Painting My Work Shop Floor With Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield

By Robert Robillard on Remodeling

Rust-Oleum® two-part water based EPOXYShield® for Garage or Basement Floors:

 Rustoleum recently sent me their two-part water-based Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield epoxy paint to review.  

According to Rust-Oleum®  their epoxy formula has superior adhesion and durability.  They also claim their epoxy resists abrasion, chemical and water damage.  I was curious to see how it would fair on my shop floor.  A workshop floor takes a huge beating and I couldn’t think of a better spot to see how well it held up.

This epoxy is marketed as a garage floor paint.   It is designed to protect the floor against stains from gasoline, motor oil, salt, antifreeze and hot tire pick up.

Epoxies are known for their excellent adhesion, chemical and heat resistance, good-to-excellent mechanical properties and very good electrical insulating properties.  Bottom line – it’s a tough paint for tough locations!

 Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield is available in a tan or gray semi-gloss finish enhanced with decorative color chips for a terrazzo-like appearance. The Garage Floor Coating Tint Base that can be tinted to 30 custom colors to suit your needs.  I choose the standard gray color.

The EPOXYShield® Garage Floor Coating kit comes in a box with 2 gallons of paint, [250-square-foot coverage] activator, concrete etch, decorative blue and white color chips, a stir stick, instruction sheet and a free instructional DVD.  My advice is to read the instructions ad watch the DVD – this is not regular paint and there are steps you need to know about.

The concrete etch provided is used during the floor preparation phase to etch smooth concrete for better adhesion.  Improperly prepared concrete will cause the epoxy paint to fail.

Preparing My Work Shop Floor:

Over the past twenty years I have painted my shop floor three times, twenty years ago I etched the virgin concrete prior to the first coat of paint and the adhesion has been great ever since.    Because it’s a workshop I have had some checmical and water damage that needed attention prior to applying the Rustomleum EpoxyShield paint.

Prior to preparing my work shop floor I needed to see if the existing paint had the proper adhesion to make this a worthwhile adventure.  A poorly-bonded paint coating is doomed for failure and a complete waste of your time.

Testing for Paint Adhesion:

To test for paint adhesion I used a razor blade to make a deep “X” in the paint.  I then applied a piece of duct tape to the “X” and pressed it down firmly, then pulled the tape quickly off.  If more than 25% of the taped paint comes off then I knew that the floor was not going to hold paint well.  In that case you should re think your idea about painting or use a chemical or mechanical removal method which is alot of work and brings up questions like how old is the paint and is their lead in it.   Luckily my floor had good adhesion.

If your concerned that your concrete floor may be damp, high in moisture or is too new to paint test it by taping a 2 x 2 sheet of plastic to the floor and leaving it in place for 24 hours.  Check for moisture on the plastic of darkened colored concrete.

Preparing The Floor For Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Paint:

In my shop most of my tools are on casters or mobile bases.  I had to paint my shop in two phases.   I moved everything to one side of the room, painted  and then moved everything to the other side and painted that side.  Tedious I know but taking 200 to 300 pound woodworking machines out of the workshop was not an option.

1.  I used a putty kife and scraped any loose or bubbled paint back to solid paint and feather sanded the edges as needed.

2.  I scraped all of the dried paint and glue drippings off the floor.

3.  Vacuum the floor thoroughly.

4.  Using a stiff bristle brush and an extension pole I scrubbed the floor with a solution of TSP and hot water.

5.  Rinse and use a wet vac was used to suck up the water and fans helped the drying process.

6.  I allowed the floor to dry thoroughly then I scraped any bubbling spots again that

 Using the EPOXYShield® Garage Floor Coating:

First thing I noticed was that the epoxy paint has a very low-odor.  It is also water based which mean it cleans up easily with soap and water.

TIP:  If you plan on reusing your roller or brush clean them as soon as you are finished painting or they will be ruined.

TIP:  The kit comes with two gallons – each can overs approximately 250 sq. ft. on smooth surfaces or 125 to 200 sq. ft. on rough porous concrete.    Recommended application with long handled roller with short nap cover.

TIP:  Mix parts together for at least 3 minutes. Let mixed product stand for 30 minutes before use.

Painting My Work Shop Floor With Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield

Following the instructions I prepared, mixed and applied the Epoxy paint to my shop floor.  I used a cheap, synthetic paint brush to cut in the walls and around some of my permanent shop tools.   Then I used a 1/2″ roller to apply the paint to the floor field.

The epoxy paint spread similar to regular paint but is thicker.  It covers well and fills small voids .  I worked in four by four squares which is recommended by Rustoleum.  the reason for this is to allow you time and space to properly apply the decorative paint chips.

I spread the paint chips as I went, making sure to keep a wet edge at all times.  I was hesitant at first about the paint chips but am really glad I did it – it looks amazing and everyone who sees it comments on how professional and classy the floor looks.

Overall Impression:

Rustoleum’s EpoxyShield was easy to use and is a great way to clean up your garage, basement or workshop floor.  It’s a classy look creates a great looking, long lasting floors and could even be used aesthetically for finished basements.   Being water based it was low odor, and made for easy clean up.

Several days later the floor finish is as hard as a rock – it was impressive.  I dragged a bunch of stationary tools across the floor and it didnt scratch.

I liked the EPOXYShield® Garage Floor Coating so much I am going to use it on the rest of my basement floor.  The quality of finish looks like it was professionaly done.  Cost of this product to the value that it provides can’t be overstated.  It’s a no brainer when compared to using regular floor paint.

How Much and Where To Buy:

My local lumberyard carries Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield it is also available online for $60.00 here:

This review contains my opinion of a product. I take pride in providing my readers with honest and objective information as well as a practical approach to using a product. I never accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the tools and products are provided to for free by a manufacturer for review.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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