Winter is almost over here in NC. The New Hill Garage is emerging from winter better than ever, due to it’s Makeover. I had originally treated the new concrete floor with an acrylic sealant by Cure N Seal. It did a pretty good job but had one fatal flaw. It could not hold up when gasoline was spilled. It turned to a gummy goo. So I finally decided a new floor coating was in order. I am going with an epoxy paint this time.
The prep job, as with any paint job, is key. I first had to move everything out. I started with a simple wash with Dawn detergent. Then I tried TSP (tri-sodium phosphate). We then laid on a test treatment of muriatic acid. The results were not promising. The muriatic acid should “fizz” as it attacks the calcium in the concrete but very little fizzing ensued. The acrylic sealant was still there and doing it’s job. My contractor friend Bill Pinkus said he was worried and suggested that we go big and scour the floor with diamond cutting blades. We rented a fairly standard floor polisher machine from Home Depot and got the diamond blade attachment. And we started grinding. The high spots come off quickly. But although the floor looks flat, it really isn’t. We wanted to remove all traces of the acrylic sealant. It took about 10 hours and lots of dust to get the concrete ground down to a clean surface. We were rewarded with a good “fizz” reaction when we applied the muriatic acid.
The epoxy is a two part mix. As it was winter, we used heaters to get the floor temp well above the 50 degF minimum. The epoxy is put on by pouring it out on the floor and spreading it with a squeegee. The first coat is put on thinned 50%. The second coat is put on full strength. I decided to go with a white color, to increase the light reflection.
The good news is that the floor job looked great! The bad news is that everything else looked shabby. So I also painted the walls and the cabinet doors white. Now it really pops.
But I wasn’t done. I decided to build a new metal topped work surface for doing metal fabrication and welding upon. I built a very heavy wood base, with 3/4″ hardwood plywood. On top of this went a sheet of 1/8″ steel sheet. I built a 3 foot deep by 8 foot long bench, with a supplemental fold out leaf that is also 3 foot deep and 6 foot long. On the opposite side of the room I build a “clean assembly” work surface out of 3/4″ melamine, that is also hinged to fold out of the way when not in use. Finally, I bought new hydraulic cylinders for my BendPak mid-rise lift, as one of the original cylinders was puking fluid due to a faulty seal.
I lover the results of my new shop space!!!