How To Paint A Garage Floor That Has Been Sealed?

Is it all right to put garage floor epoxy see on concrete floors? The fact of the matter is, epoxy is especially made for use on concrete floors. It can be used on showroom floors, industrial floors and garage floors.

The thing to remember when applying epoxy coating or paint is that you cannot always apply it directly onto concrete. In some instances, epoxy coating won’t work on a concrete floor. One example of this is concrete floors that have been sealed.

It’s important to understand what this means. When a sealer has been used as a finishing material on the surface of the concrete floor, it is used to prevent the concrete from becoming exposed to moisture. It is a protective measure.

Normally, sealer is simply applied to the walls surrounding the concrete floor to keep water from coming in, but there are some builders who extend the sealant application over the floor. If this is the case with your floor, paint and epoxy coatings will not stick.

How Can You Tell If Your Floor Is Sealed?

How Can You Tell If Your Floor Is Sealed

You can test whether or not your concrete floor is sealed by simply spilling a cup of water onto the floor. If the cement or concrete soaks up the water, there is no sealant. If this is the case, you can just go ahead and apply epoxy coating or paint.

If the water pools up and is never absorbed, then you know that your floor has been treated with sealer. This means that you cannot use paint or epoxy directly on the existing surface. When this is the case, you must choose a different kind of garage floor covering, or you may have to remove the sealer if you want to apply epoxy coating.

If your garage floor is unsealed, you can just apply paint or epoxy. Be sure to begin by cleaning the floor very thoroughly. Any grime, dirt, oil or other debris that is stuck to the floor will naturally interfere with your application of paint or epoxy , and the resulting surface will be far less durable.

Get An Early Start!

Be sure to make solid plans and start your garage floor painting project early in the morning to make the most use of the warmest hours of the day.

Wash the floor thoroughly and let it dry for a good long time before applying epoxy or paint to the surface. In the warm summer months, your floor may be ready to paint within six hours. During cold weather it may take a very long time, indeed.

Throughout your work time and the drying time, be sure to maintain excellent ventilation for safety’s sake and to promote quick drying.

How Can You Paint A Sealed Garage Floor?

If you want to paint a sealed garage floor, you need to use diamond grinders to grind off the sealant.

How To Diamond Grind A Concrete Floor

If you’re not able to find this equipment, you may have to pay to have your floor shot blasted.

Shot Blasters – Concrete Surface Preparation

This can cost quite a bit of money, and once this job is done, you may be very disappointed in the appearance of your floor; however, after you epoxy coat the unsealed floor, it should look fine.

Can You Paint Over Sealed Concrete?

It is inadvisable to paint directly over acrylic concrete sealer. If you do, you will not end up with a long-lasting bond. The reason for this is that there are no pores in the sealant to absorb the paint and make it stick; however, there is a tricky workaround!

If you have a sealed concrete floor, you may wish to purchase some pigment and add it to an acrylic, solvent based concrete sealer. You can apply a solvent-based product over another solvent-based product and get a better bond.

This works because the two solvent-based sealants will bond together. Adding pigment to the second coat of solvent based sealer will enable you to change the color of the first sealer.

Preparation for Coated Concrete for Paints & Stains

How Do You Prepare Sealed Concrete For Painting?

If you want to get a good finish, you must start out correctly. Taking great pains to follow a good preparation procedure will have a tremendous effect on the look of the finished project as well as its longevity.

The first step to a successful preparation project is cleaning. Be sure to remove all foreign substances and/or peeling paint from the surface of your garage floor. You can do this by wire brushing the surface and finishing it off with medium grit sandpaper.

You may need to remove any gloss from glossy surfaces by using a chemical the Glosser or by scuff sanding.

What’s The Best Way To Strip Paint From Coated Surfaces?

With a very thick seal of paint, you may want to strip the substance away chemically. Remember to always wear protective clothing when handling chemicals or using power tools.

  1. Use a bristle broom or a paint brush to apply a very thick layer of paint stripper to the entire surface. You want to completely cover the previous coating.
  2. If it’s hot or windy and your paint stripper dries out, apply a second coat. Keep in mind that the temperature, the type of coding and the thickness of the original coating all affect the effectiveness and penetration of your coat of paint stripper.
  3. While waiting for your paint stripper to soak in (usually between 1 and 6 hours) check frequently. You want to make sure that the entire surface of your garage floor is covered with paint stripper throughout the entire waiting period.

If the original surface becomes visible, you must apply another light coat of paint stripper. You want to keep the entire surface active and wet until the original coating begins to wrinkle.

  1. Once the original surface has started wrinkling, you can use a pressure washer or a scraper to remove it. Once you’ve removed all of the original coating, rinse the floor completely with water to get all of the chemical residues off. Take great care not to let the rinse solution go into storm drains.

Stripping A Sealer From Concrete

Do I Need To Seal My Garage Floor Before Painting?

As we’ve explained, sealant is counter-indicative to good painting of concrete garage floors, but priming before painting is a good idea. Priming before painting helps achieve a better degree of adhesion. This is especially true if you have a dampness issue or if your concrete floor is weak or dusty.

A good coat of primer will work wonders to help your topcoat stick. You should be sure to choose a primer that is made to work on concrete and with epoxy.

Before applying primer, make absolutely certain your floor is completely dry. You can do this by taping a square of plastic wrap onto the floor (12”x12”). Leave it overnight. If there is water under it the next day, you know your floor isn’t dry.

Set up fans/heaters as needed and wait another 24 hours to be sure your concrete is dry.

How Long Does Garage Floor Paint Take To Dry?

Generally speaking, your painted garage floor will be dry to the touch within one hour. You can apply the second coat of paint in 4 to 6 hours. Let the surface dry for a couple of days before walking across it. Let it dry for a full week before you drive a car over it.

For more garage painting tips, here is our guide on how to do fiberglass doors.

1 thought on “How To Paint A Garage Floor That Has Been Sealed?”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Garage DIY Ideas

6022 S Drexel Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

Amazon Disclaimer

Garage DIY Ideas is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


Garage DIY Ideas does not intend to provide any health related advice, and the content on this blog is not a substitute for medical guidance you may seek. For more information, please read our PRIVACY POLICY.