This post is a part of A DIY guide on How to apply an epoxy garage flooring
Once you have applied your first coat of epoxy, the second one can be applied in a general window of 10 to 24 hours. This window is temperature based and can change by a few hours according to the temperature. Always check with the manufacturer first for recoat times.
Coating like polyuria and polyaspartic can be recoated in as little as an hour. On the other hand, some coatings like GFX1000 allow for recoat for up to 7 days. These are exceptions.
By using the thumb print method, you can test if the epoxy is ready to recoat. Press your thumb onto the surface, if it leaves a thumb print or feels tacky to touch, it means that it is not ready to recoat yet.
If you decide on doing a top coat on the color coat, try not to get on the floor to soon. The color coat, unlike the primer coat, is a high build coat. If you are out on the floor too soon, it will leave marks of your spiked shoes all over the floor.
If you wait more than the prescribed window, then the surface has to be roughened up with a 100 grit sandpaper before applying another coat. Wipe the surface down with denatured alcohol after roughening.
The mixing and application instructions are the same as the first coat if you are using epoxy. Depending on which epoxy floor system you are installing, your second coat will be the color coat or top coat.
For the second coat you do not have to worry about how much epoxy is absorbed by the concrete. The coverage rate for this coat will be very consistent because it is being applied over another layer of epoxy. This is your high build coat, so pay great attention to covering only the square footage the epoxy was mixed for. This will ensure the maximum dry film thickness as advertised by the epoxy manufacturer.
Seal up the garage to protect the coating from bugs and debris after you are done.
After you have rolled back each mix of your color coat, start applying the vinyl color flakes. There is no need to stress about applying all the flakes within the working window of the epoxy. You will be OK as long as you start applying the vinyl flakes 10 minutes after the final roll back.
Keep the spiked shoes on so that you can walk out onto the floor, unless you are covering small sections at a time. Take extra care about not leaving streak marks or slip marks that you will have to repair by back rolling. Small marks from the spiked shoes will close up on their own.
If you are broadcasting the vinyl color flakes to full refusal, it is better to check after about 10 minutes for any barren spots that occur after the flakes have sunk into the epoxy. If necessary, reapply.
If you have decided to do a partial color flake floor, distribute your total mix of color flakes in the same amount of sections that you epoxy coat. This way your garage floor will get an even distribution of color flakes in each section. If you have broadcast to full refusal, you don’t necessarily have to get the top coat done within 24 hours. The top coat will adhere to the rough vinyl chips surface and not to the curing epoxy surface.
Tip: Do not use flakes in the bottom of your bucket, when doing a partial coverage floor. These are the broken and smaller flakes which will stand out on the floor next to the full flakes.