Prepare surfaces for coating painting with epoxy and other coatings

DIY Epoxy Floor Paint Surface Preparation Options


Anyone considering an epoxy floor in their garage, workshop, barn, etc. has questions about how to prep the surface. I'm sad to report, they usually get an incomplete picture of their prep options. The epoxy vendor or contractor they usually ask pushes their method of preparation, either out of ignorance of other options or to make a sale. Many local epoxy floor contractors (and more and more epoxy vendors) have the reputation of used car salesmen.

So what are your options?

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Paul Oman, MS, MBA - Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc. (floor epoxies, marine epoxies, underwater epoxies, repair epoxies)

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CALL 603-435-7199 (or email).

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Disclaimer: The comments below are offered only as suggestions and guidelines. All decisions regarding product selection, surface preparation, and coating application are the sole responsibility of the purchaser.

epoxy floor paint

Professional contractors apply our Industrial Floor Epoxy (tm).

Now you can too! catalog page or  buy now


Floor Coatings Links

Floor epoxy basics -- Floor epoxy web links -- Floor coatings catalog page -- Colored chips site -- Site search -- Contact page

BUY - ESP 155 - Industrial Floor Epoxy - Bio Vee Seal - Acrylic Poly UV Plus - Low V -- VISIT ONLINE STORE SITE - or call 603 435 7199


DIY Concrete Floor Prep - Epoxy Floor Paint - The Full Story

For more general info on surface prep on other surfaces besides concrete - CLICK HERE .

OLD GOAT epoxy floor Q & A site - CLICK HERE

Also Available - Epoxy Concrete Primer and Sealer (ESP 155 not for sale in CA) and Internal Concrete Sealer (Bio Vee Seal) leaves nothing on the surface. Do you need these under your epoxy floor coating? Call to find out. 603 435 7199


Best advice from an Epoxy PRO on how to avoid a $$$ DIY epoxy floor disaster

(you won't learn this on any other epoxy floor site)

If any of the following apply or might apply to you:

1) no vapor barrier, or don't know if there is a vapor barrier under your slab; 2) suspect there might be moisture issues in/on the slab; 3) suspect the concrete was not 'vibrated down' and contains lots of air spaces (which can cause bubbles and blisters in the wet epoxy); 4) cannot professionally prep the floor (usually means a shot blast contractor); 5) any existing coating on the floor is peeling and lifting; 6) the concrete seems dusty, gritty, weak or crumbling; 7) you are worried about "hot tire pickup" lifting off your epoxy floor; 8) you have oil stains on the floor (especially OLD oil stains).......

If so, consider putting an inexpensive epoxy primer / sealer (such as ESP 155 - an Internet Favorite epoxy coating - not for sale in California) on the entire floor or over those potential trouble spots. Then wait a few weeks or months and see what happens. If everything looks great it is very likely that a 'fancy' epoxy top coat will be successful and probably issue free. You might even decide to just keep the sealed floor and skip the thicker mostly decorative (or at least thicker and pigmented) epoxy top coat (such as 0% VOC INDUSTRIAL FLOOR EPOXY).

If problems developed with the thin, nearly clear ESP 155 epoxy sealer, it is not that big a deal. No worse than having some deck/porch enamel paint lift and peel. You won't trip over it, it is not so 'in your face', and you saved big $$$ that you would have spent on the epoxy, paint chip, top coat. Some existing concrete surfaces are just not good candidates for an epoxy coating. QUESTIONS? email OR call 603 435 7199. Floor Links Page. Learn all about epoxy floors.


Anyone considering an epoxy floor in their garage, workshop, barn, etc. has questions about how to prep the surface. I'm sad to report, they usually get an incomplete picture of their prep options. The epoxy vendor or contractor they usually ask pushes their method of preparation, either out of ignorance of other options or to make a sale. Many local epoxy floor contractors (and more and more epoxy vendors) have the reputation of used car salesmen.

So what are your options?

Epoxy Only Web Google Search



#1) Google Everything Epoxy Searches

#2) Google Marine Epoxies Searches

#3)Google Floor Epoxy Searches

 View our Progressive Epoxy Products, Inc.

company video

Contact Page


#1 shot blasting - for epoxy floor paint prep

Shot blasting is almost universally considered the best and most professional way to prep a cement floor for coating. Shot blasting is like sand blasting for cement floors. Shot blasting machines generally look like big boxes pushed along the floor. These units cost about $20,000. A person can buy a unit and go into business as a cement floor preparation subcontractor. Many large epoxy flooring contractors have their own shot blast machines, but many also sub-contract this work out. Nelson Industrial Services is a company with nationwide offices that does shot blasting for LARGE commercial projects (where the best method of concrete surface preparation is required). Blastrac is the best know manufacturer of Shot blasting units. They also make other cement prep tools, including grinders.

Shot blasting is generally not available or an option for DIY epoxy floor projects such as personal home garages etc.


Concrete Sealing in a Nutshell

There are 3 kinds of concrete sealers

1) inexpensive products that contain wax or paraffin dissolved in a solvent. Easy and cheap, but if you use these you will ever be able to coat the surface with any kind of paint or epoxy (you cannot paint on wax!). You cannot remove with solvents, which will just move the wax around. Use this kind of sealer and you are locked out of doing anything else forever.

2) Liquid sealers that are like paint and sit on the surface you are coating. No way you be be certain these will not peel or chip off and they may prevent you from top coating them with other products.

3) Internal concrete sealers, like our Bio Vee Seal. Bio Vee soaks into the exposed concrete and forms crystals within the concrete itself. It leaves nothing (except perhaps some tiny white crystals) on the surface. There is nothing to peel or chip and it leaves the surface as it was, allowing you full options to top coat with any product.

Useful links: Bio Vee ---  Concrete Sealers  ---   Industry article on sealing  ---  basement leaks/sealing  ---  Floor coating links

or call 24/7 for help or to order - 603 435 - 7199


Cement slab sealers (internal and surface), primers, tie coats help to increase the odds of a successful floor coating project.

Read about the two products we recommend CLICK HERE



#2 grinding - for epoxy floor paint prep

Grinding is the next best thing to shot blasting. Grinding is really meant to level and smooth concrete surfaces, but surface prep for coatings gets inserted into description too. Concrete grinding machines cost about $5,000, compared to $20,000 for a shot blasting machine. Some of the larger hardware box stores actually rent out grinding units for home use. Many of the smaller epoxy coating contractors, especially those that cater to the home market, will push grinding and not even mention shot blasting. That is because many of these contractors can afford their own grinding machines, but not a shot blasting unit.



#3 acid etching - for epoxy floor paint prep

Acids can be used to etch or 'fizz' concrete, leaving a textured profile on the surface of the concrete. Acids are acids and concrete is a base. Mix the two and  you get a reaction. For health, safety, environmental (and perhaps mixed results), acid etching is not very common today. It is mostly done by DIY folks doing their own garages or workshops. More on acid etching.



#4 sweep/water blast - for epoxy floor paint prep

Epoxy contractors will roll their eyes when homeowners suggest this approach. They will probably insist you need to hire them to grind your garage floor and that you MUST grind your floor or the epoxy coating will fail. This is not exactly true. It it was true, sales of DIY epoxy floor coatings would be much less than they are. Only a tiny percentage of DIY folks are willing to rent or contract someone to grind their floor yet sales of epoxy floor coatings continue to grow. Home based approaches to concrete prep, ranging from just a good sweeping, to a wash-down with 'water blaster' machine is as far as many folks are willing to go. And perhaps surprisingly, their DIY floor coating projects are usually successful.

We really appreciate you visiting PROGRESSIVE EPOXY POLYMERS, INC. and our web site: EPOXYPRODUCTS.COM.  Take advantage of the CONTACT links on this page to ask questions about our products and/or your projects. You can stay in touch with us via our NEWSLETTER (link on our contact page) which is emailed  every 6-8 weeks.

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Prepare surfaces for coating painting with epoxy and other coatings

DIY Epoxy Floor Paint Surface Preparation Options

WOW!  35% - 40% of all daily online or telephone orders are from existing  customers. That's an amazing 'REPEAT CUSTOMER" number.


603 - 435 - 7199 ANYTIME 24/7 FOR HELP OR ORDERS



"Paul, you have outstanding products. Every product has out performed the highly advertised units I purchased elsewhere for past projects. Thank you."  (Dick - email 11/10/13)


Grease and Oil Stains

for epoxy floor paint prep


None of the above surface preparation approaches addresses the issue of grease and oil stains on the concrete. Oils will prevent the coatings from bonding. They often will 'pop' off weeks or a few months after application. There is no why to tell if you have 'fixed' the oil stain problem well enough for the coating to bond until after the fact. You coat and cross your fingers. Careful folks will test coat the oilly area with their epoxy floor coating and watch that area for weeks or months before moving ahead to coating the entire floor.

I have even heard of folks taking a torch to the oil stain, trying to burn the oils off. This is dangerous. Air in the concrete and expand rapidly causing the concrete to literally explode.

I suspect that after cleaning it is best to surface "seal" the oil spot with something so that the oil deep in the concrete will not 'make its way back up". This is pure speculation on my part. I would apply Bio Vee Seal over the clean stain. It would leave a white layer of tiny crystals on the surface that would be oil free and provide something on a microscopic scale, for the epoxy paint to bond to.

What can go wrong with your epoxy floor project - CLICK HERE

Recommended floor epoxy - Industrial Floor Epoxy . Come in 48 oz test units, 1.5 gal kits and any amount over 15 gallons shipped from the factory. 15 gallons will cover about 2000 sf.


NEXT STEP: Buy a 48 oz test kit





Inside Our non-marine, commercial, DIY Catalog:


corro coat FC 2100; water gard 300; CM 15; crack coat™; liqua tile 1172 potable water; water prime

Find Corro Coat FC 2100 and Water Gard 300  epoxy in our Best Selling - fix anything Catalog

Section B FLOOR EPOXIES (regular and non-skid products), SEALERS, ACCESSORIES

water bond (water based); industrial floor epoxy; bio vee seal; walnut shell; rough coat grit filled epoxy floor paint; epoxy clear top resi


wet/dry 700; splash zone A-788, epoxy cream; splash zone a-788

Find Wet Dry 700 epoxy in our Best Selling - fix anything Catalog


low V epoxy; basic no blush; ESP 155; Bio-Clear 810; epoxy clear top resin

Find Low V, Basic No Blush, and ES 155 epoxy in our Best Selling - fix anything Catalog


Aluthane moisture cured urethane; Acrylic Poly UV Plus and other 2 part polys ; Capt. Tolley's creeping crack sealer; india spar varnish;

Find Aluthane in our Best Selling - fix anything Catalog


fumed silica; fiber fill; micro balloons/micro-spheres; graphite;  wood flour; EZ thick, rock flour;


water activated pipe wrap; TA 661 solvent-free epoxy brush cleaner; fiberglass tape/cloth



short nap epoxy rollers; epoxy/stone deck resurfacing roller; 1 inch foam brushes; 2 inch bristle brushes; tongue depressors

Questions? / Phone order? / EMAIL / CALL 603-435-7199 EST /  BUY ONLINE

GOOGLE SITE SEARCH - Click here Epoxy specific site search

Click here - YouTube video. Learn about Progressive Epoxy Polymers Inc.

EVAL4U - how to evaluate your epoxy vendor - CLICK HERE -


Why You Don't Want, Or Need,

A Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Floor Paint

(CLICK HERE cycloaliphatic floor epoxy no-no)


Epoxy Only Web Google Search



#1) Google Everything Epoxy Searches

#2) Google Marine Epoxies Searches

#3)Google Floor Epoxy Searches

 View our Progressive Epoxy Products, Inc.

company video

Contact Page


Epoxy Floor Coatings - Sampler Kits

1) NEW Epoxy Floor/ Deck non slip coating  (ROUGH COAT (TM) FLOOR EPOXY) Check out the  8 oz test kit of Rough Coat (tm) - a tan colored  solvent based epoxy floor coating with non slip grit already mixed in. Standard unit size is one gallon which covers about 160 sf. Texture is suitable for bare feet. Use on boat decks, garage floors, shower areas etc.  This product is featured on the website.

2) Solvent Free Industrial Floor Epoxy - 48 oz test kit of IFF in beige or light gray. Tired of the low end stuff sold in mass market box stores or hard sell epoxy flooring web sites run by a marketing major and staffed with ex-shoe salesman just interested in your money? Check out our industrial - commercial (you can buy 15 gallon units), solvent free, Industrial Floor Epoxy (even the product name is simple, no frills labeling). Use with or without chips (order separately - picking colors and percentages), and with or without clear epoxy or poly intermediate or topcoats. Shop like a Professional - where you pick and select what you need. This product is featured on the Best Epoxies  website.

CLICK HERE (floor epoxy paint options) to see these products in our online catalog.


The Benefits of Solvent Free Epoxies

(zero VOC - 100% solids)

(Same for epoxy paints and epoxy floor paints - see differences between)


* A smooth non-porous, cleanable with strong cleaners surface (thus antimicrobial - mold and mildew resistant) and great  for children's play rooms, bathrooms, showers etc.). Thus common in garage, shops, labs, trailers, etc.

* Solvent free epoxies little or no odor and no solvents to fill the air (great news for allergy and asthma prone during application)

* Wet thickness equals dry thickness (and it is a thick coating to start with) - so equal in thickness to many coats of 'regular' paint.

* Thick and self leveling it fills and hides small chips, depressions, cracks etc. Fill them during application and they will not reappear when the epoxy cures.


DISADVANTAGES - all solvent free epoxies yellow, especially in sunlight --- they will scratch ---  they have a surface bond only so they needs a top notch bonding surface to adhere to --- there are MOISTURE DURING CURE issues -- solvent free epoxies have a short pot life (working time during application) - air escaping from concrete can form bubbles in the thick solvent free epoxy (there are ways around this, but you need to be told of this possible issue).


CONSUMER WARNINGS - *** Some questionable epoxy vendors like to imply that only their solvent free epoxy has these benefits, which is not true. *** Some questionable epoxy vendors will compare their solvent free epoxy to other vendor's water based epoxies and solvent based epoxies. These are unfair comparisons designed to make their products look 'superior.'***  Some questionable vendors will deny their epoxy yellows (water based epoxies have limited yellowing - dark colors don't show yellowing). *** Some vendors will promote 'special epoxies (novolac, cycloaliphatic, flake filled, coal tar, etc.)  when they are not necessary for your intended application. *** Some questionable epoxy vendors will 'forget to mention' the potential disadvantages and problems listed above.  *** No epoxy vendor can know the condition and suitability of your surface for an epoxy coating, nor can they oversee your surface preparation, and weather/environmental conditions during your DIY epoxy application. So all vendor Warranty documents  have a built in escape mechanism and are presented only as marketing tools to get your business. All that an epoxy vendor can actually warranty is that when mixed correctly the product will harden and have the physical properties described in the product data sheet. An honest epoxy vendor will tell you this up-front.



epoxyt floor paint



Links to Lots of MUST READ Information Articles About the Best Epoxy Floor Paints, Including Preparation, Alternatives, What Can Go Wrong, etc.

floor related articles, info, links





Clear Top Coats  - FLOOR CLEAR TOP

Best Floor Epoxy - CLICK HERE

Epoxy Quartz Floor - BROADCAST FLOOR

Acid Etching - ACID

Epoxy Paint Chip Floor - CHIPS

Epoxy Paint vs. Floor Epoxy Paint - EPOXY PAINTS

Epoxy Paint - SURFACE PREP

Floor Basics/Options - START HERE

Floor Epoxy - CATALOG PAGE



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Prepare surfaces for coating painting with epoxy and other coatings

DIY Epoxy Floor Paint Surface Preparation Options