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I am in the process of refinishing my garage floor. I'm hoping to finish with an epoxy coat that runs up the wall slightly. I have an 8 inch tall concrete box/curb/baseboard around the perimeter of the interior of the structure. The curb is in pretty bad shape, it has pits and holes and needs to be smoothed out before putting on an epoxy coat or else it would look terrible. In addition, it is covered in at least two coats of paint.

  • What are my options?
  • What is the best way to smooth out the surface?
  • Would it easier to frame around the existing curb and pour?
  • Is there a cement mixture that would be easy to apply to a vertical surface and finish smooth?

I assume that all the paint and loose bits will need to be removed before the surface can be smoothed out. Seems like sand blasting would be the most effective method given the length.

I could cover the curb with a more traditional baseboard material however I do like the idea of having a cement border around the floor of the garage. Let me know if anyone has any ideas, might be a lost cause.

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  • Frame challenge: No epoxy, but tiles, inclusive skirting?
    – Martin
    Sep 29, 2022 at 14:25
  • What kind of tile are you thinking, @Martin, that would be appropriate for a garage floor?
    – FreeMan
    Sep 30, 2022 at 17:11

2 Answers 2

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Getting the paint and loose concrete off is going to be necessary if you want the epoxy to stick. Sandblasting is a way to remove it, but if you want to know what you're in for, hit up YouTube for sandblasting videos to see the mess it makes.

You might be able to do dry ice blasting, as the dry ice will sublimate leaving only the paint/cement removed to be cleaned up. It may be more expensive up front, but when you consider the amount of time & effort to clean up compared to cleaning up the sand/other blast media, you'll probably come out well ahead. Once it's cleaned up, you'll want to put something on there - stucco or mortar as Ecnerwal suggests sound like excellent options.

Getting a smooth troweled finish in any material can be difficult and takes practice. If you want a really smooth finish, consider putting on a smoothish coat of cementitious material, then cover it with PVC trim, smooth side out. The PVC will be waterproof, which is handy for when you park your rain/snow wet car in the garage (or forget and leave the garage door open in a rain storm) and will give you a nice smooth surface for appearance sake. Usually PVC is held on with trim screws designed to go into wood, so you may need to drill into the concrete and place anchors (I'd think plastic anchors would be fine - this isn't structural), or glue it on with more epoxy.

If you do go the PVC trim route, you might not even need to clean the existing concrete curb all that well. Just hit it with a wire brush to remove the loosest material, then screw/glue the trim right over it. It won't matter that the curb is rough because it will be hidden.

FYI- The primary job of that cement curb is to keep your sill plate up above the ground outside so the bottom of your wall doesn't start rotting prematurely. Sadly, I didn't know this when we built our garage, so I opted out of a curb/row of block and now have some issues in some areas.

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  • Great ideas. Would I need to score the pvc to ensure good adhesion with the epoxy? Sep 30, 2022 at 16:42
  • I thought about that. I'm honestly not sure. It probably wouldn't hurt to lightly scuff it.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 30, 2022 at 17:11
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Sandblasting is a messy pain, but works, Wire brush or (never used one personally) a needle scaler might be more straightforward and slightly less mess (no sand, just paint and dust.)

Stucco would be the obvious trowel-on cementitious product, once it's clean. Though I have know folks in non-stucco-popular areas to use mortar the same way, but stucco should be better.

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  • Didn’t even consider stucco, good idea. I would like it to have the same smooth finish as the floor, and I hear that applying smooth stucco can be difficult. In your opinion would the epoxy even out the texture if I used a sanded stucco? Also, do professional sand blasting services offer any no mess sanding or is sand laying around just the name of the game? Sep 29, 2022 at 1:58
  • Presumably if you hire someone to do it, you either hire one that cleans up after themselves, or hire someone to clean up after them. Ask before signing the contract (or much earlier, really.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:07

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