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Can You Recoat an Epoxy Garage Floor?
Do you have an epoxy garage floor that has seen better days? Epoxy is quite durable but it will not look as good as new, in a few years time. The wear & tear from vehicles, lawnmowers and furniture being moved around does take its toll. So, can you recoat an epoxy garage floor?
You can recoat an existing epoxy garage floor with a fresh epoxy coating. You must however, ensure good adhesion by correct surface preparation and the right primer application before recoating.
2-part epoxy floor coating forms a hard, almost glass like surface once it has fully cured. It is not easy for the new coat of epoxy, or for that matter, any paint or coating to find a foothold on this surface and form a strong bond.
Typically, aged epoxy garage floors have grease and dust on them, which are not conducive to adhesion. Coating defects such as peeling or blistering are also deterrents to adhesion for the new coat.
To recoat an existing epoxy garage floor with a fresh coat of epoxy, you must prepare the existing epoxy surface & prime it, so that there can be a strong bond between the existing coat and the new coat.
When Can You Apply Epoxy Over an Older Coating?
There can be several reasons for recoating an existing epoxy garage floor. Some of these are:
Applying a Clear Topcoat
While the epoxy coating, by itself, is quite durable & glossy, you may want to add another layer of clear epoxy topcoat to further enhance the gloss level and provide additional protection to the existing garage floor.
Check out my earlier blog post 8 Reasons Why Clear Topcoat On Epoxy Garage Floor Is Better
Recoating an Existing Clear Topcoat
Epoxy clear topcoat is not as wear resistant as pigmented epoxy coating. Since they bear the brunt of vehicle and foot traffic, they wear out faster.
It is a good idea to recoat your existing garage floor, even if it has a clear topcoat, with a new coat of clear epoxy, every now and then. It will give a new life and a new look to your epoxy garage floor.
Recoating to Change the Floor Color
There are times when you just get tired of the existing garage floor color. Are you wanting to give it a fresh new look? You can do this by applying a new, different colored, epoxy coat.
Do keep in mind that it is a lot easier to apply a darker color over a lighter color in the same shade group.
For example it will be quite easy to overcoat a light gray garage floor with a darker gray epoxy. It will not be that easy to overcoat a dark red epoxy garage floor with say a light cream color.
Recoating to Hide Stains & Scratches
Over a period of time your epoxy garage floor will accumulate stains & scratches. The epoxy floor may also fade in certain sections. This happens if sunlight from a window falls on the same spot every day. Epoxy is not UV resistant and fades when exposed to sunlight.
An easy way to make your epoxy garage floor look new again is to recoat it with new epoxy of the same color.
When Not to Apply Epoxy Over an Older Coat?
Before you decide to recoat an existing epoxy garage floor with a fresh coat of epoxy, examine the existing coating carefully. There are two situations where it is better to completely remove the old coating and start fresh application on bare concrete.
Existing Coating is Delaminated or Peeling
There is just no point in applying a fresh coat of epoxy on an existing epoxy floor that is peeling away or is delaminated from the concrete surface. The new coat will just come off, as the old coat peels the way.
Existing Coating has Completely Worn Out
If the existing epoxy coating has been around for a very long time, chances are that most of it is worn out to the extent that concrete is now visible. In such a situation, it is better to remove all remaining epoxy, expose the concrete surface and start fresh.
How to Prep and Recoat an Older Epoxy Floor for a New Coat?
To prepare the existing epoxy garage floor for a coat of epoxy you need to take the following steps:
Clean, Degrease & Remove Stains
One of the reasons a new epoxy coat will not adhere to the existing epoxy coat is that the garage floor may be dusty or may have grease & oil spills or stains.
Therefore the first step is to remove the dust by sweeping or vacuuming the floor. This will let you clearly identify the areas that need to be degreased.
Now that the garage floor is somewhat clean you will be able to spot the stains. The most obvious ones are those from grease or motor oil from the cars. Use a degreaser on the stains and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Use a brush to scrub the stains till they are gone. Do not wait too long, else the degreaser will dry out along with the muck.
Rough Up the Existing Epoxy Coat
An epoxy floor coating is glossy, smooth and hard. The new coat of epoxy will not be able to find a foothold on such a surface. You need to physically rough up the existing epoxy floor coating so that the new epoxy can find crevices to cling on to.
Sand the existing epoxy floor, using a 120 grit sandpaper. Go light on the sanding as you only want to roughen up the surface and not remove the epoxy.
In case the existing epoxy floor had a clear epoxy topcoat too, then you should 80 to 100 grit sandpaper. In this case, you want to remove a bit of the topcoat that may have scratches.
Wash the Garage Floor
Sanding would have created some dust. It is best to wash the garage floor with soap water. Use a mop or squeegee to push the water towards the drain or the garage door. Pressure washing the epoxy garage floor will save you time & effort!
Apply a Coat of Epoxy Primer
A coat of primer may seem unnecessary. However, applying a coat of epoxy primer is helpful in two respects.
- The primer functions as a tie coat between the existing epoxy and the new epoxy. This helps increase adhesion between the two coats.
- The primer helps in color transition. Especially if you are trying to change the color from a dark shade to a lighter shade. You will use less of the new epoxy coating.
Applying the Epoxy Recoat
Mix the 2-part epoxy in exactly the same ratio as mentioned on the packaging. If the hardener and base are not in the designed ratio the recoat will not cure fully. You will end up with a soft sticky garage floor!
2-part epoxy coatings cure by a chemical reaction. The pot life of the mixture is usually between 20 to 40 minutes. You should mix only the quantity that you can apply within that time frame.
You may need to apply more than one coat of the epoxy, especially if you’re applying a color that is different or lighter than the original color.
The epoxy recoat should be allowed to cure for the time mentioned in the technical data sheet of the manufacturer. Check the paint or coating for tackiness before placing anything or walking on it.
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.