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Is etching on concrete floor before applying epoxy or paint

PLIERS | Posted in General Questions on

Hi hope all is well. I want to clean and paint the garage and basement concrete with a waterproofer or epoxy. At first I was going to epoxy but thought that it might be easier to use drylok floor paint. When reading the instructions it said to etch the floor before painting to make the floor a sandpaper consistency. The idea of acid etching the floor is turning me off to the idea. Is etching necessary with either application? Is there a waterproofer that doesn’t require etching?

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    You can also grind the floor prior to applying the coating, and grinding is actually better. I’ve specced a lot of epoxy floors commercially, and we prefer to grind first — especially if there are uneven spots or oil stains (the oil can bubble up and mess up the epoxy). The usual procedure is to clean with a pressure washer, then patch any problem areas, grind, patch anything that “chunks out” and grind again if necessary, wash, dry, apply coating.

    I have in the past put down epoxy with no food prep besides a good cleaning and it’s turned out ok, but grinding is recommended — especially if you have any kind of previous floor coating or heavy staining.

    BTW, try to do the epoxy application on a Friday and take the weekend to go somewhere. You don’t want to be breathing the epoxy fumes, and it takes at least a day or two to dissipate.


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