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Painting Bare Concrete Floors with Solvent Free Two Pack Epoxy Floor Coating

09 Nov 14
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This guide is suitable for all traffic.Two coats of paint are always recommended 1st coat primes and seals the floor. 2nd coat provides good colour build, protection and longevity of the coating.

 

Solvent Free Epoxy Floor Paints

When painting any concrete floor it is important that the moisture content of the concrete is no greater than 5% and that there is an ambient temperature of 10˚C. Green concrete is best left for at least 2-3 months before coating. There are three main factors to ensure the epoxy coating will offer the protection & durability you require. They are floor preparation, method of mixing the two components and of course application. Any floor paint will require good floor preparation before coating. If time and effort is not but into preparing the floor before coating, then no matter how good a product is, or indeed how much it costs you to buy, the coatings potential will not be met.

Preparation

With any floor coating preparation is an essential key to extend the protection and lifespan of the coating. To prepare a bare (rough) concrete floor prior to painting we always recommend a light abrasion first; this can be done either by a scarifying machine or track blasting (most effective method). This allows the paint to create a good lock and key effect with the concrete which then leads to much better adhesion.

If the floor has been power floated or is generally very shiny, the floor paint will not adhere to this surface. It is recommended to track blast the concrete to remove most of the top layer prior to painting. The structure of the top layer in a power floated concrete floor is generally unstable and easy to damage this is due to one small partial size been pushed to the top. If track blasting in not an economical scenario, you can use a scarifying machine or a concentrated Acid Descaler to etch the floor.

After the floor has been abraded, we then recommend de-greasing the area, removing dust and any loose parts. If floors are heavily penetrated with any sort of contamination it is important to remove it all before coating, the most effective way is to have the floor steam cleaned. Remember this will add moisture into the floor, so time will have to be allowed for the moisture to escape. If the floor has light or no contamination just a quick mop around with our Degreasing Solvent or Acid Descaler will suffice. Again ‘preparation’ is key for a good floor coating, should any moisture or contamination be trapped in the substrate the paint will simply blister and blow off

Method of Mixing

Two Pack Epoxy as the name suggests has two component that must be mixed together thoroughly to ensure an even cure occurs. Solvent Free Epoxy is sold as a Pack so there is no confusion to whether the customer needs to purchase the correct catalyst separately. It is important to thoroughly mix the paint with the catalyst, we recommend mixing with a pneumatic drill and a mixing paddle, to ensure an even dispersion. If an epoxy is not mixed thoroughly the paint may not catalyse evenly leaving a patched of tacky paint which will never dry and will need cleaning up before trying to re-coat – this is a very messy job! Once the paint has been mixed Solvent Free Two Pack Epoxy has a pot life of around 45 minutes.

Application

Solvent Free Two Pack Epoxy can be easily applied by brush & roller Ensure the ambient temperature is 10˚C. Start to cut in the edges with a brush (use a good brush as this coating will start pulling bristles out of cheap brushes), then using our sheep simulated rollers or solvent resistant sleeves and tray, start to roll the first coat out; starting at the far end working back to the exiting door. Leave the first coat to dry for 12 hours or overnight before over coating with the second coat. If the first coat has been left for 24 hours or more before over coating then a light abrasion will be required for the second coat to adhere to the first. For the second coat simply follow the exact same instructions for the first coat.

Manufacturer’s guidelines are that any type of paint will need 7 days for the coating to reach its full properties. Obviously we know this is an unrealistic time scale for most companies or general public to not be able to use that area for such a long time, but if the coating is left for at least 24 hours this should be long enough for foot and heavier traffic. The longer the coating is left the longer it will last!

Example of Painting Concrete Floors One

Area of Epoxy coating panted four years ago, with little contamination.

Example of Painting Concrete Floors Two

Here’s the same batch of Epoxy coating, but in a different area with heavily oil penetrated concrete floor.

No or little preparation has occurred before applying the coating.

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