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Treating concrete surfaces

Posted by G Smallwood on September 21st, 1999 08:51 PM

My house is new (concrete was poured one year ago, August 1998) and I took occupancy in December 1998. The garage floor is poured concrete with a non-slip texture created by dragging a stiff-bristle broom across the surface. I want to seal the floor to protect it from stains (such as various automotive fluids) and from road salt, and ideally I would like to use a coloured sealant (or a coloured topcoat) to brighten the garage. I plan to use white or light grey as the colour.

One person recommended using an epoxy-based paint (such as Behr 1-Part Epoxy). Another suggested a clear sealant without a topcoat. Other recommendations have included polyurethane products, or two-part systems that must be professionally applied. I want to do this myself. Our garage will only see normal domestic use (I don't tend to do major automotive repairs).

Also, preparing the surface has raised differing viewpoints. I have just treated the surface with diluted muriatic acid and rinsed well. Do I need to do any other preparation? Some have recommended TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) as well; others say it is not necessary. One person said I needed to prime the concrete before sealing/painting. In all cases, I understand that I should leave the surface for several days between cleaning and applying any product, to allow it to dry completely.

Related to the above requests, I also would appreciate comments for finishing my basement floor, and for painting a masonry (concrete block) wall in my garage. The basement floor is smooth and dry. For the masonry wall, I am looking for something that will provide a thick coat to cover the gritty surface (I was thinking of a polyurethane-like paint).

I would truly appreciate an unbiased opinion on the best method to prepare concrete surfaces, and on the best product(s) to meet my requirements.

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