How to Paint a Garage Floor

Painter rolling epoxy paint on concrete floor

Painting a garage floor is an inexpensive way to give your garage a makeover. It looks better than regular concrete, and it’s easy enough to DIY. While time-consuming, it’s also a great excuse to clean out your garage. This article will teach you how to paint a garage floor.

What You Need

  • Degreaser
  • Safety goggles
  • Pressure washer
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller with an extension pole
  • Paint tray
  • Rubber gloves
  • Stiff bristle broom
  • Scrub brush
  • Rubber boots
  • One-part epoxy paint or latex paint
  • Concrete patch
  • Muriatic acid
  • Sealer

How to Paint a Garage Floor: Step-By-Step

Before you start painting, ensure your garage is well-ventilated. Turn on any fans and open the windows and doors. The fumes that bleach and epoxy paints emit can cause nausea and dizziness.

Paint your garage floor in cool, dry weather. High temperatures cause paint to dry too quickly, while high humidity keeps it from drying properly. To learn more about ideal temperatures and humidity, read our guide on the best weather for painting.

Step 1: Clean and Prep the Floor

Girl sweeping garage floor
Photo Credit: miguel curiel mena / Canva Pro / License

Preparation ensures a smooth and fast paint job lasting many years. It’s also the most time-consuming part of the process.

Empty the Garage

  • Put everything in your garage outside or in storage. Moving items to the side isn’t recommended as it’s more time-consuming to move the items to one side, paint one side of the floor, wait for it to dry, and repeat for the other side.

Clean the Floor

  • Sweep the dust, dirt, paint, and debris off the floor with your broom.
  • If the floor was painted previously, use paint thinner and a scraper to remove the old paint. Then vacuum it up.
  • If your floors have lots of oil or grease stains, remove them with a degreaser and scrub brush.
  • Wash the floor with the pressure washer.
  • Let it dry.

Seal Cracks

  • Use a concrete patch or hydraulic cement to fill and seal the cracks in the floor. You’ll remove any moisture trapped in the concrete in the process.

Step 2: Add Concrete Etcher to the Floor

Concrete etching involves using a combination of acid and water to strengthen your garage floor and make it easier for paint to adhere.

To see if your floor needs an etching solution, drop water on it and see how quickly it’s absorbed. If it absorbs quickly, you don’t need to etch and can skip this step.

If you need to etch, wear your safety goggles, rubber gloves, and rubber boots. Muriatic acid is strong and can cause severe chemical burns if it touches your skin or eyes. Wear a respiratory mask if you’re worried about the fumes.

Prepare and Add the Solution

  • Follow the instructions on the package. Always pour the acid into the water to prevent it from splashing (not the other way around).
  • Use one part acid to three parts water.
  • Use a paint roller to roll the solution onto the floor. It’ll bubble – wait for it to stop.

Neutralize the Solution

  • Mix one cup of baking soda and one gallon of water. 
  • Sprinkle it onto the floor and let it sit for 10 minutes.


  • Wash it off the floor with a pressure washer.
  • Use a squeegee to get the excess water off the floor and into your garage drain.
  • Run a gloved hand on the floor to make sure there’s no powder left. 
  • Let it dry completely. It can take up to 48 hours.

Your floor should have a texture similar to 150-grit sandpaper. If it doesn’t, keep etching it until it does. 

Step 3: Prime the Floor

Applying primer on a floor with a roller
Photo Credit: Ruslan Sidorov / Canva Pro / License

Once your floor is dry and clean, it’s prime time. Applying primer paint encourages adhesion and is essential to any good paint job. Garage floors are no exception.


  • Use a paint roller with an extension pole to roll an even coat of primer over the entire floor.
  • Let it dry before moving on. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long it takes to dry.

Step 4: Apply Two Coats of Paint

painting a floor using a brush
Photo Credit: ANRiPhoto / Canva Pro / License

Choose between latex acrylic paint and epoxy paint to paint your concrete floors. While latex paint is cheaper, epoxy paint is more durable, lasts longer, and makes your floor more chip-resistant due to providing a stronger bond.

First Coat

  • Thin this coat with some water before applying it. Doing so will make it easier for the concrete to absorb it.
  • Use a paint brush to apply the first coat, as brushing works better for putting the paint on the surface. Apply a thin coat of paint.
  • Wait 24 hours before applying a second coat.

Second Coat

  • Here, you can use a brush or a roller to apply a full coat of paint.
  • Let it dry for 24 to 48 hours, then check to see if you need to apply a third coat. If you do, apply a new coat.

Step 5: Seal the Floor

  • Once the paint dries, use a paint roller to apply a concrete floor sealer to protect the paint and make it more durable.
  • Let it dry completely.

Step 6: Drying Time

Wait for the paint to dry before using your garage again. Here’s how long you’ll need to wait:

  • Light foot traffic: 24 hours
  • Storage equipment: 36 hours
  • Heavy foot traffic: 48 hours
  • Cars: 7 days

Why Paint Your Garage Floor?

Painting your garage floor has the following benefits:

  • Keeps your garage clean. Garages get dirty quickly because dust accumulates, both from the concrete that crumbles when you walk on it and the elements. Painting your garage floor mitigates this issue.
  • Easier to clean than bare concrete floors. A painted garage floor keeps dust in check, making cleaning easier than a concrete floor.
  • Improves its appearance. Not only does the fresh coat of paint make it look nicer, but it also covers cracks in concrete. Plus, a coated floor is more attractive to a buyer, increasing your home’s resale value.
  • It’s cheap. Garage floor paint is cheaper than other types of paint, and it’s readily available at your local hardware store.

If you still aren’t sure you’re equipped to handle this task, you may want to consult a pro. We have an excellent guide to garage floor painting costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do you need to paint your garage floor?

Latex paint lasts three to five years, while epoxy paint can last up to 10 years. A heavily used garage floor may need repainting once a year.

How much does concrete floor paint cost?

Most concrete floor paints cost between $15 and $30 a gallon.

What are the benefits of adding terrazzo flakes to my floor?

Terrazzo flakes add some slip resistance to your floor and, if scattered around, can make your floor look even more attractive.

DIY or Hire a Pro

Painting your garage floor requires a lot of work over several days, but the results are worth it. That said, we understand you’re busy or concerned about your health. In this case, Paint Gnome can connect you with local pros and let them turn your garage floor from ordinary to extraordinary.

Main Photo Credit: BanksPhotos / Canva Pro / License

Stuart Kushner

Stuart Kushner is a writer and aspiring product designer based in New York City. When he isn’t writing about home improvement projects, Stuart enjoys heavy metal music, exercise, and trying new food and drinks.