GARAGE OVERHAUL – GARAGE FLOOR COATING
Project Name: Garage Overhaul
Applicator: DIY Project
Submitted January 2013
“My garage floor was painted many years before I bought the house with a gray paint that actually held up pretty well considering it was probably at least 12 years old. However, in the last few years it had started to suffer from hot tire pick up. I read hundreds of posts about different experiences with Epoxy and it seemed clear that if you diamond grind the floor and use a professional product, your results should be pretty solid. However I was looking for a monochrome floor without the flakes and without the effort, cost and dust associated with grinding. I was also extremely risk averse and didn’t want to try my luck with just any paint. I started researching high temperature automotive paints and stumbled upon a few interesting product options and others. The more I researched, the more I realized that there were some really good industrial options out there that had high service temperatures. I also saw a lot of posts where people were asking about using such paints, but there were no real examples of home/DIY users that had tried such products on their garage floor. I eventually settled on Rust Bullet after reading the specifications and numerous case studies of commercial and industrial concrete applications such as warehouses where trucks and forklifts are used. (Please note that I do not now, nor ever have had any association with this product or company. I simply want to share my experience as I know others have been asking the same question.)
What caught my attention was that Rust Bullet’s temperature service range is stated as: “After curing, all Rust Bullet coatings have a service temperature range of 314°F (157°C) continuous, and can tolerate maximum temperatures between 617°F- 662°F (325°C-350°C) for up to 72 hour periods”. In theory, this should be more than adequate to protect against hot tire pickup (provided it is applied correctly). I also liked the fact that Rust Bullet did not require any acid etching.
I stripped off the existing paint using a nationally advertised brand for concrete. This product worked well, but you have to coat it on really thick and cover with plastic sheets to keep it from evaporating, and thus giving it more time to work on the paint. I left it on for about 4 hours before using a 3300psi pressure washer to remove. I had some remaining paint where the plastic sheets overlapped or wrinkled. I went over these spots a second time with the paint stripper, to ensure all paint was removed. After 2 very thorough pressure washes to remove all the paint, I used a degreaser followed by a soap wash and several rinses. I then filled the cracks in the floor with concrete sealer. I allowed the floor to dry for about 12 days at very low humidity conditions with lots of ventilation, around 70 degrees. I then applied the Rust Bullet paint using a 3/8 inch nap roller. The paint requires a lot of stirring to mix thoroughly before use. 3 to 5 minutes, and you cannot machine mix or shake. I used a 3M paint Respirator as advised by Rust Bullet. Three (3) gallons of Rust Bullet Standard Formula Rust Inhibitive Coating was sufficient to achieve the recommended DFT. Applying Rust Bullet is very much like painting with a deep color paint; it is very important to maintain a wet edge in order to avoid roller marks. I struggled a little with this on the first coat as I tried to figure out the correct size area to paint at a time.The metallic look and color of the paint is really nice; A silver gray. The down side is that any imperfections on the concrete floor surface are exaggerated in certain lighting conditions because of the reflective surface. Is this a major issue? Not for me, as there were only a few small rough patches on my floor, and my priority order list was; durability, longevity and then aesthetics. If you have a really good finish (no patches, trowel marks, or cracks) on your concrete, this paint will give you an incredibly good looking floor.I kept the cars out the garage for at least 2 weeks whilst I finished the interior walls and ceiling.The cars have now been in and out the garage for a couple of weeks and I’ve deliberately got the tires pretty hot on the Porsche to test the surface. No problems at all thus far.I will keep this information updated as I guess the ultimate test will be once summer comes around, but my confidence is pretty high that the paint is going to hold up. I am really happy with the results and the many late nights were well worth it.”