This question is related to our other question about relocation of our hot water heater. The current plan is to put the new water heater in the garage on the cement floor, so our concern is how to prepare the area where the new water heater will reside. So, initially, we may only paint the area under the tank. There's too much stuff in the garage to paint the whole floor all at once.

So this question results from the confluence of two projects. The garage floor as it is, is abysmal, so we want to make it better. It has not been painted. The cement must be several decades old. (The house was built in 1977, but the cement floor was added later. We believe that the area was initially a carport with crushed rock.)

I am having a difficult time thinking of how I could make the question more focused--probably because I don't know anything about painting cement. Web searches mostly return hype from vendors. I sincerely appreciate the help from those who don't mind assisting a confessed novice.

  • 1
    "What do I need to know" isn't a question that fits well with our Q&A format. You'll need to revise to ask something more specific.
    – isherwood
    Jun 23 '20 at 18:29
  • You may want to search Home Improvement for the painint and garage tags. I'd imagine this has been asked at least once. You should find info on prep work and coating options. Please feel free to edit this question to cover a specific detail that you're not sure about.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 23 '20 at 18:33
  • we're good at specific questions (and often ones that are hard to find answers to by Google searching). If you turn one up, let us know
    – Ack
    Jun 23 '20 at 19:04
  • @FreeMan, Thank you. That's helpful. I will continue my search. I usually don't ask questions on forums until I am frustrated with other sources. I guess I need to avoid asking dumb questions here.
    – BigBlonde
    Jun 23 '20 at 22:07
  • @Ack, About which do you want me to let you know, a specific question or a specific answer? I suspect, though, that when I have done enough research to know what questions to ask, I shall also know the answers.
    – BigBlonde
    Jun 23 '20 at 22:15

The most important step is cleaning the best 2 part epoxy paint can’t stick to a oily floor. First it needs to be cleaned 100% I suggest an acid wash using muriatic acid and water, 3% to 10% for badly oil stained floors, the muriatic etches the concrete as it dose it is neutralized with the weaker solution, then a good rinse 2 or 3 times let dry and you are ready for paint.

The quality of the paint is the next most important thing. I use 2 part epoxy paint made specifically for garage floors rustolium has a good product out there I have used several times

Don’t go cheap or use 1 part epoxy paints, a friend followed my cleaning advice But went with a 1 part epoxy that when car tires sat on it started peeling the paint up (hot tires can cause failure) I rented a shot blaster to clean this off it took 2 full days because he wanted to do it right the 2nd time.

Follow instructions I use a heavy nap roller work from the back wall to the opening. I would recommend using the color chips or an abrasive powder as you roll the paint scattered on the surface it doesn’t take much but you will thank me if you ever spill antifreeze on your floor (it is slicker than ice with no abrasive) I recleaned my shop and added a thin 2nd coat with abrasive sprinkled it still looked awesome but I poured some antifreeze and water on the new surface and could walk on it, without the abrasive I could not stand.

Once the floor is cured 24-72 hours depending on brand it is ready for abuse and is really easy to clean oil up kitty litter to pick up the bulk then a few squirts of laundry soap or dish soap and the floor looks like new again, I use a 3’ squeegee to push water out.

Depending on how rough or The porosity Of the surface you may need more paint than the can says it will cover, I think the ones that said 300sf / can were glass smooth floors rougher plan for 250 sf if it says 300.

Those are the things I have done many times for myself and others. hope it helps.

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    Ed, how about testing for moisture before applying any paint?
    – Lee Sam
    Jun 23 '20 at 22:10
  • @Ed Beal, Thank you. This sounds like a bigger project than we thought it would be. We would definitely have much cleaning to do. We were concerned about painting over the oil. Also, the surface of the garage floor is much rougher than we want it to be. It has grooves in it like those often seen on sidewalks. That's why we want to paint it. We want to be able to sweep and mop it easily. As it is now, it is hard to sweep because it is so rough. We were also wondering about one-step versus two-step paints. Your response was particularly helpful on that point.
    – BigBlonde
    Jun 23 '20 at 22:51
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    I do test by putting a square of plastic down for 24 hours some brands don’t require it but the rustolium did in my cases I have only had limited problemS with a garage it was a daylight basement with the garage under the upper level , we waited until summer and it was dry enough 1 garage on grade with a spring fixed drainage fans on 48 hours prior to coating. So check and if the instructions state to test a piece of plastic taped down for 24 hours Will do the test if water is dripping off the plastic additional measures need t be considered (I use a trash bag do I can re use it ). +
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 23 '20 at 22:57

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