Why it’s So Worth it, and What to Know
Block party season is right around the corner. Cars are being washed, lawns are getting mowed, kids are dusting off their shin guards and t-ball bats, and grills are fired up. As you’re prepping your yard and driveway for the summer, it’s understandable that you may be mentally blocking out your garage: for many, it’s the junk drawer of the house, cluttered with holiday decorations, old camping equipment, and who knows what else.
Daunting as it may seem, it’s worth it to give some thought to the old car box. A clean garage can not only be useful for storage and of course as a showroom for your vehicle, but can even be a play space for kids or a shaded spot to set out the burger fixings for a neighborly barbecue.
Your Garage Floors: Why Bother?
Once you get the space organized, a freshly painted floor is the key ingredient in turning your garage into a clean, bright, usable room. Naked concrete has a rough surface that absorbs oils, debris, and light. It’s unsightly, stains easily, is difficult to clean, and darkens the space. The right floor paint can address all of these issues by helping to prevent stains, dust, mold and mildew, creating a smoother surface that’s easier to clean and maintain, and giving the area a brighter appearance.
To DIY, or Not to DIY…
Big box stores sell garage floor painting kits, or epoxy kits, that can make the job seem easy. If your garage floor is relatively new and in excellent shape, it might be doable. But, it’s probably worth it to have the pros come check it out. The floor also may have contaminants such as grease, oil, mineral deposit and even just plain old damage that may require more intensive prep. Getting your garage floor painted is surprisingly inexpensive depending which direction you go, but it’s not super easy to DIY.
Prepping your garage floor is a multi-step process that usually involves a power washer and hydrochloric acid OR diamond grinding the floor with heavy machinery (which only a professional can handle). It’s important that floors are correctly prepped so the paint job will last. Garage floors get a lot of wear and tear, and skipping steps can significantly shorten the lifespan of your paint job.
Choices, choices, choices…
You’ll also want to consult with a pro to make sure you’re using the right kind of paint for your particular needs. A latex acrylic paint will be the least expensive, but also won’t last as long, and you won’t get the same ease of maintenance as you will with better paints. A 1- or 2-part epoxy paint is usually the way to go: these paints offer superior durability and traction, giving you a long-lasting floor that’s smooth enough to resist dust and stains without being dangerously slick.
Also, by consulting with professionals, you’ll have a wide host of color options, so you’ll be able to find just the right look you want. Solid colors look fresh and modern, while decorative chip paints are popular because of their extra scuff-disguising benefits.
If you do the work of organizing your garage this summer, make the effort pay off by getting the floor painted. For a minimal investment, you’ll enjoy the space twice as much for twice as long.