If you've been with me throughout this 31 days of completion series, then you know what a task it has been (to put it mildly) to finish our garage floor. After weeks of serious roadblocks and tears, I am happy to say that the project of finishing the garage floor is complete!
This is where it started:
There are a few things I learned along the way, with the help and advise from a trusted painter friend of ours. The first thing is, you must use the proper materials to etch the garage floor. These are the materials I used:
A 5 gallon bucket, hard bristled broom, rubber gloves, scrub brush (for edges and hard to reach surfaces), old measuring cup, hose, muriatic acid. And the most important, but not pictured, is a pressure washer. This became my best friend and enemy, after 4 days time.
First, mix the acid and water, filling the bucket with water first, and then adding acid. Pour in sections, one at a time, and scrub in with hard bristled broom.
Do this until the entire floor is covered. It will fizz when applied at first.
After letting the last bit set for around 10 min., spray with a hose.
Next, pressure wash entire floor until thoroughly rinsed. Let dry over night and check floor. If there is a chalky residue, pressure wash again. Repeat until no chalky film is left on the floor.
There must be a good 24-48 hour dry time before applying epoxy.
For this project, I used a two part, oil based epoxy that requires 2 applications. This isn't common, the common epoxy out there is water based. The kind I used is recommended by professionals who have had experience scraping off old epoxy that has begun to peel over time from the surface. This epoxy is used in marinas, so you know it is durable. After what I went through in prepping the floor, there was no way I was going to repeat the whole scenario again.
Mix the epoxy with a mixer attached to a drill. Pour in part A before part B. You will hear and smell and see a chemical reaction. It is strong since it is oil base, and the epoxy is nice and thick. Let sit for 30 min.
(I set my timer).
While I was waiting, I swept the floor again to ensure all the surface was free of any dust or small grained dirt.
The first thing I did was paint the outside edges with a disposable, real hair brush. This is important. DO NOT use a synthetic bristled brush! I bought two brushes for each application to enlist help. If possible, this step is so much more endurable and enjoyable with the help of somebody else. It was a nice time to visit with my cute boys. One helped me the first time, then the other the second time.
This epoxy can be any color you would like, just note that when you pick a color, you will end up with it a shade or so lighter. The first time I painted, it was lighter than I had wanted.
After brushing the epoxy on, I rolled it on with a roller with a 1/4" nap, this wasn't a roller cover I'm used to using and was a tad bit more expensive since it can endure the chemicals of the epoxy. When preparing for this project, ask a knowledegable salesman. I was working with the men at Sherwin Williams that were really familiar with the product. I also used an extention handle to roll with. This made the job actually enjoyable. Also, as you are painting, to avoid roller lines, flip the roller over after rolling a couple times. This will help smooth out any lines caused by the pressure of the roller.
The first time around, I ran out of epoxy at the end. This was because we did the walls that extend up the sides of the garage. The second time around, we did not paint these since we figure they won't be getting the same kind of use as the rest of the floor.
The advantage to having to paint a second coat, was that I was able to pick a darker shade. This was nice too, since I could tell where I had already painted or missed during application.
Here I am in all my painter's glory. I'm actually smiling since I'm at the end of the project. The light at the end of the ongoing, trammatic tunnel.
And I'm finally done! WOO HOO!!
(This is when you do the happy dance.)
Let dry completely, this time can vary dependent on temperature and humidity. Wait a good two days before putting anything on it. Let cure without motor vehicles for a good two weeks.
(As you can see, I have a bottle of paint thinner in my hand. Very important to cleaning yourself and tools when you're through. I just threw away most things, like the roller frame, cover, and brushes.)
Doesn't it look amazing?
I haven't wanted to put anything on it that wasn't cleaned real good first. I dare say it's the cleanest part of our house right now. Sorry, but true. Where has all my attention been, after all?
This project is what inspired my 31 days of completion theme. Projects can become so overwhelming that you just want to quit. We need to remember that the things in this world are here for us to find joy and love and happiness in the process of the use of them. That is what I learned from this project as I enlisted the help of my wonderful children.
Enjoy the journey of completing what you start. Often times, what you do and learn in the process is the most important part in the end.
To read about how it all started go HERE
linking to: These Great Parties
and The Nesting Place 31 Day Challenge