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Old 07-01-2008, 02:07 AM   #1
nytehawk
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Default My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Wow guys, I sure wish I had found this website before starting my garage project nearly three years ago now! A whole forum dedicated to the topic of garage flooring -- have I died and gone to heaven? Hmm...what do you think they use on heaven's garage floors? Okay, I digress...

Anyhow, I ended up using the consumer-grade water-based two part Rustoleum EPOXYShield, in a two-car garage kit purchased at Home Depot for $99 + tax. My total budget for the garage (floor, additional wiring, insulation, drywall, and paint) was around $2,000 or less so I wasn't inclined to start out with a $1500 floor. Figured I would start with something basic and upgrade later if required.

We applied the epoxy in July 2005 and I am thankful to report that it has been impressively durable thus far. Now I don't do a great deal of heavy-duty shop work in the garage but we do park our vehicles in it every night and I have yet to experience any hot tire pickup even though we live in the high desert of southern California with summer temperatures routinely reaching 100+ deg F. Sure, I can tell that the coating is not particularly thick and I have made a couple very tiny chips in it as a result of dropped tools. Fortunately, however, those chips are so small you'd never notice them unless you knew where to look and they don't appear to be spreading at all. I've also scratched it slightly in a few places but again you don't notice the scratches unless you know where to look and the scratches thus far have not caused any peeling. For $100, I'm pretty darn happy with the results! (See pictures below)

There are several factors which I believe contributed to my positive results thus far, and I will list them in hopes the information may be helpful to some of you.
  1. We purchased the house new in late April 2005. (Concrete was poured sometime ~Nov 2004, so I knew it was fully cured by the time we moved in. I think Rustoleum says to wait at least 90 days after pouring, but I forget.) Between our late April move-in and late July '05 when I coated the floors, we parked on cardboard that I laid down on the floor to prevent our tires from depositing road oils onto the concrete. I really believe this was a significant factor in helping the epoxy adhere firmly to the floor.
  2. From watching the construction of our home, I knew that there was a vapor barrier underneath the garage slab and I shouldn't have to worry about hydrostatic pressure (do I remember that term correctly?) causing the epoxy to peel.
  3. Due to the hot summer temperatures, we (my wife and I) cleaned and prepped the floor the night prior and applied the epoxy early the next morning. I used a combination of a regular thermometer and one of those adhesive fish tank film thermometers to ensure both the air and concrete temperatures were within Rustoleum's specifications before applying the epoxy.
  4. We applied the epoxy to one half (side) of the garage one weekend, then epoxied the other side the following weekend. (See images below.) This was largely due to items stored in the garage at the time that would fit in half the garage but couldn't be moved elsewhere. I was slightly concerned that the two separate appliciations might appear different or might cause peeling where they met, but that hasn't been the case.
  5. Just to be safe, I allowed even more time than recommended by Rustoleum before placing items on the newly epoxied floor. However, those warm summer temperatures also ensured the epoxy was thoroughly cured by then.
  6. Because I wanted to epoxy the floor when it was as new and clean as possible, the remainder of the garage work (wiring, insulation, drywall, paint) was all performed after the floor was epoxied. I may not have done it in that order if I was using contractors, but I knew that my wife and I would be as careful as possible not to damage the floor during the following construction. In the end, their was only one instance of a dropped drywall mud tray that made a small chip in the floor.
  7. I chose not to use the coloring flecks/chips because I greatly prefer the solid gray look. And although the surface is slick when wet, living in the high desert means that a wet floor only occurs when I feel the urge to mop it.

Well, that's what comes to mind at the moment. And just to prove that it is possible to have a decent-looking garage floor for just $100 of epoxy plus painting supplies, here are a few photos:

Weekend 1: first half of floor coated (note uncoated portion at lower right)


Weekend 2: second half coated


The finished garage, approx 1 year later


For more photos of the finished product, see my thread in the Garage Gallery:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=19544
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Great post, thanks for sharing. Please tell us how you prepped the surface. That seems to be a major topic of discussion around here. Did you acid etch? Mechanically prep? Nothing?
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Thanks Very good floor at a very good price. When I saw your first photos I though it was one of those 1,500 dollar floors. How do you like your floor jack? Iv'e been looking at that type will it jack up a Pick up?
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

I would also be interested in knowing what if any prep beyond sweeping/mopping you may have done prior to laying the floor down, I'm looking to do the same to my garage which is in similar condition to yours (only 4-5 months old).
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Sweet. I hope mine looks that nice when I get done.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

In for prep info?
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

I am also applying the basic EpoxyShield in my garage.

I just got done etching with the supplied citric acid this evening on about a 400 sq/ft floor, and I am applying the epoxy on Thursday (allowing time to dry properly).

I am glad to see that it comes out nicely when all said and done. I have been skeptical about my choice since reading all of the negative criticism about water-based coatings on this board.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67pete300 View Post
Great post, thanks for sharing. Please tell us how you prepped the surface. That seems to be a major topic of discussion around here. Did you acid etch? Mechanically prep? Nothing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmatt View Post
I would also be interested in knowing what if any prep beyond sweeping/mopping you may have done prior to laying the floor down, I'm looking to do the same to my garage which is in similar condition to yours (only 4-5 months old).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DatacomGuy View Post
In for prep info?
Let's see...I did the floor almost 3 years ago now, so I had to talk with my wife (also superb assistant) to remember what we did. The most important thing -- which I know for certain we did -- was follow the directions exactly. After re-reading those directions (which I am now very glad I saved!) here is a recap:

First I verified that none of the "Do not paint if the following conditions exist" were applicable. I knew that the concrete had not been sealed or previously painted. I also knew that we shouldn't have a problem with hydrostatic pressure because I saw the vapor barrier prior to when they poured the garage slab. Also there was no chipped or loose concrete.

I also verified the environmental conditions (humidity, air temperature, and concrete temperature) for application, as mentioned in my original post above. Since the summers are warm here, we prepped late in the evening before, allowed the surface to dry overnight, then epoxied early the next morning.

Following Rustoleum's preparation instructions, we only had a couple spots to clean with mineral spirits since the floor was new and as mentioned above we parked our cars on cardboard that I laid down to avoid transferring road oil from the tires onto the pre-painted floor.

After that, we followed the instructions exactly, which included rinsing the floor thoroughly to wash away any loose dirt & debris. Then we mixed the cleaner / citric acid which was provided with the kit and applied as directed to the pre-wetted (but not puddled) floor using a plastic watering can as recommended in the instructions. (Note the water-based EPOXYShield kit comes with a citric acid cleaner and states specifically that muriatic acid -- a common etchant for floor epoxies -- should not be used.) The instructions recommend repeating the cleaning step to ensure contaminants are removed and I believe we had enough cleaner solution to do it twice, so our preparation process went like this:
1) with floor dry, sweep as best possible
2) spot clean as needed using mineral spirits
3) rinse floor thoroughly
4) mix cleaner / citric acid solution per instructions
5) pre-wet floor per instructions
6) apply cleaner / citric acid solution per instructions and scrub vigorously. (I used a new, plastic-bristled push broom for the "stiff bristle brush" specified in the instructions.)
7) rinse thoroughly
8) repeat cleaner / citric acid application and scrub again
9) rinse thoroughly again, ensuring all cleaner has been washed away and none tracked back in on shoes
10) allow floor to dry overnight. Wipe fingers over clean dry floor in morning as specified in instructions to verify it is clean. Verify temperature within specifications and mix/apply epoxy per directions.

That's the best I can recall, but the bottom line is that I'd never done this before so I simply read the instructions about 3 times prior to starting and followed them exactly. (I think the kit also came with an instructional video, which I watched as well.) I did nothing more or less than instructed.

The epoxy cured quickly in our warm summer temperatures, so I was able to walk gently on the floor in clean socks about 12 hours after application. I allowed to floor to cure 7 days before placing anything on it, and it probably cured for 10-14 days before any vehicles were parked on it.

I hope this information is helpful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 700jfm View Post
Thanks Very good floor at a very good price. When I saw your first photos I though it was one of those 1,500 dollar floors. How do you like your floor jack? Iv'e been looking at that type will it jack up a Pick up?
Actually, I do not recommend the Craftsman model 50239 - aluminum 4,000 lb floor jack. Read the customer reviews on Sears' website for more info on why. I would recommend you consider the jack available through Costco which is discussed in the following thread: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?p=186611
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Wow... Looks great!

speaking of jacks... hows the floor help up to the jack, or stands?
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDawg View Post
I am also applying the basic EpoxyShield in my garage.

I just got done etching with the supplied citric acid this evening on about a 400 sq/ft floor, and I am applying the epoxy on Thursday (allowing time to dry properly).

I am glad to see that it comes out nicely when all said and done. I have been skeptical about my choice since reading all of the negative criticism about water-based coatings on this board.
I understand your skepticism, and honestly if I had known about the solvent-based EpoxyShield "Professional" or the EpoxyGuard available from Costco for $219 I probably would have used one of those products instead. I could easily be wrong, but I believe I searched Rustoleum's website back when I coated my floor and I don't think they even offered the solvent-based epoxy for retail sale at that time. I know Costco.com didn't have EpoxyGuard three years ago. So after quite a bit of research, the water-based EpoxyShield seemed to be the only reasonably economical choice at the time.

However, I figured with new cement I had as good a chance as any...even though I was coaching myself not to be disappointed if it started peeling up after a year. Three years later it still looks as good as it did when I first applied it, so I guess I can't complain...especially at $0.25 per sq ft! No, it's not as durable as the better epoxies, but it looks great and that's the main reason we all want an epoxied floor right?

So if and when my current epoxy does begin to peel up, I will have a genuine dilemma: pay to have it stripped off so I can re-coat with a stronger epoxy or tile, or just cover it up with plastic tile or perhaps even thin gray carpet? Who knows, maybe we'll end up moving before then and I will have a chance to start again from a bare garage floor.

Anyhow, I would like to see some photos of your floor when it's finished! Read the instructions carefully, follow them exactly, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. Enjoy!
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

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Wow... Looks great!

speaking of jacks... hows the floor help up to the jack, or stands?
The epoxy has held up to the jack just fine. With my jackstands, I toss a piece of corrugated cardboard or an old issue of Car Craft under them just to be safe.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Thanks man. Like I said, I have followed all instructions exactly to this point, so hopefully everything will go smoothly with epoxy application.

Did you use an 18" or regular 9" roller during your application? Did you trim with a brush?
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

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Thanks man. Like I said, I have followed all instructions exactly to this point, so hopefully everything will go smoothly with epoxy application.

Did you use an 18" or regular 9" roller during your application? Did you trim with a brush?
You're most welcome. For the application, I used a regular 9" paint roller with a broom-length extension handle and my very gracious wife did the trim by hand with a brush. I applied the epoxy in 4'x4' sections as recommended by the instructions, although I chose not to use the "decorative" chips. Even despite applying the epoxy early in the morning, the temperature was warm enough that I could clearly tell the epoxy was thicker near the end of my application than the beginning, but it was no problem.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

Well, from what you said, I am glad to hear that it will go smoother than I had originally planned. If the floor dries, I should be able to apply tomorrow evening after work. Then it will be sufficiently cured enough to move stuff in on the 4th. I would love for it to be finished by then.

Did you use any of the anti-slip? If not, how is it as far as being slippery?
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

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The epoxy has held up to the jack just fine. With my jackstands, I toss a piece of corrugated cardboard or an old issue of Car Craft under them just to be safe.


I can't say enough good things for your attentiveness to keep the floor clean; It really was a Great Job!


Now, if you were concerned about road oils playing havoc with the installation, what is stopping you from being prepared to avoid the grinding of sand particles onto an unprotected base coat from your tires?

I'll give your floor a respectable 1 year -when you'll begin to see this happen.

Remedy: Scuff the coat and apply 5-6 mils of topcoat to multiply the lifespan
of the floor 6 X's
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

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Well, from what you said, I am glad to hear that it will go smoother than I had originally planned. If the floor dries, I should be able to apply tomorrow evening after work. Then it will be sufficiently cured enough to move stuff in on the 4th. I would love for it to be finished by then.

Did you use any of the anti-slip? If not, how is it as far as being slippery?
I did not use any anti-slip additive of any kind. Our shop floors at work are epoxied without an anti-slip and no one has killed themselves on it yet. So yes, my floor is a bit slippery when wet but we live in the high desert so about the only time the floor is wet is when it rains 3 times a year or when I mop it (which occurs much more often than 3 times a year)!
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

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I can't say enough good things for your attentiveness to keep the floor clean; It really was a Great Job!


Now, if you were concerned about road oils playing havoc with the installation, what is stopping you from being prepared to avoid the grinding of sand particles onto an unprotected base coat from your tires?

I'll give your floor a respectable 1 year -when you'll begin to see this happen.

Remedy: Scuff the coat and apply 5-6 mils of topcoat to multiply the lifespan
of the floor 6 X's

Thanks for the compliments. Actually, I coated my floor 3 years ago this month so I'll take a little field trip to the garage in a minute and let you know if I find any evidence of such damage.

Either way, is there a particular make of topcoat you would recommend? I know RustOleum sells a "Premium Clear Coating" product. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has experience with this product and their opinions on its appearance and durability when applied over 3-year-old water-based EpoxyShield.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: My experience with Rustoleum EPOXYShield (with photos)

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Well, from what you said, I am glad to hear that it will go smoother than I had originally planned. If the floor dries, I should be able to apply tomorrow evening after work. Then it will be sufficiently cured enough to move stuff in on the 4th. I would love for it to be finished by then.

Did you use any of the anti-slip? If not, how is it as far as being slippery?
How long do you plan to let the slab dry after all your powerwashing, etc?
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:22 AM   #19
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How long do you plan to let the slab dry after all your powerwashing, etc?
No powerwashing, just degreased two times with a heavy scrub brush, then etched in the same manner (squeegeed off after every effort). I may wait until tomorrow, but it depends on how it looks when I get home this evening.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:54 AM   #20
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No powerwashing, just degreased two times with a heavy scrub brush, then etched in the same manner (squeegeed off after every effort). I may wait until tomorrow, but it depends on how it looks when I get home this evening.
there are lots of variables, of course... you may need to wait as long as a week after last washing to get the slab good and dry.
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