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Materials & Maintenance of Garage Floor Coatings: DIY vs Professional

Last week, we published an article on the differences of surface preparation by a professional floor coatings company vs. a Do-It-Yourself homeowner, painter or general contractor. In this article, we will expand the differences between professional and DIY with respect to the coatings materials and subsequent coatings maintenance.

The Materials

DIY vs Professional Garage Floor CoatingsMany paints and epoxies are available for garage floors, but they will not hold up to the wear and tear of hot tires and chemicals that are bound to test the durability of your coating. The coatings found in DIY epoxy paint kits are actually quite inferior to the products used by professional coatings installers, like Stronghold Floors. Professionals use a coating system that is made from industrial grade, high solids epoxies, chemical resistant urethanes, polyaspartic and polyurea. While the substance found in a DIY epoxy paint kit is more like a fortified latex paint. It just will not hold up over time to the general wear and tear experienced in a residential garage.

The garage floor coatings we apply in your home are true, industrial-strength epoxy (for the first layer) and polyaspartic polyurethane (for the top coat) – not paint that’s been fortified with epoxy resin. Our garage coatings are the same coating we’ve used in airplane hangars, heavy trucking facilities and fire stations. If it can hold up to those heavy vehicles, it can certainly handle anything you drive on it.

A professional coating system will feature multiple layers. The first layer – the “base coat” – is designed for high adhesion to the concrete and may also be the binder for decorative chips or quartz (which pro- vides additional anti-skid protection).

Diagram of floor coating layersThe second layer – the “top coat” – is a clear coating. It is formulated for UV stability, abrasion resistance and high chemical resistance. This special hybrid urethane coating provides tremendous protection against scratches, chips and stains. It will keep the coating looking good year after year, ensuring that it does not discolor from exposure to direct sunlight, weather and chemicals.

Maintenance Required

Unless you never use your garage floor, you can expect that your DIY garage floor coating will chip and peel. This means year after year you’ll spend a weekend patching your garage floor paint. Unfortunately, the patching actually compounds the potential for problems down the road. Reapplying a coating on top of the existing DIY coating will only enhance the probability of chipping or peeling again, because the top-most layer will not stick as well as that applied directly on top of the concrete. The bottom line is this: a DIY epoxy paint kit will never adhere to the concrete like a professional epoxy coating. The product will only coat the top, just like any paint would. The maintenance is a tireless cycle.

Meanwhile, because a professional coating is properly prepared, is built on a strong epoxy and has a scratch-resistant clear coat, it is going to last. It will hold up well with normal vehicle traffic and use, and sweeping stones and other road debris on a regular basis will greatly extend the life and sheen of your coating system. In fact, the only “call back” you may want to consider is rejuvenating the shine and protection by applying a new clear top coat every 12 to 15 years.

DIY Garage Floor Coating Kit v. Stronghold Floor Garage Coatings

Comparison chart for DIY vs Professional Garage Coatings


As President & Business Development Manager of Stronghold Floors, Mike works with his teams and sales partners in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, providing both great coatings and coatings education to the residential & commercial public.  


Guide to Garage Coatings

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