When Steph moved into her house, we knew we needed to redo the garage floor one day. It was half painted with carpet down the middle. We did some research on different products to use and found Rust-Oleum Rock Solid Metallic Silver Floor Coating Kit. Steph thought her mini cooper would look really cute parked on the floor so we decided to take on the project as shown in this video!
3/7/17 Update: Click here to see a 1 year later video of the floor.
It might look wet but it's not at all! The product has a great glossy finish and is not slippery or hard to walk on. And cleaning it is a breeze!
We learned A LOT during this process and will be sharing all that below:
In this ☝️ video we detail the prep work we did before applying the product.
We used a paint stripper to get more loose paint off.
We wet the floor and got started. We failed to realize the instructions for the polisher were stapled to our receipt so we didn't realize the handle could be adjusted. The home depot associate didn't mention it so we didn't even think it was an option. Learn from our oversight- read the instructions! Allgaragefloors.com has a great article on this.
A Deeper Look
We want to dig a little deeper into some of the obstacles we came across while laying the product. We contacted Rust-Oleum product support to get some answers after the fact, and that’s what we are going to share with you.
Overall, we felt the included instructions were very limited and left a lot of questions. Rust-Oleum phone and email support are great and helped us clarify some points. We also found this GREAT website all about garage floors that we are going to link to a lot because they have very helpful info.
As we started, we noticed the appearance of some bubbles/lumps. As we had read nothing about this happening we had no idea what to do about it. Rust-Oleum said this could have been due to moisture in the concrete or mixing the product too fast with the paddle mixer. AllGarageFloors.com writes: "There are many problems associated with improper mixing. The most common of these issues is mixing too fast with a paddle mixer and trapping air in the epoxy. If this happens, you will get air bubbles in the surface during application. You can easily avoid this by not pumping the paddle mixer up and down or running the mixer too fast near the surface creating a vortex and sucking in air."
The first thing we noticed is it didn't cover like paint. The mixture was pretty thick and a challenge to thin out to get the full cover the kit was suppose to cover. According to allgragefloors.com, "Many manufacturers state in the fine print that you can expect up to a 15% material loss due to product left in the container and first coat applications. Most DIY installers are not aware of this. You can avoid this problem by making sure not to underestimate the amount of epoxy that you need.
Also, when pouring the freshly mixed batch of epoxy onto the floor or paint tray, do not scrape or try to get every last drop from the mixing container in an attempt to get the best coverage rate. The very bottom and sides of the container are never fully mixed properly. Doing so may result in spotty areas of the coating that will remain soft and not harden."
Once cured, we could see the lines where we filled in the cracks through the product. It’s not crazy obvious to an observer, but we can see it. For this reason, we really think it would have been a great idea to prep the concrete, etch, fill in the cracks, use an epoxy primer, then laid the final product. We think we would have gotten a more consistent look to the floor and even better results. Rust-Oleum product support did said they do not recommend a primer, but would recommend a full second coat. As a full second coat would double the project cost, we would try the primer ourselves, but do your own research to see what would work best for you. We did find someone that painted Rock Solid over Epoxy with good results (Shanty2Chic, at the bottom of the page).
After we finished the whole floor, we waited 15 hours before we touched the floor (graphic below is from the instructions) but I (Steph) touched the floor and it left a hand print. After this, we waited 5 more days before touching the floor again. Rust-Oleum said the dry time is dependent on the air temperature, humidity, and temperature of the concrete. Basically, I would over-estimate all the listed dry times based on what we experienced.
One thing we didn't do but should have was a moisture test prior to any work being done. Rust-Oleum support mentioned this many times as a possibility for some of the challenges we experienced. If we HAD done it we might have been able to rule it out as a problem.
One unforeseen issue happened while the garage door was partially up overnight to allow ventilation while the floor cured--a curious kitty decided to step inside leaving a single paw print! If you have a way to cover the front of your garage during the drying phase that might be a good idea. A play yard/gate might have done the trick for us. But the print is now a conversation piece that people think is really funny when they see it :)
One last thing…Steph's garage has a little section where the garage door comes down and some of the concrete is exposed to the outside. We emailed Rust-Oleum about this because the product says it’s for covered areas only. They responded saying, "Polycuramine coating does not offer any UV inhibitors to prevent the coating from chalking and fading when exposed to direct sunlight. We would recommend using a complimentary color with a concrete 1-part floor paint that is suitable for vehicle traffic." We did paint the section with the Rock Solid product but they said we can use the Epoxy Shield Concrete Floor Paint over the Rock Solid Metallic at a later date. We would just need to scuff up the surface with a 60 grit sandpaper, prior to applying the new coating.
Our Overall Takeaway
Overall we are happy with this project. The floor looks really neat and is easy to clean. In the few weeks since we applied the product, we have not had any issues with the product coming up/hot tires/peeling, etc. If we do run into anything we will update this blog post.
If we were to do this again (maybe Vicki’s garage) this is what we would do:
Nephew/Grandson Tyler came for a visit and said "the floor looks really neat." Then he proceeded to use it as a dance floor!
Please note: We are not sponsored by any of the companies/products that we used. Rust-Oleum did send us six Rock Solid Floor Coating kits for this project.
FYI: We are not professionals, and we don’t claim to be. This is what we found worked for our project. Yours may need a little different approach. Safety first!
FYI: Amazon/Home Depot affiliate links are being used on this page.