The garage—no longer just a place to park your car, it’s now a sacred retreat where you can entertain in gear-head glory. And there’s no better way to make your garage the envy of all than by treating that old concrete floor to a makeover. Sure, do-it-yourself epoxy kits have been around for years, but they’re prone to failure and lack visual sizzle. What you need is a polycuramine floor coating to make your garage the drool-inducing hangout you’ve always wanted it to be.
What is polycuramine? Technically speaking, it’s a cycloaliphatic amine converted urethane modified epoxy. In laymen’s terms, it’s a two-part resin that’s super durable yet easy to apply. Rust-Oleum offers such a product in a DIY-friendly formula in its RockSolid Floor Coating kit.
According to Rust-Oleum, RockSolid is both abrasion and chemical resistant. It contains zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds), is self leveling, flexible and fast curing. And it comes in a variety of high-gloss finishes such as textured, metallic, pearlescent and marble.
We were intrigued by the product’s promises of being impervious to chemicals and twenty times stronger than epoxy, so we decided to put it to the test by applying it ourselves. The process only took a couple of days, and anyone can achieve the same professional-looking results we did. Here’s what you’ll encounter in a typical application.
Preparing the Floor
Thoroughly clean the garage floor with a stiff broom and a cleaning agent. If your floor has a old coating on it (such as an epoxy paint), verify that it’s thoroughly adhered to the concrete by using a utility knife to score a small “X” into the coating—if you can peel the old coating at the intersection of the “X”, you’ll need to remove it. While there are chemicals you can use for this process, I opted to rent a concrete floor grinder. (If you do the same, make sure to also rent an industrial HEPA shop vacuum, as the grinding process creates an insane amount of abrasive dust that, without the shop vac, would be blown everywhere in your garage.)
The final task of the prep is to wash the floor with an etching compound that comes with the coating kit. Simply mix the powder with water, apply the compound to the concrete, scrub, rinse, and wait for the floor to dry.
Applying the Coating
RockSolid is a two-part coating contained in a single two-chamber bag. By squeezing one side of the bag into the other, an inner seal breaks, allowing the two parts to blend. After that, you thoroughly mix the compound, add the colorant and apply the coating using a roller as per the directions in the kit.
RockSolid is very thick. Only mix and apply one bag at a time, working in small sections as you go. Pour a small amount of coating onto the floor, roll it out, and then go back with your roller and create small “swirls” in the wet coating to bring out the metallic sheen.
After the Application
Don’t be tempted to walk or drive on the coating too quickly. I waited 12 hours before I walked on it and 48 before driving on it. Something you might notice in your coating once it has dried are bubbles. There are a variety of reasons why they might form: maybe you mixed the color into the resin too aggressively and introduced too much air into the compound; maybe you didn’t wait long enough for the floor to dry; perhaps you stretched the coating too far by rolling it out too thin. But whatever the reasons, bubbles are easy to fix. Simply sand the bubble and the area around it with 80-grit sandpaper to smooth out the crater and then reapply a small amount of coating to the sanded area.
In The End
If you follow the instructions provided by Rust-Oleum, odds are you’ll end up with a beautiful garage floor. But like any product, RockSoild has its pros and cons. Here’s what I found after doing a complete application:
- It’s absolutely gorgeous. I’ve had complete strangers stop and ask me what I used. The color is a deep, lustrous copper with metallic swirls that give the floor sparkle and added dimension.
- It’s easy to work with. You don’t need a degree in chemistry to apply this stuff, nor do you need any special tools. If you have a paint roller and a bucket, you’re in business.
- It’s durable. After three months of heavy traffic, I can say that the coating lives up to what Rust-Oleum promises. Yes, I have managed to scratch it with the metal wheels of my motorcycle jack, but these were minor.
- I needed more product than I anticipated. Rust-Oleum states that you’ll need two kits for a 1-car garage; based on my project, I’d recommend doubling that. Maybe it was the fact that I had done a light grind, thus making the slab more porous, but in the end I needed about four kits for a single car bay in my two-car garage.
- It’s labor intensive to do correctly. In all fairness, any garage floor coating is labor intensive. This is not like painting a wall where you simply pour your coating into a tray and roll it on. It takes a fair amount of work and attention to detail to do this right.
- It’s slippery. If you’re parking a car, this is not a big deal. But if you’re parking a motorcycle after being out in the rain, you’ll have to watch your feet. And in all fairness, Rust-Oleum does offer an anti-skid additive. (Wish I would have thought of that before I started my project.)
Be forewarned—after applying Rust-Oleum’s RockSolid to your garage floor, you may become obsessed with keeping your garage showroom-clean. But then again, if you went to this much work to make your garage this spectacular, you were probably prepared for it. So show off. Invite the neighbors over and bask in their awe of your beautiful garage floor. After all, you’ve earned it.