Whether you use your garage to park your car, bikes, and lawn equipment, or as a workshop, a fresh coat of paint can spruce the space up. Cold, hard concrete isn't very attractive, and it can crack, stain and even become slippery.
With the right garage floor paint, you can add traction, style, and even stain resistance to your space. Not only that, but the new look is easy to apply, takes only a little time, and can last for years when treated right.
Let’s talk about garage floor paint in detail and help you find the right brand and type for your specific needs.
Why Should You Paint Your Garage Floor?
When it comes to your garage floor, there are a lot of reasons and benefits to painting. The most obvious of which is that it looks better. Compared to the unfinished, bare concrete, a floor coated with durable paint simply looks great.
The benefits go far beyond that, though. Garage floor paints also offer protection. When you choose paint specifically for garage floors and automotive use, they come with additives to help cover, coat and protect. This means you won’t have to worry about chemical damage, oil spills, automotive fluid staining, or even hot tire pick-up.
While paint itself is not a patch or repair item, a new coat with primer can cover unsightly stains that are already there. New paint can also help camouflage small cracks or imperfections in the concrete.
Compared to other garage floor coating products, the paint dries faster, can be used sooner, and doesn't need to cure for weeks or even months like many epoxies do. In less than a weekend, you can have a completely new look in your garage, ready for use and looking great.
Types Of Garage Floor Paint Explained
Unlike home paint that generally comes in either indoor or outdoor, garage floor paint has a few options. Each one is slightly different with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s cover all the options.
How To Choose The Best Garage Floor Paint
Once you have decided on a paint type, there are still many consideration factors to wade through. Below, you will find these factors and a brief explanation of why you need to think about each one.
Paint is not a patch. If the condition of your floor has damage, cracks, or even dirt and debris, the paint will only cover it. In most cases, it will also draw attention to the imperfections. It is advised that you use a concrete patch before you paint and use several coats to keep it as smooth and even as possible.
Garage floors take more abuse than any other floor in our homes. We walk on them, ride bikes and move lawn care equipment on them. We also drive on them. Therefore, the paint you use on the floor needs to be durable and capable of withstanding wear, tear, weather, and chemicals.
Size And Coverage
Ordering and buying all the paint and materials you need will come down to the coverage size. As should be obvious, two-car garages will need more paint and supplies to finish the job. Like most flooring projects, all materials and paints are sold in volumes that equate to square feet.
Knowing the square footage of your garage is important. Without this simple number (length of the garage multiplied by the width), you may end up with too much or too little paint. Buying the wrong amount can hurt your budget or waste time and more money when you have to get more.
On average, the kits will include enough paint and product for a single car or two car garage. While this is a good indication of your garage size, it is still wise to know the square footage to ensure you are getting the proper amounts.
Garage floor paint comes in as many colors as wall paint. You can get all shades of virtually any color you wish. However, the most common are whites, blacks, and grays. Because you are painting concrete and it is used on the flooring where oils and other chemicals can spill, you may opt for darker colors to help hide any messes.
Finish And Appearance
As with most other types of paint, floor paint comes in many different finishes. From matte to high gloss, you will be able to get the shine or sheen on your garage floor that you want. You can also accent the finish to bring out a different appearance. Metallic flakes or chips added to the topcoat can give a new aesthetic that really stands out.
Drying And Curing Time
Paint always needs time to dry and to cure. It is important to note that these are two different things. Drying time is how fast the paint hardens enough to walk on and offers minimal usage. Curing time is how long it takes for the paint to be completely dry and usable.
Dry times are important to note when making your purchase, as this is how long until you can safely use the floor without messing up the paint. However, heavy equipment (like your car), as well as chemicals, moisture, and other debris, will require full cure time.
Easy And Safe To Use
As with any chemicals, paints can be dangerous. Fumes, allergic reactions, and personal safety are all considerations to make. While painting, you will most likely be in a well-ventilated area, especially if the large garage doors are open.
However, it is always wise to ensure you have the proper personal protection. A chemical mask, gloves, and eye protection should be used at a minimum.
Best Garage Floor & Concrete Paint Reviews
1. KILZ 1 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Paint
Our Top Pick
Slate Gray, Silver
Kilz has made paint products for over 40 years, and they are best known for their concealers and mold-killing paint products. However, their garage floor pain is arguably the best in the business, and it is easy to see why.
The 1 gallon cans come with enough acrylic epoxy paint to cover up to 500 square feet. However, most applications will fall in the 350 square foot range. You can choose from two colors (gray and silver/gray), which offer a finish and aesthetics that will blend nicely with your garage.
The best thing about the Kilz garage floor paint is that it can be used on brand new, uncoated concrete or coated, older concrete. You still need to fill cracks and make any repairs, but the one step paint is easy to use.
As with most paints, the acrylic epoxy will not fill in cracks, even hairline. When the paint dries, any cracks in the concrete will be even more noticeable. It is always advised to clean and repair all cracks prior to painting.
The best aspect of the Kilz garage floor paint is also its weakness. It dries exceptionally fast. Once mixed and ready, the paint will dry to the touch in 2 hours but begins to harden in as little as 30 minutes. This gives you a small window of painting time once you pour out the paint.
However, after 4 hours, you can walk on the floor, and within the same day (depending on temperature and humidity, you can drive your car on it. Once fully cured, the paint is chemical, moisture, and stain-resistant. It also won’t peel, crack or deform. The cool stain finish will help your garage look great and protect the concrete for years to come.
2. Rust Bullet DuraGrade Concrete Paint
Best High Performance Concrete Paint
18 total colors, including gray, reds, blues, greens, whites, and black
1 Gallon, 1 Quart, 5 Gallon
Rust Bullet is another top of the line brand that offers you minimal steps to your new, finished garage floor. In fact, with this urethane-based floor coating, you aren’t even required to acid etch or profile the concrete before application.
While you do need to clean the floors, a power wash is generally all that is needed. Once the floor is completely dry, you can brush, roll or spray Rust Bullet on the concrete for an easy to apply solution.
A second coat is needed, but that is all. You don't need a primer, base, or topcoat (though a clear coat finish is recommended). This durable paint will resits cracks, chips, hot tire pick up, peeling, or scratching. It is also chemical and UV resistant, so automotive stains and direct sunlight won't be a problem.
The hardest choice you will have is which color to go with. There are 18 standard colors to choose from, plus the various topcoats. You can also opt to use vinyl or metallic flakes to add shine and sparkle to your finished floor.
3. Rust-Oleum 225380 Garage & Basement Floor Paint
Most Well Known Brand
Rust-Oleum is a name that is arguably the most well known when it comes to painting products. However, while it may be the most well known brand, that doesn't mean it is the best product. In this case, the Rust-Oleum Garage & Basement floor paint may also be the best paint for the job.
This satin finish acrylic paint is easy to apply. With a brush or roller, you can quickly apply coat after coat until you have the finish and thickness you require. Each gallon of paint will cover about 400 to 500 square feet. This means that a single gallon should get you at least two coats.
While this paint is advertised to only need a single coat, two coats are still recommended. You will also want to use a clear coat topcoat as well. While you only get a single color choice, the battleship gray is a great color. It goes on dark gray while wet and starts to lighten as it dries.
Once fully dry (about three days), it has the blueish-gray color of modern warships. The weather and UV resistance means the paint is durable. It prevents chemical and moisture damage, fading, chipping, and hot tire pick-up.
The usability time is about 5 days, and you should avoid driving or putting heavy items on the floor. This one drawback is easily overlooked when you factor in how easy it is to apply. Not only is the Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield quick and easy to paint on, but it is also easy to clean. A simple soap and water solution with a mop and a broom is all you need to maintain the finish and look.
4. KILZ Interior / Exterior Slip Resistant Paint
Best Non-Slip Concrete Paint
Kilz returns to the list with the best non-slip concrete paint. This may be the best concrete paint for garages used as a workshop. The non-slip texture of the latex-based epoxy paint keeps you sure-footed as you move around the space.
The biggest downside is the coverage size. Most 1-gallon concrete paints can cover several hundred square feet. However, because this is a much thicker paint, you will only get about 50 to 60 square feet of coverage per gallon (with two coats). This means that for a standard two-car garage size, you will need at least 2 or 3 gallons.
When dry, the flat finish sparkles. With the inclusion of metallic specks and flakes, you don’t need to mix or toss specks in the air. Just paint and the flecks are already there. Because of this, you don’t need to apply a topcoat.
You do get to choose from two common colors. The tan dries to a near beige, and the more common gray blends well with most concrete and garage floors. But, whatever color you choose, you also get one other major benefit that not many other paints can offer.
This specific Killz paint will fill hairline cracks (up to 3mm). So, without the need for repair or fillers, you can save time, money, and effort with a simple adhesive roller and a few hours of time.
5. DRYLOK E-1 Epoxy Floor Paint
Best Water Resistance
The E-1 Drylok epoxy paint is a highly dense and easily applied garage floor coating that offers a low VOC formula. There aren’t many options here; whether you want color, finishes, or application styles, you are out of luck.
However, what you do get is a durable and beautiful finish. The epoxy paint won’t fill in cracks, but it can offer slip resistance, chemical and fade resistance, and more. The color options are limited to platinum, which dries to a shiny silver.
It also only comes in a semi-gloss finish. However, this isn’t a negative aspect. A semi-gloss is still shiny enough to add to the aesthetics while adding to the slip resistance of matte finishes. There are downsides, though. First is that this paint is known to peel when it heats up.
This means in hotter or more humid climates, hot tire lift is possible. It also needs more maintenance than other brands. Where many garage floor paints only need touch-ups or reapplications every few years. Depending on the use of your garage floor, the E-1 paint may need to be reapplied annually.
The upside, though, is fast-drying times, where the second coat can be applied in as little as 4 hours. The floor can be walked on in about 8 hours and driven on in a day. For best results, though, it is best to wait three days for heavy use.
Once fully cured (about 10 days), the paint sets up nicely and is extremely durable. The epoxy oil-based paint withstands moisture, wear, dirt, grease and has excellent color retention. If you need extra water and chemical resistance, though, this is your choice. With the best water and moisture resistance on the market, E-1 may be the only choice you need.
Best Way To Paint A Garage Floor: Professional Techniques
Painting is something that pretty much anyone can do. However, the garage floor is different than painting the drywall in your bedroom. Because you are painting concrete, you will need to ensure the floor is properly set and prepped for accepting the paint.
If you are beyond your element or just don’t want to deal with it, we can help. By using our free search tool, you can find local contractors to perform the task for you. The tool is free and easy to use, and you will get up to four local, properly vetted and well-reviewed professionals within 24 hours. All that is left is to make a phone call and get an estimate.
Performing the project yourself is also easily doable as long as you know the steps and take your time.
The first step is to clean the floor. You will want to vacuum the concrete to get rid of all the larger debris and dirt (as well as any old floor paint). You may need to wash and scrub the floor to get any grease or oil cleaned up. A power washer may be used, or you can use a bucket of water and cleanser and a scrub brush.
You also want to inspect the floor. Any significant cracks, damage, or loose concrete areas need to be filled or repaired. The use of a concrete patch and floor filler may be needed. A close inspection is necessary. This is the most time-consuming aspect of the project but easily the most important.
Once your floor is repaired, cleaned, and dry, you can apply the paint.
Applying the Paint
The paint needs to be properly mixed or stirred. Using a bucket or mixing in the supplied pail, you need to ensure the paint is thoroughly mixed. Doing so helps properly distribute the coloring, epoxy or acrylic, and the paint coloring itself.
Once mixed, you want to pour out the paint into a tray and use a roller to apply the paint to the floor. Some choose to pour straight onto the concrete and spread and roll it from there. However, if the dry time is fast, you will be rushing to get it all spread out before it starts to harden.
Only spread and paint what you can safely and easily manage before it dries.
Dry and Cure Times
The dry and cure times will vary from the brand, paint type, application conditions, and much more. However, you should expect at least 4 to 6 hours for the paint to dry enough for a second coat. Epoxy paints, though, may require up to 24 hours to dry enough for the next coat.
The cure times will also vary greatly, but in almost all cases, you should expect to wait at least 4 to 10 days before using the garage floor to drive on. Each paint type or kit will detail the cure time and any other timing concerns for that particular product.
Once the paint has fully cured, your floor is complete and ready to be used however you see fit.
Professional Tips and Tricks
Following the above steps, you will have a painted garage floor. To make it more professional, there are a few tips and tricks to follow.
How To Maintain A Painted Garage Floor
Garage floors that have been properly prepped and painted can last several years. In most cases, depending on the use of the garage, you can expect the paint to last and hold up for at least 2 years. A new top coat or reapplication of the paint will be needed.
However, if you maintain the garage floor correctly, you won’t need to do more than that. That proper maintenance, though, can be time-consuming. The following points can help make the process easier.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do I fix a crack in my garage floor before painting?
After you clean and profile the concrete, any cracks or damage must be repaired before you paint. The best way to do that is to use a concrete and mortar compound. This patching method will ensure a proper repair and keep the area as strong as the remaining concrete around the cracks.
How do I fill the gap between my garage and driveway?
The simplest method for filling in these types of gaps is to use a flexible asphalt crack filler. There are many to choose from, from various brands and styles. You can also get it in black, clear, or colors to match if needed.
Is garage floor paint better than epoxy?
Paint is cheaper and easier to apply than epoxy, but it doesn’t last as long, and most options won't offer the same level of protection and chemical resistance. However, with proper care and maintenance, the paint can last several years without needing a touch-up. This is still a far way off from the 10 to 20 years that epoxy can last, though.
How do you fill hairline cracks in concrete?
There are products on the market for this type of thing, but the best way is to just use cement. You can mix quick-set cement with more water than is called for to make more of a paste than a cement mix. This will allow you to fill in the hairline cracks and smooth out the top before it gets too thick to fit in the crack or dry before you can smooth it.
Garage floor paint is a common and popular choice for renewing your garage. It is a much cheaper and easier project than using epoxy; it looks great and lasts a long time. It is also cheaper and faster than garage floor tiles.
Finding the right brand, type, and color can be a difficult choice. However, when taking on a project like this, it can also be exciting. If you find it to be more daunting, we urge you to take a closer look at our top pick.
The KILZ 1 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Paint comes in two color options and protects, seals, and coats your garage floor. It is easy to use, long-lasting, and highly durable. If you opt for this solution, you can have your garage back to full use in less than a day. For the price, it is one of the most economical and ideal garage floor paints on the market.