I see on the market floor paints made from "1-part epoxy" or from "2-part epoxy". They are meant for concrete floors.

Epoxy is reputed to be very harmful if misused during construction. Anecdotes include that epoxy fumes, if inhaled over years and years, can form a solid lining inside a worker's trachea.

As a concrete floor covering (garage and basement), epoxy would likely be very hard wearing, but I'm wondering what kind of precautions are necessary to paint an epoxy-based product in one's basement (where ventilation is limited, at best). Are such products really meant for professionals who may go all the way to wearing an oxygen mask while working and the amateurs should stay away?

  • 1
    Read the MSDS (material safety data sheet) not urban legends (anecdotes) on the internet.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:16

2 Answers 2


DIY epoxy floor paints do not normally require respiratory protection during application (by brush or roller) as long as adequate ventilation is provided. These "off the shelf" products are designed for use by laypersons. What is "adequate"? Open all doors and windows, for basements or other areas with scant natural ventilation put a box fan or two in a door or window to pull fumes out and allow fresh air to be pulled in. If you are a particularly sensitive individual or if you intend to spray the coating, a full-face respirator with organic vapor cartridges is commonly recommended. Always follow manufacturers' instructions.

Commercial/industrial products are labeled and distributed as such and are not usually available for purchase by the average homeowner.


The compounds in epoxy paints are mutagenic and are to be avoided. Always use a respirator or supplied air mask.. A common misconception is it takes years of exposure to cause problems, which is compounded by the fact cancer takes years to grow to a detectable size.

  • 2
    Any references?
    – mbeckish
    Jul 20, 2016 at 19:41

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