How To Prep Garage Floor For Epoxy 

How To Prep Garage Floor For Epoxy
Dwayne English
Dwayne English

Epoxy flooring specialist with over 25 years of experience helping residential, commercial & industrial projects.

Garage floors are often subjected to heavy use, enduring the weight of vehicles, exposure to various chemicals, and foot traffic. As such, they require special attention before applying epoxy coatings.

Preparing the garage floor before an epoxy application is crucial for achieving optimal results and ensuring the longevity of the coating. In this article, we’ll discuss some of epoxy’s advantages and the significance of adequately preparing the garage floor for it.

The Importance of Prepping the Garage Floor for Epoxy Application

When considering an epoxy coating, it is critical to prepare the garage floor. Failure to adequately prepare the surface can lead to adhesion issues, blistering, peeling, or premature wear and tear of the epoxy coating. By investing time and effort in thorough preparation before applying epoxy, you set yourself up for a durable and visually appealing result.

One primary reason for prepping your garage floor before applying epoxy is to ensure proper adhesion between the concrete surface and the coating. Concrete surfaces are often porous with microscopic pores that need addressing before application.

These tiny pores can trap air or moisture within them, leading to bubbles or delamination of the coating over time if not properly addressed during preparation. Additionally, contaminants, such as oil stains, grease spots, dirt particles, or previous coatings, must be removed as they can interfere with adhesion.

The Benefits of a Properly Prepared Floor

The Benefits of a Properly Prepared Floor_

A properly prepared garage floor sets you on track for reaping numerous benefits from your epoxy coating investment. Firstly, it enhances durability by providing a solid foundation for adhesion between the concrete substrate and the epoxy layer.

This ensures that your flooring solution will withstand heavy use without chipping or peeling prematurely. Beyond durability alone lies aesthetic appeal – another significant benefit of prepping your garage floor.

A properly prepared surface allows the epoxy coating to adhere smoothly and evenly, resulting in a seamless and visually pleasing finish. This makes your garage a functional space and an inviting area that reflects your attention to detail.

Moreover, by prepping the epoxy garage floor adequately, you create a cleaner and more hygienic environment. Cleaning and treating the concrete before epoxy application removes contaminants like oil stains, dirt, and grime that may have accumulated over time.

This results in a floor that is easier to clean and maintain in the long run as it resists the absorption of spills or stains. This application is essential for achieving optimal results.

It ensures proper adhesion between the concrete substrate and epoxy coating while enhancing durability, visual appeal, and ease of maintenance. Dedicating time to this crucial step sets the stage for a successful epoxy flooring project in your garage space.

Safety Equipment

Before embarking on the process of prepping your epoxy garage floor, it is imperative that you prioritize your safety. You must gather the necessary safety equipment to ensure your well-being during the task. Begin by acquiring a pair of sturdy gloves that offer ample protection against potential cuts and abrasions.

Opt for gloves made from nitrile or latex since they provide excellent grip and dexterity. In addition to gloves, safeguard your eyes with reliable safety glasses.

These will shield your eyes from any debris or chemicals that may be encountered during the cleaning and preparation process. Furthermore, donning a high-quality respirator is crucial to protect yourself from inhaling harmful fumes or dust particles released during the surface preparation phase.

Cleaning Supplies

Once you have secured the necessary safety equipment, it is time to gather the cleaning supplies required for preparing your garage floor. Begin by procuring a sturdy broom with stiff bristles; this will effectively sweep away loose dirt, dust, and debris from the surface.

Additionally, having a mop handy will allow you to thoroughly clean larger areas before applying any degreaser. When it comes to degreasers, choosing one specifically designed for removing oil stains and grease spots from concrete surfaces is critical.

Look for commercial-grade degreasers formulated explicitly for heavy-duty cleaning tasks; these are generally more effective in breaking down stubborn grease build-up on garage floors. Remember to choose an environmentally friendly option if possible.

Surface Preparation Tools

Having the right tools on hand for proper surface preparation when prepping your garage floor for epoxy application is critical. Start by obtaining a scraper or putty knife, which can be used to remove any loose paint chips or adhesive residues that may be present on the floor surface.

These tools will help create a clean and uniform base for the epoxy coating. Another essential tool is the grinder, allowing for better epoxy adhesion.

An angle grinder with a diamond grinding wheel is highly recommended for this task. Additionally, a sander or polisher can be useful in smoothing any uneven surfaces or rough spots on your garage floor.

Patching Materials

As part of surface preparation, addressing any cracks or imperfections in your garage floor before applying epoxy is essential. You will need suitable patching materials such as concrete patching compound to accomplish this.

This compound is specially formulated to fill cracks and holes in concrete surfaces, providing a smooth and sturdy foundation for the subsequent epoxy coating. When selecting a concrete patching compound, ensure it is compatible with your specific floor condition and the epoxy product you plan to use.

Following manufacturer instructions regarding mixing ratios and drying times is important to achieve optimal results. By using quality patching materials effectively, you can significantly improve the appearance and durability of your garage floor.

Clearing out the Garage

Clearing out the Garage​

When preparing to epoxy your garage flooring in Vancouver, removing all items from the surface is crucial. This includes vehicles, tools, storage boxes, and other objects occupying the floor space.

Clearing out the garage allows you unimpeded access to every inch of the floor, making cleaning and preparing for epoxy application easier. It also minimizes the risk of accidentally damaging any valuable or delicate items.

Take a systematic approach when removing items from your garage floor. Start by categorizing them into tools, sports equipment, or miscellaneous items.

This organization will facilitate a smooth transition back into your garage after completing the epoxy process. Consider using labeled storage bins or shelves to keep everything in order.

Organizing and Decluttering the Space

Once you have removed all items from your garage floor, take advantage of this opportunity to organize and declutter your workspace.

Sorting through your belongings will make it easier to prep for epoxy and create a more functional and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Begin by assessing each item you have removed from the floor and determining its necessity in your garage space. If there are things you no longer use or need, consider donating or disposing of them responsibly.

Organize remaining items in designated areas based on their function or purpose – for example, creating a dedicated section for gardening tools or sports equipment. To optimize space utilization further, consider utilizing wall-mounted racks or shelving units that can hold frequently used tools and equipment without cluttering up valuable floor space.

This organizational strategy provides easy access while maintaining an unobstructed area for epoxy application.
Taking these steps towards decluttering and organizing improves functionality and enhances efficiency within your workspace.

Cleaning the Garage Floor Thoroughly

Sweeping or Vacuuming to Remove Loose Debris

Before embarking on the process of prepping your garage floor for epoxy, it is crucial to start with a clean canvas. Begin by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove any loose debris, such as dirt, dust, or small particles.

A high-quality broom with sturdy bristles can effectively gather up the larger debris, while a vacuum cleaner equipped with a suitable attachment will ensure that no fine particles are left behind. By removing these loose elements, you create a smooth foundation for subsequent cleaning steps and enhance the overall adherence of the epoxy coating.

Using a Degreaser to Remove Oil Stains and Grease Spots

Due to vehicle leaks or other maintenance activities, oil stains and grease spots are common on garage floors.

However, if not adequately removed, these substances can inhibit proper adhesion between the epoxy coating and the concrete surface.

To tackle this issue, utilize an effective degreaser specifically designed for concrete surfaces. Ensure you choose a degreaser compatible with epoxy coatings to avoid any potential adverse reactions during application.

Applying Degreaser Generously on Affected Areas

Once you have selected an appropriate degreaser, apply it generously over areas affected by oil stains and grease spots. Covering these areas thoroughly without leaving any gaps or patches untouched is crucial. Pay special attention to heavily stained regions, which may require additional treatment. 

Scrubbing with a Stiff Brush or Broom to Loosen Dirt and Grime

After applying the degreaser, scrub vigorously over the affected areas with a stiff brush or broom. This mechanical action helps loosen dirt particles embedded in the concrete surface and assists in breaking down stubborn oil residues.

Ensure you use a brush or broom with sturdy bristles to dislodge the grime effectively. Employing both forward and backward motions will maximize the effectiveness of this step, allowing the degreaser to penetrate deeper into the concrete.

Rinsing with Clean Water and Allowing it to Dry Completely

Once you scrub the dirt and grime away, rinse the garage floor thoroughly with clean water. Use a hose or a pressure washer set at a moderate level to remove any remaining degreaser and loosened dirt particles. Ensure that all traces of degreaser are completely washed away.

After rinsing, allow sufficient time for the floor to dry completely before prepping your garage floor. Drying times may vary depending on environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature, so it is advisable to wait at least 24 hours before moving forward.

By meticulously cleaning your garage floor through sweeping or vacuuming, utilizing an appropriate degreaser to eliminate oil stains and grease spots, scrubbing with a stiff brush or broom, and rinsing with clean water followed by thorough drying, you establish an immaculate foundation for achieving optimal adhesion between your epoxy coating and the concrete surface.

Taking these initial steps not only ensures better results but also prolongs the lifespan of your newly applied epoxy finish.

Repairing cracks and imperfections in the concrete surface

Identifying cracks and damaged areas

Before applying epoxy to your garage floor, it is crucial to inspect the concrete for any cracks or damaged areas thoroughly. Start by examining the surface for signs of cracking, such as hairline fractures or larger structural issues. 

Use a flashlight to identify better hard-to-see cracks hiding in shadows or corners. Additionally, pay close attention to areas where heavy objects have been placed, as they can cause stress on the floor and lead to structural damage.

Inspecting for hairline cracks or larger structural issues

When inspecting your garage floor for cracks, distinguishing between minor hairline cracks and more severe structural issues is essential. Hairline cracks are often superficial and can easily be repaired with simple patching. On the other hand, larger cracks that extend deep into the concrete may indicate a more significant problem with the foundation or structure of your garage floor.

If you notice substantial cracking or suspect underlying structural issues, avoiding applying epoxy directly onto severely damaged floors is advisable. In such cases, seeking professional help from a qualified contractor specializing in concrete repairs should be your next step.

Preparing for Surface Profiling

Creating Proper Surface Adhesion by Profiling

Before applying epoxy to the garage floor, creating a surface that allows for proper adhesion is crucial. This is achieved through profiling, which involves grinding and smoothing rough spots or uneven surfaces. Profiling the floor ensures the epoxy will bond securely and provide a durable finish.

Grinding Down Rough Spots or High Points Using an Angle Grinder or Concrete Grinder

To begin the surface profiling process, use an angle or concrete grinder with a diamond grinding wheel. Start by identifying rough spots or high points on the floor’s surface. Previous coatings, paint drips, or irregularities in the concrete itself can cause these.

Carefully maneuver the grinder over these areas slowly and steadily, applying even pressure. The diamond grinding wheel will effectively remove protrusions or imperfections, creating a smoother and more uniform surface.

Smoothing Out Uneven Surfaces with a Sander or Polisher

After grinding down rough spots, it’s important to further smooth out any remaining uneven surfaces on the garage floor. This step ensures no noticeable transitions when applying the epoxy coating.

Using a handheld sander or polisher fitted with finer grit sandpaper discs (around 100-120 grit), systematically work across the entire floor surface. Move-in overlapping passes to ensure consistent smoothing of all areas.

Ensuring an Even Profile Across

As you progress through each section of the garage floor during surface profiling, be mindful of maintaining an even profile. Pay close attention to areas where transitions occur between previously profiled sections and untouched ones.

It may be necessary to revisit certain spots that require additional grinding or smoothing to achieve uniformity. Take your time and be diligent in your efforts to create a level and consistent surface profile.


Properly preparing your garage floor for epoxy application is essential to achieve a long-lasting and visually appealing result. Following the steps outlined in this article ensures that your surface is ready for the epoxy coating.

Surface profiling plays a crucial role in creating proper adhesion for the epoxy. Grinding down rough spots and high points using an angle grinder or concrete grinder and smoothing out uneven surfaces with a sander or polisher helps achieve an even profile across the entire floor.

Remember that taking the time to meticulously prep your garage floor will yield outstanding results. With a clean and well-prepared surface, you can confidently apply epoxy, transforming your garage into a stunning space that enhances functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Ready to transform your garage into a stunning space in Vancouver?

Contact Swift Epoxy Flooring Vancouver at (604)-265-7362 for your FREE quote and let our experts meticulously prep your garage floor for a long-lasting, visually appealing epoxy coating. Don’t compromise on quality – choose Swift Epoxy Flooring for the best results!


What are the steps involved in preparing a concrete floor for epoxy installation?

The key steps include cleaning the concrete floor thoroughly, repairing any cracks or imperfections, etching or grinding the concrete to create a rough surface for adhesion, and then applying the epoxy coating.

What is concrete grinding, and why is it necessary for epoxy coating?

Concrete grinding is mechanically rubbing and grinding the surface to remove flaws and produce a smooth, porous surface. This is essential for proper epoxy adhesion.

Can I apply epoxy directly to a new concrete slab, or should I wait for it to cure?

It’s generally recommended to wait for new concrete to cure completely before applying epoxy. Depending on the concrete’s composition and environmental conditions, this can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

How can I repair cracks and imperfections in my concrete flooring before applying epoxy?

You can use epoxy filler or a concrete patching compound to repair cracks and imperfections. Ensure that these repairs are fully cured before proceeding with epoxy installation.

Can I apply epoxy over an existing epoxy coating?

In most cases, yes, but the existing epoxy paint must be in good condition. You’ll need to roughen the surface through sanding or grinding to ensure proper adhesion of the new top epoxy paint coating.

How can I ensure a long-lasting epoxy coating on my garage floor?

To ensure a long-lasting epoxy coating, follow all the preparation steps meticulously, including cleaning, repairing, and grinding the concrete surface. Also, apply the epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow sufficient curing time.

Is it advisable to seek professional help for preparing and applying epoxy if I'm unsure about the process?

If you’re uncertain or lack experience, it’s often a wise choice to consult with or hire professionals for the best results. They have the expertise and equipment to ensure a successful epoxy installation while minimizing potential issues.

Do I need to cover the entire surface of my concrete floors with epoxy?

You don’t necessarily need to cover the entire surface of your concrete floors with epoxy. Depending on your preferences and needs, you can choose to coat the concrete and dust the entire how-to prep garage floor for epoxy or specific areas.

What is acid etching, and why is it recommended for concrete floor preparation?

Acid etching is when you use an acid etching solution to create a textured and porous surface on concrete floors. This textured surface enhances the adhesion of the new epoxy coating, ensuring a durable finish.

Can I directly apply a new epoxy coating over an old epoxy floor coating?

Applying a new epoxy coating over an old one is possible, but proper preparation is crucial. You’ll need to thoroughly clean and scuff the old epoxy to ensure good adhesion for the new epoxy coating.

Should I prepare my entire garage floor or the areas where I apply epoxy?

Preparing the entire garage floor is generally recommended, even if you plan to apply epoxy to specific areas. This ensures a consistent surface and avoids potential issues with uneven adhesion or appearance.

How can I ensure a successful and long-lasting epoxy floor coating on my concrete floors?

To ensure a successful epoxy floor coating, follow all the necessary preparation steps, including cleaning, acid etching, and patching any imperfections in the concrete. Proper surface preparation is key to a durable and attractive epoxy finish.