Ahhh! You are gonna just flip over these new floors! My mom came over and said in her most dramatic theatre voice….ohtheyaresooooonice. And then she did a little slide across the floor like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Fully dressed of course because she never gets naked. She told me that in fourth grade and I fully believe it. She showers in full garb.
But the truth here is that the floors really are sooooo nice (five o’s are necessary) and this post does not do it justice. It is like seeing a picture of your childhood home and realizing that it wasn’t fifteen floors. It was a ranch. Except in reverse. This floor is the empire state building. This analogy is getting me nowhere. Just imagine my mom sliding and fawning on a really shiny nice floor.
If you are just now tuning in, our garage floor journey is one that required a bunch of prep. The original floor was painted….
and to remove it, we diamond grindered it off with a big ole fat rental diamond grinder….
After so much cleaning, we patched the cracks in the concrete….
And had to tape the floors and cover them for the painting part…
But now they are ready to be coated with this epoxy floor coating kit from Rust-Oleum. We have been telling our friends at Rust-Oleum that we wanted to do this for a long time now so of course, it felt a little like Christmas when we actually got our act together to get-er-done. Anyone else frustrated with the amount of prep everything takes? I always say that we could get so much more done if we didn’t have to do any prep work or take care of kids! But that is also why the pros cost – they know how much time it takes to prep and how much good childcare costs!
We went back and forth on the color. We REALLY love the blue and red and even the copper color (you can see those in the video below) but in the end, we felt like gunmetal would be the best color for our house especially since it is a huge space (three and a half car garage!).
The safety equipment recommended is minimal so I really feel like anyone can do this.
And the additional equipment that you need is also minimal. The process is easy – you etch your floor and clean it well and then you apply the epoxy like paint. The etching solution goes on with a sprayer and you scrub that in.
First you will broom your floor and believe that it is clean. That would be false. You will be shocked at how much comes up with the etching and scrub brush.
The etch solution comes in a small package and you simply pour that into the sprayer before adding water.
Once the etching solution is ready, the process is simple. You spray your floor with water, squeegee off the puddles, spray the etching solution and scrub that in, rinse it all and then squeegee it off. Here is a couple graphics that you can print for your bedroom so you can meditate on etching….
Honestly our biggest struggle was how to keep the floor wet but not have puddles. The process calls for a wet concrete floor but no puddles and we would squeegee the puddles and the floor would dry immediately. It was so frustrating! But in the end, we just would spray LOTS of etching solution and figured that puddles of water were a no go but puddles of etching solution was fine.
Also – we found that we needed to do lots of rinsing. After the first rinse, we did the dust-test that the instructions talked about and we failed. So we rinsed again. It wasn’t until the third rinse that we were perfectly dust free. I mean….this floor was so clean that we could eat off it.
But then we had weather issues. The epoxy was recommended to dry for 24 hours but we had humidity issues and we had to wait longer than that. Also – if you plan on doing this at your house, make sure you plan for an entire week of low humidity and moderate temperatures. It really does help with any delays.
We borrowed a few fans to get the space extra dry. We have heard that if you don’t wait sufficiently, the humidity or wet concrete floor could cause improper adhesion! That could mean your new epoxy could peel or bubble! yikes!
So here is the dry and clean space…just like how I like my boys 🙂
Mixing the epoxy was simple….it has an open time of 45-60 minutes per bucket, but I recommend that if you have patched your floor like I did, go ahead and do a ‘first’ coat on those cracks that were fixed. The color difference can show through later!
Then you start by pouring a ribbon of epoxy near your wall and cut in.
Then you pour more and work that roller like it’s paying your mortgage.
The best tip I can give you is that you will want to spread it all evenly and make sure it is rather thick.
Then to make the shadowy parts, do a series of swirls with the roller. The how-to video shows uniform curls but I liked mixing it up with a bunch of random swirls. I would imagine doing cursive with the roller – make an R and then an S and then an Ampersand….sometimes I would write my name in big swirls. It looked less uniform that way and more randomly artistic.
The floor was dried that night and OH it was so nice. It was almost too nice to walk on!
And it’s SO bright. It reflects light really well so it feels not so heavy even though it is dark gray. At certain angles it is just ridiculous!
See how you can even see my reflection in it?!
Overall, it is very showroom to me…like I need a fancy new ride just so that it can be parked in there 🙂
ALSO….we made a fun little video for you of our process.
It isn’t meant to be instructional but just a fun recap of our flooring adventure….if you want instructions on how to install RockSolid Metallic floor coating, here is the video we used.