Epoxy Paint or Colored Sealer for Shop Floor?

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Forum topic by Calgirl posted 11-08-2007 05:24 PM 5181 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 4132 days

11-08-2007 05:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: epoxy paint sealing cement floor

I just talked with the General Contractor who is building my shop. He tells of having his showroom floor professionally painted with epoxy paint. He initially loved it, but now hates it. It is pealing and looks awful.

I have a new cement slab which I planned to epoxy paint, and have heard some good things about it from a few lumberjocks. But, I have also heard some “horror” stories. So I decided to do a web search for “colored sealers” and found a website:

This sealer that can be applied two weeks after the slab is poured with the use of a ph balancer product. I am tempted to try this product but thought I would see if any lumberjocks have advice or experience with this product. I am reluctant to try epoxy paint and have my long awaited dream shop ruined.

All advice and experiences welcome…

Thanks, Calgirl

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

12 replies so far

View jpw1995's profile


376 posts in 4535 days

#1 posted 11-08-2007 06:57 PM

I don’t know anything about the sealer, but I’ve seen some epoxy paint that looks terrible after a few months. It tends to chip and crack fairly easily.

-- JP, Louisville, KY

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4258 days

#2 posted 11-08-2007 07:40 PM

I have epoxy paint in my warehouse that’s been down for 15 years without even a nick in it.
We shot blasted the cement prior to bonding the epoxy.
If you think you want something softer try this:


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View handplane's profile


36 posts in 4097 days

#3 posted 11-08-2007 08:11 PM

My shop is in my basement and I did the floor myself with the Rust Oleum Epoxy kits made for the garage floor. I’ve had absolutely no trouble with it after 2 years. I skipped the colored flecks that come with the kit but did add the very fine sand mix to help provide better traction. The epoxy over concrete can be crazy dangerously slippery without it once it’s cured.

The key thing I think before putting down the epoxy was the test described in the instructions to determine if the concrete is dry enough for the epoxy to properly cure. My basement floor was 1 year old before I applied the epoxy and it passed the dryness test. I don’t think your freshly poured floor will pass. The test was to take a clean section of the concrete and put a piece of plastic sheeting (although a garbage bag will work) down, duct taped around all sides and let it sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours lift the tape and the plastic and see if there was any condensation on the plastic or if that section of the floor looks damp. If anything isn’t dry then the concrete is too “wet” for epoxy.

Even after passing the dryness test I followed the instructions and cleaned the floor with the weak acid solution they provide. By simply following the instructions in the kit I got a pretty good looking floor that is super easy to keep clean. I imagine that if you are having it professionaly applied it would only be better.

-- - Scott "handplane"

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4258 days

#4 posted 11-08-2007 08:17 PM

That’s the stuff we used in the warehouse Scott.
I needs a prepped floor but really bites in if you do it right.
I have it at the entrances of the bays too and it is outside at 40 below and it still has no spalled.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Myron Wooley's profile

Myron Wooley

226 posts in 4133 days

#5 posted 11-08-2007 08:52 PM

I used the RustOleum epoxy in my shop. The slab was about 6 months old, and I pressure washed it, etched it with the acid cleaner, then pressure washed it again. Then I waited overnight before applying the epoxy. The floor looks great after a year, and has yet to chip or scatch, even after moving in my 850 lb gun safe (on a dolly) and dropping miscellaneous tools on it.

I used the paint chips that came with the kit, and haven’t had any traction problems, but adding silica sand certainly wouldn’t hurt.

I would use this product again in a heartbeat.

-- The days are long and the years are short...

View SteveRussell's profile


101 posts in 4197 days

#6 posted 11-08-2007 10:44 PM


I’ve had an epoxy floor paint on my studio floor for 13.5 years without any problems. There are no chips, cracks or peeling areas at all. None, nada, zilch. The key is to properly prepare the surface prior to applying the epoxy and to make sure it has sufficient time to cure. It also helps to apply it onto a clean floor (instead of one that’s been used for a long time, with oil spots, embedded dirt etc).

I followed the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter… Powerwash first, let dry. Acid wash (2x since it was new concrete) and final powerwash. After the floor had fully dried, I applied a thin 50/50 epoxy sealer and let this fully dry, then two intermediate coats (diluted 20% I think) and then two final coats diluted 10%.

I’ve burned rubber on my floor (with a Mercedes-Benz S-500) and the epoxy just laughs if off, but no damage. I’ve spilled every type of solvent and cleaner on it with no problems, even epoxy thinner won’t affect cured epoxy… :-) If you prepare it properly and your concrete slab is cured and clean, you won’t have any problems. I would do it again in a heartbeat, without any reservations whatsoever. Take care and all the best to you and yours!

P.S. I used a regular industrial epoxy floor coating, not the RustOleum product. I found the company in the Yellow Pages under Industrial Coatings.

Steve Russell
The Woodlands, Texas

-- Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 4132 days

#7 posted 11-09-2007 12:53 AM

Thanks everyone, for your remarks and suggestions. You have been very helpful….my slab is two weeks old and was power trawled very smooth so I can see that if I use the epoxy (which I really want to use) I will have to wait a couple of months and then test to make sure it is dry enough. Then I’ll need to acid wash it well to make sure the paint can get a bite. I don’t have to decide just yet as there are lots of things to keep me busy finishing the walls and ceiling, running speaker and security wire, setting up the cyclone, etc. So I guess I will ponder for a month or two…....thanks again.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View BlueStingrayBoots's profile


858 posts in 4239 days

#8 posted 11-09-2007 05:44 AM

Hello Calgirl, shop floor dilema? You can always just leave it how it is. My garage/carport floor was fresh poured once, we would washed it with garden hose and then mopped it, wind would dry it. after years of doing that it looks like it has a coat of urethane on it. So now we have my new barn/shop and I expect to do the same. Easy for me though since all my equipment is on wheels( I’m taking it with me when hurricane arrives, remember) so I just roll it from one side to the other. I think a polished cement color floor looks apprpriate for any shop. Get yourself a shopvac/wheels for any dust and a good mop. If you make it a habit you wont even notice the labor and you’ll be that much sharper. Looking at your shop, whatever you decide will be the right choice. Have fun.

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4411 days

#9 posted 11-09-2007 05:56 AM

Or… you could always go with end grain block flooring!

Your power tools would then sit on sound-dampening material, your hand tools would land on an edge-friendly surface if you were to drop them, and your feet and knees would thank you for not making them walk on solid concrete all day long!

As long as you’re building a shop from the ground up, you might as well not skimp on the flooring!

-- Ethan,

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4637 days

#10 posted 11-09-2007 06:34 AM

My shop floor is solid concrete but I’ve covered it with 3/4” thick horse stall matts and my knees still hurt. Not as much as with solid concrete. I think I’d be out of the shop business if it was still concrete that I was walking on.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 4291 days

#11 posted 11-09-2007 06:57 AM

Hi Calgirl, sounds like these guys are already giving you some pretty sound advice on the floor for your shop. I work for an engineering firm that specializes in wastewater and potable water treatment plant design. Consequently, we deal with a lot of concrete floors and end up specifying seamless epoxy flooring in most of the structures we design. If applied correctly, epoxy flooring is really good stuff. Here’s a cut and paste out of
our standard specs for epoxy flooring with regard to the installation.

A. New concrete surfaces shall be clean and free of paint, grease, oil, curing compounds or other foreign matter.
B. New concrete shall have a minimum curing time of 28 days.
C. Concrete surfaces shall be sanded or acid-etched where recommended by the flooring manufacturer.
D. Dust and dirt shall be removed by vacuum cleaning.
E. Holes, cracks and depressions shall be patched level with the adjacent surfaces with patching mortar.
A. Maintain a minimum room temperature of 60ºF for a period of 48 hours before and after installation in areas where seamless flooring is to be installed.
B. Materials shall be stored at a minimum temperature of 60ºF for at least 24 hours before installation.

That’s a great looking shop you’ve got, hope this helps.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View opcontario's profile


2 posts in 1787 days

#12 posted 02-27-2014 09:43 AM

I never heard about this sealer or it’s product. But I recommand Epoxy is good for this. If there is a new concrete preparation then Epoxy is the best product to apply on it.


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