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Concrete Coating

Can You Do A Concrete Coating Yourself? What To Consider

September 12th, 2023 | 8 min. read

Can You Do A Concrete Coating Yourself? What To Consider

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So, you're looking to give your concrete surfaces a fresh new look with a coating and are considering doing the job yourself.

A concrete coating is the perfect project to transform the appearance of your floors and protect them from wear and tear (plus, it's DIY-friendly).

But before you dive into this project, you should consider a few things, like cost, installation, safety, and more. 

As a San Antonio remodeling expert since 1989, Southwest Exteriors has helped hundreds of homeowners and business owners transform their spaces with high-quality concrete coatings. 

However, we understand that using a professional isn't always the solution everyone is looking for. Before choosing to do this project yourself, we want you to understand all that comes with it. 

In this article, we'll look at concrete coatings, assess your skills and knowledge, go through the steps involved, discuss potential challenges, and cover safety measures. By the end, you'll better understand whether you can take on this project yourself.


The Purpose and Benefits of Concrete Coatings

Concrete coating is applying a protective layer on your concrete surfaces. It can improve the durability, aesthetics, and functionality of your floors. The coating acts as a barrier, preventing damage from stains, chemicals, and heavy foot traffic.

When it comes to concrete coating, there are various options available in the market. One popular choice is epoxy coating, which is known for its high resistance to chemicals, abrasion, and impact.

Epoxy coating can transform your plain concrete floors into glossy, seamless surfaces that are visually appealing and highly durable.

Another option is polyurea coating, which offers excellent resistance to UV rays, making it suitable for outdoor applications. Polyurea coating is also resistant to staining and can withstand constant and heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for commercial and industrial settings.

Benefits of Concrete Coating

There are several benefits to applying a concrete coating. Firstly, it enhances the appearance of your floors by giving them a polished, professional look. The smooth and glossy finish of the coating can make your floors stand out and create a welcoming atmosphere in your space.

Moreover, a concrete coating provides a layer of protection that can help your concrete last longer. The coating prevents damage and deterioration by acting as a barrier against stains, chemicals, and wear and tear, ensuring that your floors remain in good condition for years.

In addition to its protective properties, concrete coating can make your floors easier to maintain. The smooth surface created by the coating prevents dirt, dust, and debris from penetrating into the concrete, making sweeping or mopping the floors simple.

This not only saves you time and effort but also helps maintain a hygienic environment.

Concrete coatings can improve the safety of your floors as well. Certain coatings, such as anti-slip coatings, provide traction and reduce the risk of slipping, especially in areas prone to moisture or spills. 

Lastly, concrete coatings offer versatility in terms of design options. With a wide range of colors, patterns, and finishes available, you can customize your floors to suit your aesthetic preferences and complement the overall style of your space.

Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look or a more rustic and textured appearance, there is a concrete coating option that can fulfill your design vision.


Can You DIY A Concrete Coating?

Before you decide to take on the exciting project of DIY concrete coating, it's important to evaluate your skills and knowledge. While concrete coating can be done as a DIY project, it does require some basic requirements that you should consider.

Understanding the Materials and Tools

One of the first things you should have is a good understanding of the materials and tools involved in the concrete coating process.

Familiarize yourself with the different types of coatings available, such as epoxy, polyurethane, or acrylic, and their specific applications. Each type has its own unique properties and requirements, so it's essential to choose the right one for your project.

In addition to the materials, you should also be knowledgeable about the tools required for the job. Some common tools used in concrete coating projects include a pressure washer, grinder, trowel, roller, and paint brushes.

Every tool serves a specific purpose, and understanding how to use them correctly will ensure a successful outcome.


Experience with Concrete Surfaces

Working with concrete surfaces is another important aspect to consider before embarking on a DIY concrete coating project. Having prior experience with concrete will give you an advantage in understanding its characteristics and behavior.

This knowledge will help you properly prepare the surface, ensuring proper adhesion and longevity of the coating.

If you're new to working with concrete, it's recommended to start with smaller projects to gain experience. Practice techniques such as cleaning, patching, and leveling concrete surfaces before moving on to larger coating projects. This hands-on experience will build your confidence and improve your skills.

Following Instructions Carefully

Concrete coating projects often involve following specific instructions to achieve the desired results. It's crucial to have the ability to read and comprehend instructions accurately. This includes understanding the mixing ratios, application techniques, and curing times for the chosen coating material.

Attention to detail is key when working with concrete coatings. Small mistakes in the application process can lead to unsatisfactory results or even premature coating failure.

Take the time to read and understand the manufacturer's instructions thoroughly, and don't hesitate to seek guidance or clarification if needed.

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Equipment

To successfully complete a concrete coating project, you'll need to gather the right tools and equipment. You may also need to invest in safety gear like gloves, goggles, and a respirator. These items are essential for protecting yourself from potential hazards, such as chemicals or flying debris.

Before starting the project, take inventory of the tools you currently have and make a list of what you still need to acquire. This will ensure that you have everything on hand when you're ready to begin. It's always better to be well-prepared than to find yourself in the middle of a project without the necessary tools.

Remember, proper preparation is crucial to a successful DIY concrete coating project. By evaluating your skills and knowledge, understanding the materials and tools involved, gaining experience with concrete surfaces, and following instructions carefully, you'll be well-equipped to tackle this exciting endeavor.


Steps Of A DIY Concrete Coating

1. Preparing the Concrete Surface

Properly preparing a concrete surface is the first step to a successful outcome. First, clean the surface thoroughly, removing any dirt, grease, or stains.

If there are cracks or imperfections, fill them with a suitable concrete filler and allow it to dry. Finally, smooth the surface by grinding or using a sander.

2. Applying the Concrete Coating

Once the preparation is done, it's time to apply the concrete coating. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the specific product you're using. Use a roller or paintbrush to apply an even coat, working your way from one end to the other.

Allow the coating to dry completely before applying additional coats if needed.


Potential Challenges With DIY Concrete Coatings


Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

While DIY concrete coating can be rewarding, it's not without its challenges. Common mistakes include applying an uneven coat, not allowing enough drying time, or using the wrong type of coating for your specific needs.

To avoid these issues, take your time, carefully read the instructions, and seek guidance from professionals if needed.

Dealing with Unexpected Issues

During the project, you may encounter unexpected issues, such as bubbles or discoloration. If this happens, don't panic. There are solutions to these problems.

Research online for troubleshooting tips or consult with a professional who can guide you through the process of fixing the issue.


Safety Measures for DIY Concrete Coating


Protective Gear and Equipment

When working with concrete and coating materials, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Wear protective gloves, goggles, and a respirator to protect yourself from potential harm. 

Additionally, make sure you have the necessary equipment, such as a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit, readily available in case of emergencies.

Safe Handling of Concrete Coating Materials

Concrete coating materials can contain chemicals that may be harmful if not handled properly. Always read the product labels and follow the safety instructions provided. Avoid direct contact with eyes and skin, and ensure proper ventilation in the area where you're working.


Don't wait to start your project!


Is A DIY Concrete Coating Right For You?

As you can see, DIY concrete coating is a project that requires careful consideration. If you have the skills, knowledge, and the right tools, you can certainly tackle this project yourself. 

Concrete coatings offer numerous benefits, including enhanced aesthetics, durability, and ease of maintenance. However, to achieve the best results, you must follow manufacturer instructions carefully and prioritize safety measures throughout the process.

While DIY concrete coating is feasible with the right preparation and experience, it's essential to acknowledge your limitations. If you feel uncertain or encounter unexpected issues, seeking professional assistance is a wise choice to ensure the quality and longevity of your concrete coating.

Ultimately, the decision to take on this project yourself should align with your skills, confidence, and commitment to safety. With the proper knowledge and careful planning, you can transform your concrete surfaces and enjoy the benefits of a fresh new coating.

Want to learn more about whether a DIY concrete coating is right for you? Check out this article that compares a DIY versus a professional concrete coating in things like cost, installation, warranty, and more. Then, you'll have a better understanding of if a DIY project is right for you.