Thursday, November 12, 2015

Finishing Our Garage: Episode 6 (the floor)

We are BACK with a new and exciting update on the garage!  It has been a little while since our last post because we spent a ton of time and energy researching the right product for us.  We decided to go with Armorclad by Armorpoxy, with the military top coat for our epoxy resin.     

By now, you know that I can appreciate some great customer service right?  Armorpoxy answered each and every call and email we sent their way.  As first timers using an epoxy resin of any sort, we had tons of questions.  We also visited garage forums to hear from people who actually finished their garage floors for additional tips and tricks.  

The process started by constructing our kit which included most tools and all solutions needed for our application.  We decided on using this two-step process which is more of a process than the options at Home Depot or Lowe's.  If you Google, you can find many entries on the differences between the two, but we wanted to diminish the possibility of hot tire pickup, so we went with a two-step product.  Armorpoxy also provides a ga-zillion different color choices if you decide to flake!  

Here are the steps we took to achieve our finished garage flooring.  We started on a Thursday evening and finished on a Sunday night:

Step 1:
  • We cleared the garage of stored items and sweep really really well. 

Step 2:
Power Washer from Home Depot
  • (Thursday) Roughed up the concrete by acid etching.  Our kit came with the acid solution so there was no need to buy anything extra. Grinding is another great option that will really rough up your concrete.  If you don't have a grinding machine, no worries because you can rent one from Home Depot!  If you decide to use the acid technique, a power washer will be really helpful.  We rented ours from Home Depot and allowed the garage to completely dry for 24 hours before moving on.  

Step 3:
  • (Friday) After the space was dry, we patched up some small holes and cracks in the garage.  OK...well my husband patched holes and I went out on a Chipotle run!  We added the crack repair to our kit since we knew we had holes and cracks to mend.  Our neighbor let us borrow their dehumidifier to help with the drying process.   
    Patched holes

Step 4: 
Applying floor primer
  • (Saturday morning): We primed the floor (included in the kit) and allowed it to dry according to the directions.  We started early enough in the day so (Saturday afternoon) we were able to apply the actual epoxy and flakes as well.  There are some special spiked shoes that you can add to your kit to give you ability to walk on the epoxy.  You WILL NOT be able to walk on the epoxy in regular shoes.  This is where the team work comes in handy!  We both cut in the corners of the garage since a roller brush will not get those spaces well.  Think of it as painting a wall.  Cut in first, then roll.  While my husband rolled, I sprinkled the flakes.  I must admit that I was super nervous about walking on the floor with spikes, but they are awesome and I would highly recommend.  If my husband missed a spot while rolling, I was able to grab the roller and hit the spot in the spikes!  
  • After the floor was rolled, it was a waiting game to allow the epoxy resin to dry.  This was 24 hours for us.

Awesome spiked shoes
Mixing epoxy resin
Custom flake mix

Step 5:
  • (Sunday): Now that everything was dry (and looking great), we had to apply the top coat.  Again, we added the military grade top coat to get rid of the slip factor.  As it stood before the top coat, it was a little slippery but not quit 'ice'.  After we successfully applied the top coat, the floor was technically complete.  We just had to wait another 24 hours for drying.  
Close-up floor (before topcoat)
Finished floor - drying

Products/Equipment used:
We LOVE LOVE LOVE the results we achieved! We had no idea what to expect, but decided to just do it and see what happens. It was a great project and much easier than it appeared originally.  

Next on the finale of 'Finishing Our Garage',  we will finish off the space by adding some type of base board to complete the look!