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Warmer weather usually means spending more time in the shop — and sometimes noticing how crappy the ol’ floor has gotten over the years. One solution some folks turn to is an epoxy coating for the garage floor, which protects against stains, is (relatively) easy to clean, and reflects more light for those under-engine jobs. Also, it needs to be applied and aired out when the air temperature is around 65-80 degrees F, so now’s a good time for a lot of people to do this project.

Rust-Oleum’s Epoxyshield products include a garage floor coating that comes in gray or tan semi-gloss finish. (It’s completely optional whether you want to throw in the decorative paint chips.) The manufacturer says the coating “protects against gasoline, antifreeze, motor oil, salt and hot tire pick-up.” They also say it cleans with soap and water, though my own experience with epoxy-coated floors says some heavy mop scrubbing may be necessary for oil stains. Street pricing for the kit runs around $70.

My question about this is whether a kit is the best way to go — or if it’s better to buy parts separately, or just hire someone to do it (concrete etching can be kinda rough, and the coating has to be applied quickly within a specified time period). And is the quality of the coating comparable to a professional job? Post your thoughts in comments.

Garage Floor Coating [Rust-Oleum]
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43 Responses to Hot or Not? Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Floor Coating

  1. KMR says:

    NOT HOT!

    We had our shop area professionally epoxy coated, and it has stood up great since it was done in 2003.

    I decided to use the Rustoleum Epoxy kit in our shipping area in 2004. I had watched the pros do our main shop area, so I knew how to do it. Pressure washed the concrete with a degreaser, worked in a dry degreaser / cleaner on the hard spots, rinsed, mild muriatic acid etch, rinse, rinse and let air dry. Coated with the Rustoleum kit.

    Within months it was showing wear. If we drop a shipping label or a piece of clear packaging tape onto the floor, and don’t pick it up right away, but go to pull it up later, it will pull some of the coating up. We have an office chair with rollers in the shipping area as well, the area under the office chair is severely worn… almost to the bare concrete. These are light duty plastic rollers.

    I don’t consider our shipping area severe duty, our shop is, but I would think our shipping area sees the same kind of traffic and use that a home garage or shop would. The Rustoleum product does not stand up as well as I would have liked.

    Oh, I didn’t use any of those dumb flakes. It is my belief that the kits that contain the “decorative flakes” are meant to trick your eye once the actual epoxy coating starts to chip. You’re never going to see the chip in the epoxy with tons of multicolor flakes embedded everywhere else. Aside from that, I think the flakes just look dumb.

    • Kristopher Prevost says:

      Your problem was in your prep, it says to only use the citric acid that comes with it and not muriatic acid etch,it also said to rinse twice and let dry for 24 hours. If you did that then when it cam up you could have contacted rustoleam for a refund.

      • Chris Dale says:

        Good luck with the refund. I painted my 2 car garage with the 2 1/2 garage kit, followed the directions just as the included DVD said to. There was a distinct color between the two paints on the floor ( has to be used within one hour so tough to mix both ). Thought oh well stuff happens. Took pictures went back to Home Depot and did it again. Same thing. Went to Home Depot with pictures again. They gave me a new kit and told me to call Rust-oleum for a refund. Went home and this time I mixed both cans together but I had to paint around cabinets and work benches that I had to move back into the garage, you could see the color difference around them but at least it wasn’t in the middle of the floor. I called customer service and she told me that I did it wrong and should have mixed it all together first. I said I did it exactly as your DVD showed and she said that it was just a guide. She also changed her story a couple of times and said well you got two kits back so we cannot do anything. I said ” yes I got two kits and was forced to paint my floor 3 times” to which she replied ” you should have called us sooner”. The bottom line is do not expect them to stand behind their guarentee

  2. Bob says:

    Reading the above comment makes me feel better about cheaping out and using regular (non-epoxy) floor paint instead in my garage. It’s sticking to the floor except for a few areas where I will sand it back to where it is still good, then repaint those spots. It was half the price and a lot less trouble.

    I also thing the sprinkles look cheap.

  3. Shellie Patterson says:

    Not hot. We put this on our cement steps outside our front porch last summer and it’s mostly worn off already. And this is not the entrance we even use. Don’t waste your time or money.

  4. Karl says:

    Several of my neighbors have installed the EpoxyShield, and I know two that have had it removed and professionally re-done. Not worth the money and frustration in my book.

    But hey, if you are going to do this project yourself, look in your local phone books for epoxy suppliers. Most will sell to anyone. It’s pretty much the same process as the EpoxyShield, plus you can add as many coats and colors as you want. Just don’t buy one of those “kits” they sell online. Talk to your local supplier and they will give you all the tips you need, and you’ll get a better product.

  5. Eric says:

    I used to work for a company that did parking garage rehab, and the prep work for epoxy coating is pretty important. We’d generally shotblast the concrete to open up the profile and ensure better adhesion. Then, while it was still tacky, you lay down a layer of sand with a grass seed broadcaster type thing until it wouldn’t take anymore (“seeded to rejection” was the term). You sweep off all the excess sand, then give it a final coat of epoxy.

    I’m thinking that the glass smooth surface of most home garages are too slick for epoxy to adhere properly, not to mention the presence of grease and the amateur level skill in application probably would make this a less than ideal solution. Also, for slab on grade you have to make sure you have good drainage, or the hydrostatic pressure from the ground water can delaminate your coating or cause spalling in the concrete. If you’re worried about that, go for a siloxane sealer instead. Seals the concrete, but allow moisture to pass through.

  6. Frank Townend says:

    I used non-flake epoxy on the floor of my two-bay garage and placed plastic interlocking tile (Raceway Tile) over that. On the stairs into the house and apron of the garage I used the Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield. Those areas have held up for the last four years in the Washington, DC area.

  7. Eric says:

    Sorry, left a step out. Once you’ve shotblasted, you run a sweeper over the concrete and apply your first coat of epoxy while it’s still clean and the surface is rough.

    • Kevin says:

      Eric had that right, It is actually a four coat system. 2 broadcast/sweep coats and two clear coats, atleast for factory floors.

      For KMR, Ive never seen a better paint grinder than those five legged office chairs, If you don’t take your shoes off at the door, They will ruin anything. Same thing with the pallet jacks and forks in shipping.
      By the time they reach the production floor, they have dropped all the shit in the warehouse.

  8. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    I had a garage floor in California that was extremely smooth – you could slide under a car without a creeper with ease, water would bead up on it for just long enough to wipe it up, and oil wiped off with ease.
    All my other garage floors were normal concrete – sandpaper rough, and sponges for oil & stains. Anybody know how to specify the smooth finish I liked in California? Any downsides to it (aside from being slippery when wet)?

  9. Rev says:

    I did the rust-oleum epoxy shield floor coating on my garage just before we moved in last year and have had no problems with it at all. It’s a really high traffic garage. We built a gym and moved in a super heavy smith rack and it didn’t scratch or flake off as we slid it around into place.

  10. FourMat says:

    Not Hot. I bought a house and one of the first things that I decided to do before I filled up the garage was do the floors “right”. The garage was ttally empty so it was the perfect time. I followed the instructions in the video to the letter, scrubbed, washed, etched, washed, etched again, washed again. and put down the epoxy as per instructions. Within 2 weeks, I had my first “pop”. I have a 20×25 garage and I have pops coming up all over the place. It’s pretty much a disaster and looks like crap. I’ve worked in professional NASCAR garages, and I know what a good floor should look like and how they should perform. This is nowhere close. I am really disappointed because, if I was told to go through extraordinary measures to prep the floor, I would have. Now I have the garage full of equipment with cabinets installed etc, and it’s now going to be a big ole PIA to redo everything the right way.

  11. UK2TX2CA says:

    Not Hot.

    I used a real epoxy kit in my Texas garage and 4 years later it was still fantastic.

    Moved to California and found this kit, followed the instructions to the letter and less than 6 months later its awful. Hot tires would lift the finish, it stains and ( as mentioned above ) looks like crap.

  12. Dale C says:

    Looks like it’s mostly been said, but the Rust-Oleum is not what you want to put on your floor. Go to a paint store and tell them you need a serious, marine grade, true epoxy for industrial floor use.

    You can search the forum at http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/ for other opinions.

  13. Eric says:

    MeasureOnceCutTwice Says:

    You want a hard trowel finish. Most things like sidewalks get a broom finish for traction, as the hard trowel finish is pretty slick. After the concrete is floated and sets up a little, you proceed with trowelling. You can do it by hand, but most finishers use a power trowel, otherwise known as a trowelling machine.

  14. diluded000 says:

    I cheaped out and used a latex, which you can still kind of see in the corners and under things a little bit.

    When I painted the trailer I made, I used Sherwin Williams Macropoxy and some dripped on the floor. I couldn’t chisel this shit off the floor it sticks so good. Plus it can be tinted, and you can save the leftovers for a year in a separate container. I think the coal tar epoxy is cheaper if you don’t mind black – this is what they put on railroad tank cars. Either one is usually in stock if you have a Sherwin Williams close by, and runs about $100 for two gallons one each of resin and hardner.

  15. river1 says:

    i used floor paint from griots garage


    it’s been down 15 years and all it needs to look new is a good mopping. while my garage is not like a pro shop i have swapped moters and trannys in it. my current project is a 53 chevy that i’m putting a 500 caddy moter in.

    later jim

  16. river1 says:

    wow i misspelled motor twice, DOH!!!

  17. wheelbilly says:

    The only downside for a floor coating for me would be spots from weld spatter. If it weren’t for this, I’d have jumped on it long ago. As it is, my floor is smooth and cleans up pretty easily. it’s got character. A little spray paint overspray here, a little there, some ground in grease from a trans rebuild… The rest of the shop isn’t up to snuff to match a spiffy floor anyhow.

  18. Logic Wins says:

    Well, I’m actually right in the middle of the process (waiting for the floor to dry as I type). After reading KMR’s comment, I’m beginning to question the so-called expertise. It’s says right in the directions: DO NOT USE MURIATIC ACID. Maybe that’s your problem?

    I’ll be back with a review once it’s down and I’ve driven over it for a couple weeks. That is AFTER I wait the full three days to cure (instructions are meant to be read)!

  19. BullSnot says:

    While reading these posts I see some issues with a few of them that I will point out, maybe this will help explain why your floor stinks.
    1) Epoxy coating is not for every floor – if your cement is needing to breath moisture out do not EPOXY. Tape a 4×4 piece of plastic on the floor for 24 or 48 hours – if moisture is on the backside – do not epoxy – it will just flake off
    2) Prep it correctly – get all oil stains off with commercial degreaser and rinse/scrub well. Follow the instructions – scrub and rinse thoroughly
    3) Make sure the floor is completly dry – and do not put down on a humid day (65 degree humidity or higher).

  20. Chanimal says:

    Opinions Needed.

    I just purchased a a home in Houston Texas and I have a week to do some projects before I move in. I would love to install the epoxy kit from home depot but after reading these comments I have my concerns.

    1)my house is brand new but the concrete is swept or brushed so it’s not slick smooth. Will this have a bad finishing the epoxy?

    2)the weather in Houston is extremely humid. Should I wait until fall or winter?

    3)if I am really only doing this for appearance and not performance would a garage floor paint be the better way to go. I am not a mechanic so I am not worried about oil spills.would this be an easier solution?

    Any opinions are much appreciated.

  21. Doris Pylant says:

    Mine looks great and very durable. I’ve used the epoxy paint on 2 concrete porches, stepping stones, garage and shop. One of the porches was very porous, it looks o.k. but not as good as the smooth concrete. I also used the flakes sparingly and it looks very professional. The stepping stones look great. I watched the videos at least 3 times to make sure I didnt miss anything. I believe the prep and the waiting time are very important to be successful. When it rains and sometimes that’s a lot, water stays on the front porch but doesn’t phase it compared to the regular concrete paint that would peel and was not as durable. I am going to use Rust Oleum Epoxy for countertops using the flakes to look like ganite and also Rust for cabinets. You can look on the internet for more info.

  22. Brian Wick says:

    Not Hot. Know I am redundant now, but I did my floor one year ago and it looks terrible. Started coming up where the tires are, but now others spots as well. Not sure what to do now, whether to try to touch up the bad spots or grind it off and start over. Either way, I didn’t think I’d have to worry about this after one year. Don’t use the Rustoleum Epoxy Sheild.

  23. Julie says:

    Not Hot! Prep was done as instructed. Pealing badly under where garage door meets floor. Called for just enough material to do touch up as to purchase a whole kit would be a waste, was told they don’t sell small quantities. Great customer service 🙁

  24. Shea says:

    This type of product that Rust-Oleum offers does tend to get a bad rap. The biggest problem is from improper preparation of the floor. If done right for a garage with normal traffic it should last quite a while.

    The better of the two products they offer is the professional version. It costs more, but it’s solvent based which leaves a thicker dry film coating and is more durable. If you are planning on using it in a high traffic working environment then you will most likely be disappointed. If using it for a normal working garage however, most people are satisfied.

  25. Marc says:

    Did mine 10-years ago & it held up pretty good over the years… so good that I just did it for a 2nd time (even eaiser this time) & I’m hoping for another 10-years this time. It’s all in the prep work boys.

  26. Craig says:

    Definitely NOT HOT,
    I followed the instructions to a T and the coating failed within two years. Living in a northern area where we use lots of salt in the winter and melting snow leaves puddles for a few months was just too much for this product. It looked incredable for a couple of months though!

  27. Lanny Netz says:

    Not hot! My son and I spent two days on our hands and knees to scrub every inch of my garage floor. We used a strong cleaner to get every trace of oil and scrapped every bit of gum or tape. Then we washed the floor twice and then sprinkled the floor with the citrus acid supplied in the kits. We used 3 gallons of epoxy in the kits. The first batch we mixed for 3 minutes as instructed. After 3 minutes it did not look that well mixed to my eye, so I had my son mix for another 2 minutes. Then we started to roll it on. After about 15 minutes it started to turn to mud. We barely managed to get it spread before it “kicked”. So for the next two batches we mixed for 3 minutes and got right to work putting it down. The weather was perfect, around 75 to 85 degrees every day.
    It has been a week now. About 80% of the floor is OK. The other 20% is still sticky and looks like s**t! The dirt has already started to build up and when you step on it it almost pulls your shoe off. (not quite) I am so disappointed after all that work. Oh well, it is a workshop. Maybe eventually I won’t notice it so much.

    • Bradley says:

      Lanny, I had the exact same problem and I did mine the 27th. Near the end of my two car garage the paint became like sludge and was a bear to put on. Funny thing is that the sludge paint at the end is fine. It’s the first 20% of my paint that I mixed for exactly 3 minutes that is extremely sticky. Did yours eventually harden up and lose its stickeness?
      It’s been 36 hours since I did mine and all 80% of the floor I can walk on, but the first 20% is horrible. Any tips?

  28. MsMe88 says:

    Pretty Hot. We are in central FL. We do not have a “normally” functioning garage. We used the kit with the chips 3 years ago and the floor still looks ok. We use our garage for all kinds of temp storage while we remodeled (furniture sliding across the floor, tiling materializes, storing bags of cement and pavers etc) We have used it to store rusty old parrot cages with bad wheels (we used to run an parrot rescue). We are a family of musicians so have had many parties with music stands, carpets, drums, heavy amps and speakers, dancing etc. and keep all of our equipment in here and use it almost daily. We have large heavy duty rolling computer chairs used for hours everyday and bar stools drug around. We work on all kinds of wood, metal, airbrushing, painting etc. We DO NOT use our garage for our trucks but we do for our motorcycles. Oh, kind of gross but important, my long haired cat took up full time residence in the garage and she has hairballs about 2x a week at night and I don’t know to clean it up for several hours (until I wake up and come in here). This is mentionable because stomach acid is a very corrosive and so far has not damaged the epoxy shield. So lots of different types of wear and tear on the floors.
    THE OUTCOME: the floor still looks good but does have some wear under the computer chairs (it’s just dull). There’s another dull spot where a palm sander was left on with 100 grit paper on it after a trip in the breaker for about 5 minutes. I have no peeling or chipping just some dulling under the extremely used areas. We leave the door open often and the sun directly hits the floor on the last 5 feet of the garage; there’s no fading there at all.
    I will recommend DO NOT USE THE CHIPS. They trap dirt and other things and you have to sweep and mop several directions to truly get it clean. They may help hide flaws to anything you may damage the floor with (acrylic paints, poly, etc) but other than that they have more down side than up.
    I would have to agree about the prep and actually following the directions. Our floor HAD a layer of peel and stick tile and 2 layers of oil based paint. We spent hours, $150, myself, husband, and 2 teenagers to get it all off before we could start degreasing and etching. We misted the concrete to make sure there was no beading water after treatment and before applying the epoxy paint.
    I hear that where ppl park their cars it’s pulling of the epoxy (we don’t drive on ours except motorcycles) maybe try putting 4 heavy duty rubber pads down for each tire or just go with concrete stain and polish.
    We just had a climate controlled sunroom built for our exotic parrots and are going to use the Tan Epoxy Shield Kit in there. Starting the prep today but decided this time we are NOT using the – what did you guys call it… “DUMB CHIPS”. I will reply back after we are done and have rolled the double macaw cages and 7 foot long playgrounds in it for a few weeks and let the sun hit it through the window for a while and let you know how it goes. Prep it twice and lay it once! 🙂

  29. Lanny Netz says:

    Well Bradley,there is some hope. I called the local paint store owner and told him about my problem. I told him that it was the middle batch of paint (I used 3 kits)that seemed to be the problem. I admitted that after the experience of the first batch almost setting up before I could get it down I shortened the mix time and the infusion time on the next batch. I also pointed out that the third batch was treated the same way and it hardened up just fine.
    It seems that the infusion time and the mixing times are CRITICAL! Not just a guideline, but absolutely a must. He assured me that I could recoat the problem areas. So I did. I mixed for a full 3 minutes, I allowed 15 minutes for infusion, then remixed for 2 minutes. I seems to have worked, the floor is dry to the touch after only 12 hours. How it will hold up remains to be seen, but it looks good for now. Good luck to you.

  30. Lanny Netz says:

    Ok, the floor is dry, it hardened just fine this time. I did not do any extra prep to go over the non-hardening areas, just knocked of any loose dirt. It seems to be fine this time. Other than the extra work and expense I guess all is well. What a relief! I have another floor area to do and I will follow the procedure I listed in my earlier post. If it has a problem I will post that information.

    • Bradley Robertson says:

      That’s great news. I called Rust Oleum and they are sending me a replacement 2.5 kit. I painted over the my first problem area and it holds great. Now I’ve got to fix the other area garage too. I mixed exactly 3 minutes and then waited exactly 15 minutes. I’ll give it a try to mix again after waiting and hopefully the problem will be solved. Unfortunately my problem now is I let water stay on it last night and went out today and saw the standing water. I then broomed the water out and sadly the painted started to run.

  31. Robert says:

    Polished concrete is the only way to go!!!

  32. tim says:

    preperation is key to any epoxy for proper adheashion . we used rustoleum epoxy kit with clear coat in a garage office with extra high traffic in 2006 and it held up well. it was put over a sealed concrete floor that had to be removed first . we are redoing offices and we will use the rustoleum epoxy with clear coat is my first pick.

  33. Rich P says:

    So far…..so good. Washed with a light detergent and hosed down good. Let dry for two weeks.
    Then hire a guy to diamond grind 20+ year old concrete surface in the garage. This way if any of the 20 year old sealer was present,it would now be removed/gone.
    Vacuum,then ran a damp mop across for any more light dust removal.
    Applied first coat via 3/8ths roller. Temps about 68F with a cool wind. Stuff soaked right in and covered.
    Waited 24 hrs,saw some light and missed spots.
    Again mixed up another batch,temps about the same,and this time squeegeed most of the coating on,to cover the “pock” marked ugly areas, making them level and smooth looking,then back rolled.
    Smoother areas,like along the edges, were just rolled.
    Doing this in sections allowed me to sprinkle the paint chips. They do help hide imperfections. But I got carried away and sprinkled them haphazardly. I’ll know after I sweep them on how it will look.
    Currently happy so far with the outcome,but the real test will be how it holds up. Will report back later with future results.

    • Rich P says:

      Forgot to mention this was the “Professional Grade” kit, not the water based kit everyone complains about.

  34. Ronald Blessin says:

    I have a 500 Sq ft garage that’s 30 years old. I bought the water-based epoxy 2 1/2 car kit from Home Depot. I can’t stress enough to clean the garage floor as mine had oil stains from a previous owner. Firstly, I used a heavy duty degreaser, brushed the floor very thoroughly and blasted the floor with a power washer. After repeating twice, I used the pack of powder in the kit and gave the floor the acid treatment. The floor looked like new! My floor is divided into four equal sections which made applying the epoxy easy. I put the color particles in 5 equal cups so I’d put the same amount on each section with one cup extra for missing spots. That worked great! The paint went on well with just a little left over – good coverage. After a week, I got the $99 clear coat kit to seal the floor. This kit is 1 gallon and comes with fine sand to make it slip-proof. I rolled it on and found that I was really skimping in the last 100 sq. ft. There just wasn’t enough to cover the entire garage although I had no problem with the paint. It really didn’t look good so I went to HD to buy a quart or half-gallon to complete the job. Guess what? They only sell complete 1-gallon kits. I bought another Seal kit and applied it liberally over the first application. The result is a well-sealed floor that looks great. I fumed for a few days and then wrote Rustoleum a nice e-mail saying their paint kit was adequate to cover but their Clear Seal kit wasn’t. They asked for a picture and receipts for the material which I e-mailed. Two days ago, I got a check for $101 to cover the cost of the second kit. They responded quickly and said they stood behind their product. The floor looks great and suspect that, with that extra-thick seal coat, I should get many years’ use out of it. My advice is to really watch as you put the Clear Seal coat on as it’s very watery and it’s possible to run out before the floor’s covered.

  35. Cactus Jack says:

    I’m surprised at all the negatives. I’m on my third garage done with this stuff and it’s great! The first two were brand new houses — I gave them a full year to cure before following the directions carefully. One was in downtown Chicago, the second in Tucson. Two extremes of weather. I loved it in Chicago that I could drag in piles of filthy slush, and then just squeegee it clean enough to walk on in socks. Most garages in Tucson have thick black rubber marks from the hot tires; a butch to remove from a plain concrete, but cleans off of the epoxy with a light scrubbing with a mop.

    The third one is also in Tucson but was an eleven year old house. A Jeep and a Harley both leaked a lot of stuff and there were other, less identifiable stains. I just scrubbed and power washed as best I could and the coat has held up beautifully for 6 years. I just finished rebuilding a 50 year old really messy car in the middle of my three bays. Some of the fluids, particularly brake fluid, will attach the finish. They don’t seem to have damaged the coating but have discolored it in some places and it’s not as good looking as the rest of the garage.

    Today I carefully scrubbed the entire garage and workshop wall to wall. Although the middle bay still looks a lot better than an unfinished concrete pad, I’m thinking of recoating it. That’s why I came to this site; to see if anyone had tried recoating? I have used acetone to clean up grease and oil spills without seeming to harm the paint, so I think it’s safe to recoat.

    I will say this for advice: cool weather is best; the paint will set up slower and look better. I did the first bay of my second garage on too warm a day and the paint looked kind of streaky. The instructions call for waiting 7 days to drive on it. Pay attention! READ AND FOLLOW ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS and I think it will work for you.

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