How to Choose Between Epoxy or Garage Floor Paint

Garage floor with epoxy.

A finished floor can take your garage from a dingy storage area to a spectacular space with the right paint or epoxy. However, having to choose between which finish is best for your floor can be tricky, especially since finishing concrete isn't the easiest job in the world. 

Plus, most garage floors must be able to withstand a considerable amount of abuse, and that means your finish must, too. 

Here's what you need to know when choosing epoxy or garage floor paint:

What to Know Before Selecting the Perfect Garage Finish 

Before choosing a finish for your garage, think about how you and your family will be using the space. For example, some people simply park their cars in the garage and not much else, while others use their garage as a workshop or even as an additional living space complete with a refrigerator and TV. Keep this in mind when determining how durable your paint needs to be. The finish you choose will depend on how you plan to use your garage.

Clean open garage.

Before you apply any finish, the floor will need to be prepared correctly to ensure good results and a long-lasting finish. To get the best results, prep your floor by following these steps:

  1. First, empty your garage completely and thoroughly sweep your floors to remove any traces of dirt and debris. 
  2. Oil spots, chemicals, and other stains should be treated before you begin, as paint and epoxy will not stick to some blemishes.
  3. Once the floor has been cleaned and treated, make sure it is completely dry before applying your finish. 
  4. In some situations, depending on the condition of the floor, grinding the concrete may also be required to achieve a smooth, longer lasting finish. Completing this task safely requires specific tools and expertise, which is best left to a professional.  

Pro tip: Learn more about how to paint your garage door.

Take some time to decide and think through the paint colors for the garage. Paints and epoxies come in a wide selection of hues, colors, and tones. It’s a good idea to look for paints that offer additional features, like floor less slippery. Whether you're going bold or merely trying to match your garage door, explore options to find one that's right for you. Now that you know what to watch for before settling on the perfect garage finish, read on to learn about the differences between epoxy and concrete floor paint.

Option 1: Concrete Floor Paint

Concrete paint is virtually the same as wall paint but a little bit tougher. You roll it on just like wall paint and touching up damaged areas or repainting the surface is simple. 

You also have the choice of latex or oil-based paint. Latex, for instance, dries to a flat finish and is water-based for easy cleanup. Oil-based paints dry glossy and require a special primer and cleanup solvents, but they tend to be more durable. No matter which you choose, you'll have to touch up your garage floor paint about every two years.

Option 2: Epoxy Paint

A two-part epoxy formula that's mixed right before application will provide a tough, durable finish. While preparing the floor according to the steps mentioned above is important for painting, it's critical when using epoxy. This is because dirt, grease, and debris will prevent the epoxy paint from getting good adhesion and a lasting finish. Taking the extra time required to prepare the surface will go a long way to helping you achieve good results.  

Note: Depending on how much wear your floor gets or which product you choose, an epoxy floor finish should last at least three to five years. Whether you use floor or epoxy paint, make sure you have proper ventilation when taking on this project. 

Price Considerations

One last thing to consider is pricing. Latex and oil paint generally require 2 coats to get the most optimal results but will cost about half as much as an epoxy paint. If you're trying to get the job done fast and cheap without too much hassle, then latex paint is the way to go. For a durable finish that looks good for years to come, epoxy is worth the added trouble and expense.

Need Help Painting Your Garage Floor? 

If you're not sure which product is right for your garage floor, or if prepping and painting your garage floor is too much for you to take on, contact the experts at your local Five Star Painting to learn more about our Garage Painting Services

We have the right equipment and experience to get the job done right the first time. We back this up with the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, which ensures your satisfaction. 

In some instances, applying an epoxy coating may require a special certification and toolset, please ask your local Five Star Painting team if this is required in your area. To get started, schedule a free estimate to transform the look of your garage floor today!