If you sometimes see tiny crystals or white powder on your floor, this is moisture migrating through the concrete, which will often cause peel up of any kind of coating you apply. PERFORM A MOISTURE TEST: put a rubber mat on the floor or tape down a 3 by 3 ft (or so) sheet of plastic). Wait overnight. If water collects between it and the floor there is a moisture problem and any floor paint will probably not cure/dry properly. If the Water Test fails, please contact us regarding further options.
If your concrete has been treated with some sort of cement sealer no paint will stick to it. PERFORM THE SEALER TEST: pour water on the cement. It should soak into the cement in a reasonable time. If it beads up or just sits there for a long time, the concrete has been sealed or is grease or oil contaminated. The Etch N' Clean solution will dissolve oil and grease stains but will not cut through a sealer.
ETCHING: No matter how new OR clean the concrete is, it will need a rough textured surface in order to achieve good epoxy adhesion. The rougher the better. There are many ways to etch (or roughen) the surface of the concrete: sandblasting, scarifying (Floor Grinder Required), or acid-etching. Remember: The epoxy is only as good as the prep work, so realize that this is your most important step of the process. The Original Color Chips Etch n' clean solution is a acid-wash which will be an adequate tool for etching concrete. However, if not used correctly the lifespan of your floor will be decreased. Follow these easy steps to assure your concrete has been prepped properly:
1. Dampen a 10’x10’ section. A little water on the surface helps activate the etching solution.
2. Apply the Etch n’ Clean solution so that a uniform film covers the section to be treated.
3. Allow 5 minutes contact time.
4. Using a stiff-bristled push broom, scrub the solution into the floor working in one direction and then scrub across the surface at 90° to the first direction.
5. Allow the solution to remain on the surface for an additional 2-5 minutes.
6. Saturate the surface with water to neutralize the acid. If available, use a squeegee to remove the etching solution before rinsing. Otherwise, rinse using plenty of water. Scrub the surface while rinsing to insure complete removal of the etching solution. If you have a pressure washer use it to thoroughly rinse the surface.
7. Move to an adjacent area and repeat the process.
Once the Etch n’ clean has been saturated with water it has been neutralized and therefore can be safely sprayed out of the garage onto adjacent driveways (ie: asphalt) with no harm. Be sure to saturate it completely before rinsing away.
INSPECT THE SURFACE AFTER ETCHING: Once you have completed the etching process and it has sufficiently dried, look and feel the surface to make sure it has been textured. Some concrete slabs (especially newer concrete troweled smooth) require more etching to get a complete etched surface. In that case, you will need to etch the concrete again. Muriatic Acid is a more aggressive acid that should be considered. We stress this because having your concrete properly profiled is is key to a long-lasting finish
BASECOAT: Be sure to apply the base coat material at 200-250 square feet per gallon. If the floor is damp, the air musty, etc. the epoxy floor paints will probably not bond very well, wait until conditions are appropriate.
CHIPS: Be sure to have enough chips to do entire surface. Calculate 1 bag per 250 square feet (or the size of a single car bay) for light sprinkle, 2 bags per 250 square feet if you are doing a medium sprinkle, etc. That way you will get a more uniform coverage. Throw chips upward not downward (almost like you are shooting a basketball or (feeding the chickens). A second person may apply chips in conjunction with the first person rolling the base coat.
NON-SKID: Surfaces coated with high-gloss epoxy may become slippery when wet. For additional slip resistance in areas of pedestrian traffic, use the Non-Skid Additive. While applying your color chips, apply into the wet base coat or use in clear coat by rolling forward, sprinkling, then backrolling over once again.. Be sure not to apply non-skid in a high-concentration. Sprinkle at 1 can per 500 square feet or more using the easy sprinkle can.
CLEARCOAT: Once your ready to apply topcoat (waiting overnight for the base coat to efficiently cure), mix Part A and Part B together (equals one gallon). Refer to the base coat mixing and application instructions for the Topcoat. It will be the same procedures. Be sure to roll one even coat of Crystal Clear topcoat to entire surface to be coated (we recommend a good 3/8” nap roller). Material will go on as a milky white (may even look like white paint) and dry Crystal Clear. Smooth out any visible clumps of clear coat. If you come to the end of your floor and you still have clear coat left over do not use the mixed material to add thickness to the layer you just put down. Discard unused material (if mixed). Applying Clearcoat overtop of itself without waiting for the first layer to cure will cause curing problems. If you do decide to double coat the clear top coat, please allow at the minimum of 14 hours for the first layer to cure before attempting a second coat. (heavy or full broadcasts of chips often calls for a double layer of clear coat.)
TEMPERATURES: Do not apply this product when temperature is below 50 degrees fahrenheit. Do not use a heater⁄space heater to speed up the curing⁄drying times. The large amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by heaters can cause a disruption in the curing process and create yellowing. Applying this product in cold climates (when surface is between 50 degrees and 60 degrees) will not affect the protective properties, it will double your drying/curing times.
COATING A PREVIOUSLY PAINTED SURFACE: If your previously painted surface is not lifting: The waterborne components of this product allow use over most old coatings. Scuff the surface with a scotchbrite pad or lightly sand to remove gloss and give subtle texture. Remove debris (clean with TSP) and begin applying your epoxy.
Note: Old coatings should be tested for lifting. If they lift, remove them as best you can. (you can purchase a good epoxy stripper from your local hardware store). Wash to remove contaminants. Rinse thoroughly with water and. The entire surface should resemble 100 grit sand paper (or more coarse), so the new epoxy coating will adhere properly.
If the floor is painted and the paint is peeling off at an accelerated rate, most likely any epoxy you apply will also peel off as well. If the initial coating did not bond well, either will anything you put on top of it. Basically this is caused by coating improperly prepped concrete. Grinding the existing paint off with a floor grinder/diamond grinder/scarifier is recommended. (Floor grinders may be able to be rented locally, but we do carry them in our store: See example.) or, again, use an epoxy stripper to strip the coating off, then etch normally.
APPLYING ON WOOD: You will need two coats of base coat epoxy when coating wood. Prime the surface with base coat epoxy reduced one-half pint per gallon with water. (this thinned coat will soak into the wood thus creating a bonding agent for your second-layer of base coat.) Then you would apply your actual base coat and chips , followed by the clear coat as normal.
Note: You wouldn't need the etch n' clean for coating a wood surface, just a double base coat.
Please view our product data sheets for additional information on our floor coating products. (Includes Application Instructions, Product Data Sheets, and MSDS sheets. We would like to help in any way that we can! Help is only an Email or a phone call away. Also if you have any questions regarding any of our products you may call us Toll Free at 1-800-227-8479 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm EST.