There are several stages to applying a long lasting, fit for purpose epoxy resin coating.
Using the right tools and paint can make applying your own resin coating a frustration free experience with great results. This guide will take you through the processes and pitfalls of painting your floor with an epoxy resin coating. Resins Direct can help doing it yourself become less daunting. For those more complex or larger areas we can put you in touch with an approved professional installer. Read on to see what's involved and the select best method for you.
1. Select your resin coating products.
Epoxy resin coatings are specially designed for a particular type of flooring, usage or condition of floor. This means you need to select the correct paint, repair products and tools for your situation. This will ensure a smooth application and long lasting coating fir for your needs. We’d recommend contacting the Resins Direct team by live chat or email who can advise you. Start by taking a look at our floor painting bundles which provide a primer, top coat, tools and cleaning kit in a single pack and save you time and money. With a bundle you’re more likely to have the correct quantities of everything too. With the right quantities for the job you’ll avoid spreading your coating too thinly or having to pause the job halfway through to order more.
2. Prepare your surface
Proper preparation is essential as the surface you are painting needs to be in optimum condition for the paint to apply properly. Depending on the state of your floor this could be as simple as manually cleaning the surface with detergent and a brush. It may mean full scale levelling, etching, mechanical removal and rescreeding the surface and dealing with rising damp. We’ve put together a full Floor Preparation Guide to guide you through what you may need to do and how to do it.
3. Apply a primer
There are countless benefits to applying an epoxy floor primer prior to the top coat, so don’t be tempted to skip this step! Primers are an excellent long lasting investment and are particularly recommended for first time floor painters because:
- Epoxy primers are thinner and less viscous than the top coat, meaning it soaks into or penetrates more of the tiny holes in the concrete surface. This means a better bond as the two elements are adhered together more closely.
- Primers provide a stronger chemical bond as they complement the compounds used in the thicker epoxy coats. The combined strength of the primer and top coat means a longer lasting and more durable surface.
- As the primer fits into the small holes in the concrete, this eliminates air bubbles and pinholes that are formed as air rises from the concrete into the paint, so the surface is smoother, stronger and free from pinholes.
- The top coat achieves a higher thickness as it is bonding with the primer rather than soaking into the concrete. The coat is also more uniform as it remains on top of the primer and dries in a smooth thick layer rather than being absorbed irregularly across the different floor conditions.
- Primers also stop moisture from soaking through to the floor from liquid spills, and acts as a Damp Proof Membrane to stop rising damp getting to the surface layer and making paint lift or peel off the surface.
- The damp tolerant properties also mean any moisture left from floor preparation processes like acid etching or detergent scrubbing will not affect the top layer, meaning preparation time can be reduced.
- Special primers help to block oil, grease or chemicals, so contaminated floors can be re-coated even if not totally clean and the concrete does not become contaminated further.
Some primers are particularly fast setting, meaning a rapid cure time and even shorter pot life. Read the primer instructions and prepare your tools before opening the pots and mixing them together as you have to work quickly! You may also need to heat the floor, room or product beforehand depending on the weather. If your surface is too cold, you may need to turn the heating on until the surface reaches the specified temperature so be sure to plan ahead and read and understand the instructions before the application day. You may want to enlist the help of someone else to speed the job up and cover the floor before it starts to set and harden.
When you’re ready to start, pre-mix the Resin for 60 seconds with a drill paddle, then mix the Hardener (part B) into the Resin tin (Part A). We supply the Resin in a half full tin so there’s space to mix the two parts together, you’ve not been short-changed!
Generally, floor primers can be applied by brush, roller and/or squeegee – We suggest using a medium pile, woven sleeve. We do not recommend trying to clean rollers and re-using so factor your primer roller requirements into your total number of rollers you buy.
For heavily saturated substrates, using a brush or sweeping broom is recommended because this allows you to work the product into the surface more – This will reduce the coverage per unit so again talk to use to get the correct quantities for your project.
Start by cutting in from the perimeter, working from the furthest corner from the door. Pour the compound into the roller tray to avoid the mix overheating or over-reacting and setting, then apply using even strokes, applying the coating thinly to the whole surface. You don’t need to cross-roll the primer but try and achieve an even coverage level.
Leave your primer coat to dry and harden – have a look at the curing time specified in the technical data sheet for advice on how long to wait before overcoating – usually this is 16 hours at 20˚C but can be longer at cooler temperatures.
4. Mix your resin coating
Mixing the top coat uses the same principles as the primer – adding the smaller container into the larger and mixing evenly. Don’t mix the coating at too high a speed as this will cause air bubbles to build up, and be sure to continue mixing until the paint is one consistent colour, free from any streaks or dark areas as this is the visible layer. If you’re adding in a non-slip aggregate this may be the time to mix it in but this depends on the size of the aggregate and level of slip resistance you require, so follow the specific instructions on your product.
5. Apply your resin coating
This should be nice and easy after thorough preparation and priming. Again, be sure to read the instructions and do the maths to make sure you have enough paint and enough time for the area you’re coating. In larger areas you can have multiple applicators to work on the edges and the centre simultaneously.
Using a medium pile roller (with a long handle), roll out the epoxy back and forth, then left to right to get your coat as even as possible and smooth out any bubbles. You could even have one person rolling vertically and the other horizontally to be as efficient as possible. If you’re coating over floors which are a contrasting colour or include dark lines or markings, be sure to cover them over.
Leave the coating to cure, taking a note of when a second coat or sealer can be applied. This will commonly be 12-24 hours depending on temperature and thickness.
6. Clean tools
Tools such as roller handles, cages, trays and spiked shoes will need thoroughly cleaning with solvent cleaner before applying the second coat to stop any dried material getting into the top coat. This uses high flash solvents to remove wet and dry resins whilst also avoiding any build up of film or weakening of the tools. Paint brushes and roller sleeves are generally single usage so discard these responsibly.
7. Apply a second coat of epoxy resin
After between 24 and 48 hours, your floor should be ready for a second coat. Make sure the room temperature has not changed since the primer and first coat, then apply in the same way as the first coat. If you are ‘broadcasting’ non-slip material, scatter this before the second coating has been applied as you would grass seed or chicken feed and encapsulate it with the paint. Once coated, leave the floor to dry in a well ventilated environment free from any damp. After approximately 24 hours the floor should have cured enough for light traffic, and will be able to accept heavy vehicle traffic after 2 – 3 days, curing fully after 7 days.
8. Apply a sealer
There are also various benefits to applying a further clear sealer coat to your new epoxy resin floor. This helps hide scratches and scuffs, adds further durability and wear resistance, protects against chemicals and UV sunlight and protects the paintwork beneath. It makes sense to apply a sealer soon after the top coat whilst the building is still empty and undergoing downtime. There are a choice of gloss, satin and matt finishes depending on whether you’re aiming for a clean and fresh looking environment or something more natural. Sealers can add value to a property if you’re looking to sell or rent the space and when applied thickly this means the coating and the concrete itself is well protected against all kinds of damage, damp and discolouration.
Resins Direct are a warm and friendly team ready to support you and do our best to effectively answer any queries or needs you may have. Get in touch with us on live chat, telephone: 01933 808045 or email email@example.com for help.