Can You Paint Over Garage Floor Epoxy?


Can you paint over epoxy floor? An image of an individual using INSL-X CTS33089A-01 Tough Shield Floor and Patio Paint, Gray Pearl to paint over an epoxy floor


There is no doubt that garage floor epoxy is a popular preference for both industrial and commercial purposes. The garage floor supports heavy machinery and sharp equipment and could wear out over time.

In such instances, epoxy flooring is the ultimate go-to as it is durable and restores shine to your old garage floor. However, garage floor epoxy is also bound to deteriorate with time and may need revamping, which brings us to the question: Can you paint over garage floor epoxy?

Read on to get acquainted with all the information you need to paint over garage floor epoxy like a pro.

Can you Paint Over Garage Floor Epoxy?

Yes. Painting over garage floor epoxy is recommended to renovate an old garage floor and make it look as good as new by restoring its shine. However, how you paint over epoxy floors determines whether or not you will achieve your desired outcome. Consequently, you should know when to use paint on the garage floor epoxy.

How to Paint Over Garage Floor Epoxy

The sleekness of epoxy garage floors tends to be a deal-breaker when renovating the garage floor. The durability of epoxy paint could be attributed to its comprising two components: epoxy resin reinforced with a chemical. These two components are usually mixed, poured on concrete, and left to harden before adding subsequent layers.

Due to this design, epoxy flooring is highly resilient and smooth, making it difficult for paint to adhere during renovation.

To counter this drawback, follow the steps below while painting over your garage floor epoxy

Step 1: Fix the Floor

Since the epoxied floor is old, it is liable to crack, or chip due to heavy machinery’s pressure exerted on it. Cracking or chipping could compromise the longevity of the shine achieved after painting over your epoxied garage floor. That said, you should consider fixing the cracks and holes on the floor, a process that could require a day or two for efficiency.

You may consider using an epoxy patch for the best results for this step. An epoxy patch helps seal any cracks or holes on the floor and may require hours to days to set completely. Alternatively, you could use a patching mortar to fix the holes and cracks on the floor. However, the patching mortar may require more time to dry than the epoxy patch.

Step 2: Clean the Floor

Dirt on the garage floor could prevent the paint from adhering correctly, hence the need to clean the floor thoroughly. You may want to start by sweeping the floor to eliminate any debris. For stubborn debris or dirt stuck on the floor, scrape the dirt out using a putty knife for convenience.

However, the knife may not do the trick when dealing with a greasy floor. In that case, use a degreasing agent to eliminate grease stuck on the floor. Subsequently, mop the floor using a mixture of trisodium phosphate and warm water for efficient results.

Repeat mopping the floor thoroughly with clean water, then wait for it to dry. Depending on preference, you could speed up the drying using a fan, heater, or towel.

Step 3: Roughen the Floor

Roughening the floor goes a long way in ensuring the paint effectively adheres to the floor and enhances its longevity. The various methods you can use to abrade the floor include:

  • Scrape the floor using sandpaper with 120 to 220 grit. The goal is for the floor to appear finely scratched; this method will do the trick.
  • Screen the entire floor using a buffer alongside a 100-grit sanding screen.

Choose a convenient method since you are bound to achieve the desired outcome regardless of your chosen method. Once you are done, vacuum the floor to eliminate dust particles. You can then get rid of tiny dust particles using a wet cloth or, better still, use denatured alcohol to save time.

Step 4: Apply an Epoxy Primer

Skipping this step could compromise the adherence of the paint to the floor. An epoxy primer acts as an ideal base coat for the paint. In this case, it is recommended that you use a roller or a paintbrush to apply the primer over the entire floor.

You should also ensure the concrete floor is completely dry before introducing the primer.

Step 5: Paint the Floor

After covering the entire floor with an epoxy primer and waiting for it to dry (at least 24 hours), your floor should be ready for the topcoat. You may want to start using a paintbrush rather than a roller for consistent results. Consequently, consider painting the perimeter of the garage floor first before proceeding to the other parts. A roller may then be ideal for the remaining parts of the floor. An image of INSL-X CTS33089A-01 Tough Shield Floor and Patio Paint, Gray Pearl, one of the best epoxy paint model available in the market today

Also, consider applying thin coats of paint at a time for proper adherence. Then, you can use the thin coats repeatedly while waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next. Finally, allow the floor to dry for about 24 to 72 hours, after which the garage will be ready for use again.

You can buy some of these exclusive epoxy flooring paints at INSL-X CTS33089A-01 Tough Shield Floor and Patio Paint, Gray Pearl, shown above, is one of the primary epoxy flooring paint you will fancy using in your garage floor due to its satin finish that aims to produce a rugged, durable finish that can withstand abrasion and different weather conditions.

How to Apply an Epoxy Coating to a Garage Floor

Epoxy provides your garage floor with a durable and good-looking surface. It improves your garage floor’s value and adds to the aesthetics of your home. Epoxy establishes a more robust coating on the garage door surfaces than the paints.

Often, individuals confuse paints for epoxy. The two are different; epoxy will give your floor a more durable coating than painting.

However, you can also paint over epoxy coatings, as already discussed, which also confirms that the two are distinct.

In terms of their application, epoxy requires a little sensitivity, which may also change with the product. Therefore, you must be adequately prepared and organize the process to achieve a perfect result.

Most products come with manuals for the instructions. However, you can also follow the below procedure to get the desired result.

Tools Needed

Stiff brush

Work gloves

Concrete degreaser

Painter’s tape. Epoxy floor coating kit


Wet-dry vacuum

Eye protection

Garden hose

Prepare the Floor

Before applying the epoxy on your concrete floors, ensure the floor is in good condition with no damages such as cracks or chips. This is appropriate when applying epoxy to an existing concrete or older slab. However, if the application is made on a new concrete slab, you might not need the whole preparation process.

You can choose any concrete patching product to repair the chips, cracks, or damage on your garage floor. For instance, you can use Red Devil 0644 Pre-Mixed Concrete Patch and Damtite 04072 concrete super patch repair.

Furthermore, once you have applied the patch products on the damaged areas, ensure the surfaces are completely cured and dry before applying the epoxy coating. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions to etch and degrease the concrete during the preparation process effectively.

Step 1: Clean and Degrease the Concrete Floor

Using the broom and a wet-dry vacuum, clean the dust, dirt, or any form of debris from the concrete. This could result from the products that you have used for patching or the general dirt that the concrete has accumulated over time.

Check for the potential grease or oil droplets from the floor to prevent staining your epoxy. Use a degreaser and a stiff brush to remove the grease and oil droplets. Do not leave the degreaser on the floor. Use a garden hose to rinse the degreaser from the floor thoroughly. Allow the floor to dry completely.

You can use degreasers such as Butyl degreasers that eliminate petroleum-derived grease like motor oil.

Step 2: Etching

Etching is a floor cleaning process to enhance the bond between the concrete surface and the epoxy or paint. Etching is part of the concrete preparation before applying paint or epoxy. You do not want to end up with floor coating that rubs off sooner relative to its lifespan.

The epoxy coating kit provides an etching solution that you will use to etch the floor. The kit also provides the manufacturer’s information to direct you on how to use the products.

First, mix the etching solution with water while taking note of the volumes and directions in the instructions manual. Once you have formed a solvent, pour it on the floor and spread it over the surface with a stiff brush. This ensures that the concrete floor is effectively abraded. You may witness fizz or form to confirm its action.

Again, use a garden hose to rinse the floor and allow the concrete to dry. This can take up to 48 hours.

Step 3: Room Preparation

Your room and the components in it must be adequately protected before the application of the epoxy. Using painter’s tape, protect the bottom of the walls by taping and any other area you do not want the epoxy to affect. Ensure you are only left with the concrete floor where you want to paint.

Also, ensure that you have removed all the furniture and that the floor is equipment-free. You may also consider removing the baseboards to enhance the ease of application. This allows you not to cut in the edges with a brush.

Step 4: Mix the Epoxy

Before you apply the epoxy, you must mix the two components of a two-part epoxy, the resin (paint) and the catalyst (or hardener). To mix the epoxy, stir the resin before pouring the catalyst. Continue stirring the resin as you add the catalyst. Ensure that the two parts are thoroughly mixed before using the epoxy.

If you have effectively mixed the epoxy, put back its lid and allow it to rest for the time specified in the container. The rest time is also dependent on the temperature of your region.

An essential factor you must note when mixing the epoxy is that you must not add decorative color chips to the mixture if you intend to use them.

Step 5: Epoxy Application

Once your mixture has settled within the stipulated time in the instructions, apply the coating. This should be done within 2 hours or even less depending on the weather condition, such as temperature. If you apply the epoxy in hot weather, it should be done in less than 2 hours. You do not want to have the epoxy fumes lingering in the garage. Instead, ensure that the garage is well-ventilated during the application process.


Spread the epoxy across the floor, from the far corner, towards the garage door using a 9-inch roller. You do not want to lock yourself in the middle, starting the painting by the door’s side and blocking yourself as you move towards the far end.


Besides, as you apply the epoxy, ensure that you roll over the edges where you previously applied the epoxy to maintain the wet edges while ensuring that you have achieved an even coating.

Also, if you want to add decorative chips to the coating, apply them by hand on every section once you have evenly spread the epoxy.


Also, note that if you intend to apply the second epoxy coat, you must allow the first one to dry. Depending on the area temperature, this can take between 12 and 24 hours. The decorative color chips should be the last additions.

Note: Allow the floor to dry for about 24 hours before you start walking on it. You may wait up to 7 days before you finally move the locomotives and other heavy equipment in the garage. If the epoxy is not dry, the surface may be damaged or realize uneven surface.

What is the Difference between Epoxy and Paint?

While most people always take epoxy for paints, there is a significant difference between the two. While the paint is made from latex acrylic, epoxy is a hard resin. If you have applied epoxy or paint to your garage door, epoxy will cure while the latter dries. Even the method of application will vary from epoxy to paint. As such, you get different benefits from using epoxy over paints.

Benefits of Epoxy Coatings 

Easy to Clean

Epoxy floors are the easiest to clean because they do not trap bacteria. Besides, you will need minimal maintenance to keep your floor in top condition, which makes them ideal for large and busy warehouses or industrial floors.

Chemical Resistant

You are protecting your concrete floor from harm by coating it with epoxy, which is chemical resistant. Most chemicals used in the garage, including oil spills or bleaches in the residential and commercial spaces, do not affect the epoxy coatings.

As such, if you are operating chemical plants or automotive garages, you wouldn’t want to look further than the epoxy coatings to help protect your concrete floor from possible chemical effects like oil spills. Paints cannot withstand the impact of chemicals or even oil spills.


Coating your concrete floor with epoxy means its life. Epoxy floors stand the test of time, protecting the concrete underneath from moisture infiltration, cracks, and other damages. You can be sure to have your epoxied floor in top condition for up to 2 decades without chipping or peeling, unlike with the paints.

Another top quality you will love about epoxy floors is the ability to withstand different harsh conditions they can be exposed to, such as hot tire pickup. Your garage door tires can get extremely hot when you drive long distances; all you want to do now is get straight to your garage and pack your car before you rest.

However, the first worry you will have is the implications of your hot tires on your garage floor. If you have low-quality coatings like paint, leave the car outside for the tires to cool before you finally pack it. This prevents the hot tires from causing floor delamination or softening the coatings. Epoxy coatings can withstand hot tires and will eliminate the worries associated with delamination.


If you are looking for a budget-friendly floor coating option, look no further than epoxy flooring. You will only need to pay for the concrete surface’s materials, labor, and preparation since it is applied to it. This means that if you want to renovate or rejuvenate your damaged or old concrete floor, then epoxy coating will be perfect for you.

Epoxy Lightens Dark Spaces

Like with painting, epoxy coating lightens the dark garage spaces. The result is enhanced safe working conditions by providing a well-lit environment. Also, if you operate a shadowed warehouse, the epoxy coating will help improve the lighting in dark areas. The implication is that you can save on the extra energy cost you would otherwise have used to lighten the spaces.

Ideal Paint For Use Over Garage Floor Epoxy

I recommend using acrylic paint due to its high ability to bond with concrete surfaces. In addition, acrylic paints are easy to use as they can be quickly reactivated and extended feature longevity. Consequently, you can save time with acrylic paint as it dries up faster than most of its counterparts.

Another factor to consider in choosing the ideal paint to use is whether or not the paint rhymes with your epoxy flooring to avoid changing the overall appearance of the epoxy. Finally, if you are still spoilt for choice on what paint to use, consider delegating the task to a professional for flawless results

A video showing how to epoxy coat your garage floor

Benefits of Painting Over Garage Floor Epoxy

The garage floor is usually responsible for withstanding sharp equipment, heavy machinery, hot tires, and other elements you use within your garage space. For this reason, you should prioritize nurturing your garage floor occasionally, primarily if you use the garage for commercial purposes. Some of the benefits you get from revamping your epoxied floor include:

  • Extended durability
  • Improved resale value since painting makes the floor look as good as new
  • The garage floor becomes easy to clean
  • The garage tends to appear more organized
  • It helps to conceal the cracks and holes in the epoxy flooring

On the downside, painting your garage floor epoxy may not be the best if the epoxy flooring appears delaminated. Delamination, in this case, entails the separation of epoxy resin layers from each other or detaching the layers from the core.

Water could penetrate the core in such cases, leaving your garage floor prone to more damage as its structural integrity is compromised. You may therefore be obliged to seek professional help in such instances as painting could worsen the situation

 INSL-X CTS33089A-01 Tough Shield Floor and Patio Paint is one of the exclusive unit you can use for the painting jobs, not only in your garages but also at home as depicted by the image

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What kind of paint will stick to epoxy?

The most compatible paint with epoxy is latex paint. If you have coated your concrete floor with epoxy, you must know that its exposure to UV radiation is dangerous. As such, your ultimate goal is to have paint that will protect your epoxy from exposure to UV radiation. Latex paints are perfect for this job; you must not have second thoughts about this choice.

Often, latex paints work for most architectural applications, making them versatile for different floor coatings.

Q2. Can I paint over an existing epoxy floor?

Yes. You can efficiently paint over an existing epoxy floor by following the appropriate steps. First, you must establish significant grit over the epoxy surface through which the paint will grip. You can create the grip by roughening the surface using tools like an orbital or pole sander with 120-grit. Sand the epoxy coating until it appears deglossed. Pay attention not to remove the layer. The dense piles of dust or debris that result from sanding must be removed using a vacuum or swept away with a broom.

The broom or the vacuum may not eliminate all the dirt materials on the sanded surface. In this case, use denatured alcohol and a clean towel. Since denatured alcohol evaporates faster, it will eliminate all the fine dust particles that the vacuum or a broom could not pick up. This ensures that your floor is free of dust that can prevent the paint from sticking to the epoxy coating. You can use the garden hose to rinse the floor and allow it to dry before you apply the paint.

Use a stiff brush or roller to apply the paint. Apply the first coat and give it time before it dries, say 24 hours before you apply the second paint. Give the paints time to dry before you traffic the garage floor.

Q3. Is it OK to paint over epoxy?

Yes. Like any other non-porous surface, you can paint over an epoxy surface using opaque paints or finish them with clear varnishes. However, epoxy may react at enhanced temperatures to certain materials such as cyclic anhydrides, phenoplast, aminoplast, and aromatic animes due to the unreacted amines on its surface, making it chemically active. You must not use such materials when painting over epoxy.

As I have mentioned,  latex paints are the most compatible with epoxy coatings as epoxy paints are mainly made of latex acrylic. As such, latex paints can easily adhere to the epoxy surface and enhance their lifespan.

Q4. Can epoxy withstand bleach?

No. You must not use bleach on epoxied floor surfaces. Bleach is a harsh chemical that will discolor your epoxied floor and break the coating down, establishing an uneven and rough texture.

Q5. Is it better to paint or epoxy the garage floor?

Both epoxy and paints are perfect for garage floors. However, for high-performance garage flooring, choose epoxy coating over paint. Epoxy will provide long-lasting durability in your garage since it can withstand heavy traffic, hot tires, and even impossible oil spills with most paints.

Besides, you would want to choose epoxy over paints due to their versatility. If you own large warehouses or industrial premises, epoxy coatings will be ideal for your floors.

The coatings are perfect for high-traffic spaces and locker rooms. The epoxy coatings are integrated with slip-resistant additives that, in addition to their textured surfaces, enhance shoe traction and grip, preventing accidental falls. If you choose a coating for stepped areas or stairways, epoxy comes in handy due to its anti-slip properties.

Wrap Up

Can You Paint Over the Garage Floor Epoxy? Garage floor epoxy is usually too smooth for any paint to adhere to the surface. However, it is possible to paint over the garage floor epoxy if you prepare the floor for painting. The preparation entails concealing the cracks or holes on the floor and abrading the floor for the paint to adhere properly. It would be best to choose a suitable paint to use, one that goes hand in hand with the existing epoxy flooring.

Revamping your epoxied flooring could be an intricate process requiring much patience. However, with patience, dedication, and suitable materials, your garage floor epoxy could appear as good as new within a few days. If you are still on the fence, reflect on the myriad benefits of recoating your garage floor epoxy, including restoring its shine.