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I've just moved in to a new house and I want to level the floor in the garage but it's covered in oil. A quick Google throws up a blog post and product by Polycote but nothing else specifically mentions oily floors.

Is Polycote the only product? Do I need a specail primer to lay over oil? What else do I need to know?

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If you want a well-performing coating, you must do surface preparation according to instructions.

There aren't really any shortcuts around that. Oil is a contaminant that will fail almost any coating, and most definitely a water-based coating.

If you're new to surface preparation, I'm sorry if it throws a monkeywrench into what you hoped would be an easy project. I realize the temptation to shortcut. But it will give a very unsatisfactory result, and an even bigger mess to clean up.

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You need to get the oil off and out before adding a self-leveling coating, or it will tend to separate from the floor at the oily interface. Off is relatively easy (soap/detergent, or use chemistry to turn the oil to soap (saponify) with a base.)

Out is considerably harder, since oil will be soaked into the concrete like a sponge.

But at least start with removing all the accessible surface oil. Then wait to see if you have more surface oil after a few weeks.

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