Removing Epoxy Coating from a Garage Floor

What You'll Need
Floor grinder or shot blaster
Safety glasses
Safety gloves
Muriatic acid or any acid etching liquid
Clean rag

Epoxy coating is one of the top choices for covering garage floors. However, it is normal for it to peel or crack over time and use. Like all kinds of floor coating, epoxy paint cannot last forever. When this happens, you should take the time to remove and recoat the area  that has evident damages. Recoating a garage floor with epoxy coating also provides you with a chance to update the look of your garage.

Step 1 – Ascertain the Area of the Project

Removing epoxy coating does not always require you to strip the entirety of the garage floor. In some cases, only patches and small areas will require work. Start by getting a clear view of your garage floor so you can identify exactly which sections of the floor need the epoxy removed. Plan out the areas on a piece of paper, if needed.

Step 2 – Prepare the Floor for Epoxy Coating Removal

Clear the floor of all stored items. For permanent fixtures, make sure that they are covered with thick cloth prior to starting the epoxy coating removal. Clean the floor with a broom and rag. Make sure that all dust and dirt is removed.

Step 3 – Use a Floor Grinder

Protect yourself from splattering dusts and debris by wearing safety glasses and gloves. Start sanding the areas you want to remove the epoxy coating from with a floor grinder or shot blaster. For those who have a thin layer of epoxy coating, a sander might very well do the job for you. Remember to grind in one direction to avoid ugly texture. Make sure that you first test out the floor grinder before trying out onto the floor. Doing so would let you have a solid grip on the machine prior to the work.

Step 4 – Inspect for Untouched Epoxy Coating

Remove the dust and debris caused by the previous grinding so you can see where you need to keep grinding. Repeat step 3 for the areas that still have epoxy coating.  

Step 5 – Clean the Area

Once all the relevant areas have been stripped of epoxy coating, start to clean off debris and dust. Use a broom or clean the area with water to make sure that the garage floor is thoroughly dust free. Allow the floor to completely dry up before proceeding to the next steps.

Step 6 – Acid Etch the Garage Floor

Using a muriatic acid and water solution, acid etch the area prior to recoating. Sprinkle the solution to the areas that you have sanded. The solution should be absorbed by the floor before you rinse well with water. Allow the floor to dry for at least 16 hours.

Step 7 – Repair Cracks and Apply Coating

Inspect for floor cracks that need to be repaired. Repeat steps 3 to 6 for the areas needing more touch-ups. Once this is done, set out to apply your new garage floor coating.