner)

An epoxy coating needs a “rough” surface to adhere properly. We call this “surface profile” for us in the coating industry.

Your concrete floor will need a surface profile of around 80% sandpaper so that the epoxy coating has something to stick on. Otherwise, there is a very good chance that it will peel off in some places.

Sanding the concrete is one of the best (and fastest) ways to get the right surface profile. It’s also a great way to remove any existing paint or sealant on your floor.

An added benefit of sanding the concrete is that the concrete stays dry, so you can epoxy the floor on the same day. (In contrast to washing, etching & rinsing, where you have to let the concrete “dry out” for 24 – 48 hours before coating.

The video below shows us how to sand a garage floor in preparation for a new epoxy coating.

The hand grinders and hand grinders can be rented from most tool rental centers if required.


Let me tell you how to install an epoxy flake garage floor coating. I did a video training that teaches you step by step how to professionally apply an epoxy coating to your garage floor.


2. The second best way to prepare concrete floors for epoxy coatings

The Diamabrush concrete preparation tool is specially designed for cleaning concrete floors and preparing concrete for epoxy coatings.

It etches and mechanically prepares bare concrete similar to grinding. It also keeps the concrete “dry” so you can start epoxy coating on the same day as prep.

The Diamabrush attachment is available in two sizes. One can be used on a hand sander and the other on a 17-inch floor buffer to speed prep time.

Check out the video below to see it in action.

3.Blast the concrete (can be 1 or 2 depending on who you are)

Shot peening a concrete floor in preparation for an epoxy coating is the preferred method for many professional epoxy coating companies.

A blasting device removes coatings, sealants, paint and profiles from the concrete in one operation. It leaves very little dust compared to sanding as it prepares the concrete for epoxy.

Some professionals consider it a better prep tool than a floor sander. The problem is finding one that can be used. Most tool rental shops do not have this machine for rent.

If you have access to one, this method should be preferred over sanding to prepare your floor for an epoxy coating.

Check out the video below which shows how a spotlight concrete is prepared before a coating is applied.

4. Etching to prepare concrete for epoxy (not recommended)

Preparation before an epoxy coatingEtching concrete is not my preferred prep method

Using a concrete etching and cleaning solution like Eco-Etch Pro is another way to prepare concrete for an epoxy coating.

I know some of you may not be able to use methods 1, 2, or 3 so I’m adding this method even though I don’t personally use or recommend it.

This prep method cleans and etches the concrete, but it does (or doesn’t) a few things that I don’t like.

  • 1.- For best results, you need to flush the concrete to remove any loose dirt and dust.
  • 2. – You etch it with the etching solution and let it stay on the concrete for 5-15 minutes (do not let it dry on the surface).
  • 3. – You rinse off the etchant several times to make sure that no residue is left.

WHAT IT DOES: Etching your concrete with this product will clean it up and give you some surface profile (but not enough in my opinion) to really give the epoxy something to stick to in the long term.

WHAT IT DOESN’T DO: Etching with it will not keep the concrete DRY. Epoxy coatings don’t like moisture. You need to let your floor dry for at least a couple of days, if not longer.

Concrete soaks up water like a sponge. Even if the surface looks dry, there may still be moisture in the capillaries. When this moisture evaporates, it tries to escape through the surface as vapor.

When the pressure of the moisture vapor rising through the concrete exceeds the “sticky” strength of the epoxy, the epoxy begins to blow and separate from the surface.

When is the concrete completely “dry” after washing, etching and rinsing? It’s really hard to say. Temperature and humidity both affect drying conditions.

Here is a good article about why acid etching is not recommended in preparation for an epoxy coating.

PRO TIP: All epoxy floorers I know, including myself, never use this prep method before we install an epoxy coating for our customers.

Etching concrete does not contour (roughen) the surface sufficiently to create a good connection. Especially under the tires of a vehicle. Use this method at your own risk.

5. Can I paint or epoxidize my garage floor without etching?

From my professional point of view, I would say no. But there can be a solution if you can’t etch or grind.

Epoxy2U.com has a concrete primer called Crazy Bond. It is a concrete primer and preparation system in one.

It adheres to virtually any surface, including smooth, leveled concrete, paved concrete, and painted concrete.

They made it for areas where prep and grinding aren’t allowed, like pharmaceutical plants and commercial kitchens. However, you can use it on your garage floor if none of the above methods are possible.

It’s also good to use when you have oil stains on your concrete floor. Although I would clean so much oil from the surface with her Oil cleaner as possible before coating.

You would clean the concrete as best you could (scrape off and vacuum off any dirt and debris) and then apply that coating before doing your epoxy flake coating.

Only use this method for concrete preparation if none of the other preparation methods are possible.

If you are using Crazy Bond as a primer / prep method I would use Epoxy2U.com’s epoxy coating system to finish your floor too.


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