The very first project in our new house is done! See how we updated our garage floor using Rust-Oleum’s Rock Solid Garage Floor Kit!
This post is sponsored by Rust-Oleum and contains affiliate links.
Long before we closed on this house (and, if I’m being honest, before we even chose this house), we knew that the very first project we tackled here would be doing a DIY garage floor coating with RockSolid.
It was such a priority to us that we requested a leaseback on our old house so we’d have time to do it before we moved a single thing into the garage, and I started working on it before we even moved in. Our entire first weekend here was full of work on the garage floor and, while it was busy, I don’t regret it for a second.
We coated the garage floor in our first home using Rust-Oleum’s Rock Solid garage floor kits and we loved it so much that we knew we had to do it again. We never got around to it in the second house, and we always wished we had. Today I wanted to share a tutorial for how to do it, along with answering some of your most frequently-asked questions about our garage floor!
Why do you need to coat your garage floor?
First up, let’s answer the question I got the most when I was sharing the process of doing this floor over on Instagram stories – why?
Our garage gets used a lot. It’s frequently messy, we’re always working on some sort of project out there, and there are regular drops, spills, and other messes. With a regular ol’ concrete garage floor, you end up with stains, cracks, and a ton of dust on the floor that gets tracked inside.
RockSolid is made with a unique Polycuramine formula that is 20X stronger than epoxy. It’s extremely chemical-resistant, low-odor, and VOC free.
The beautiful thing about a RockSolid garage floor is that it resists stains and cracks, and it’s so much easier to clean! Un-sealed concrete puts of a regular layer of dust, so no matter how much you sweep it kind of always feels a bit dusty and dirty. And every time you go out into your garage, some of that dust gets tracked back in with you.
We found that when we had a RockSolid garage floor, it was so much easier to see the dust and keep it swept up, and it didn’t product extra dust at all! So, we tracked notably less junk into our house on a day-to-day basis, and the garage just looked so much better.
I’m a big believer that in order to truly enjoy your spaces it’s important to make them look great, so the aesthetics of our garage are highly motivating to me!
So, bottom line? A garage floor coating like RockSolid keeps your garage (and therefore your entire house) cleaner, and it looks about a zillion times better than plain ol’ concrete.
How do you install a DIY ROckSolid garage floor?
This project is deceptively simple. It seems like such a difficult job, but it’s really not! Here’s a breakdown of how to do it:
- Rust-Oleum Clean & Etch (I used this product because my concrete is new and clean. Otherwise, I’d recommend Rust-Oleum Cleaner & Degreaser)
- Concrete Etch (included in kit)
- Scrub brush for floor (with extension pole)
- Rust-Oleum Rock Solid Metallic Garage Floor Kit (We used Silver Bullet)
- Microfiber roller cover (included in kit)
- High-quality paint brush
- Paint Roller (use the extension pole here as well!)
- Rust-Oleum Rock Solid Clear Coat
- 3/8” nap roller cover (for clear top coat)
- Nitrite gloves
Step one: Clean + Etch Your garage floor
The first (and arguably most important) step is to prep your garage floor. If your concrete isn’t properly prepped, the product won’t adhere and you’ll spend a ton of time (and money) on this project for nothing. Don’t make that mistake!
If you’re working with a clean, un-sealed concrete floor like we were in our new house, it’s a pretty straightforward process (if not, read on and I’ll cover that too!). First, you’ll sweep the floor to remove any debris or dust. Then, mix 1 part Rust-Oleum Clean & Etch solution with 1 part water (I used a sprayer like this, but you could also just use a big watering can or bucket). Working in 10×10 sections, apply an even amount of the cleaning solution to the concrete, then scrub it with your scrub brush. It should fizz up a bit as you scrub – that’s how you know it’s working! Once it’s done fizzing, rinse it with some water and move to the next section.
*If you’re working with a dirty concrete floor, you’ll want to clean first and remove oil spots with a scrub brush and use Rust-Oleum Cleaner & Degreaser. Then, you’ll mix the concrete etch (included in the kit) with two gallons of water until it’s fully dissolved. From there, you’ll pre-wet the entire floor using a hose, remove pooled water and follow the steps above working in 10×10 sections.
Continue until you’ve cleaned the entire floor, and then thoroughly rinse it to make sure you remove all of the etching solution. They recommend rinsing three times! Use your scrub brush (or a squeegee) to get as much of the water pushed out of the garage as you can, and then allow it to dry.
Concrete looks dry far before it actually is, so I recommend a very minimum of 24 hours before you apply the garage floor coating. If you can wait longer, that’s even better! Just don’t allow anyone to walk in there while it’s drying, so you don’t get it dirty again!
Step two: Apply rocksolid
Once your concrete is all the way dry, you’re ready to paint the floor!
Rust-Oleum’s RockSolid Metallic Floor Coating Kit will come with an easy-mix burst pouch with your color already mixed in beginning in February. Rust-Oleum sent me a newer kit with the metallic already mixed in it, but if you choose to purchase before then, and don’t have the new kit, read on, and I’ll explain how to add the metallic tint yourself. RockSolid is a two-part Polycuramine coating. What that means is you’ll need to mix it a bit before it’s ready to be used. The pouch has an “A” side and a “B” side – after massaging each individual side to mix them a bit, roll the “A” side until it pops and you can freely mix the two. Shake the packet for at least a minute or so until you’re confident it’s fully mixed up.
*If you don’t have the newest RockSolid Kit, the metallic tint will come in a jar (included in the kit). You’ll pour the contents from the pouch into a mixing bucket and add the metallic tint. Mix it with a paddle mixer for 3-5 minutes.
Once your coating is mixed, cut off a corner of the pouch and pour some into a plastic cup or paint pail. Grab your brush and cut in all of the edges and corners around the room. If you have a “baseboard” of concrete where it goes up the walls a bit, go ahead and paint that as well.
After you’ve cut in, you can pour the floor coating directly on the floor and use your paint roller to spread it around. You want it to go on pretty thick – it looks better if it’s a thicker coat! I work in small sections at a time – cover the floor, then go back with the roller and swirl it around a bit to create movement in the paint. There’s no official way to do it, just roll around and up and down until the paint has some good swirls in it. This creates a really cool metallic-y look when it’s done, and it’s self-leveling and buildable, so you basically can’t mess it up!
Be sure to map out your painting path ahead of time so you don’t work yourself into a corner! I started working at the door to the house, then painted my way to the garage door so that by the time I was finishing, I was standing outside of the garage.
You only need one coat – once it’s dry, you need to allow it to dry for 24 hours before moving on to the next step!
Step three: Apply your top coat
Technically, you can stop at just the base coat if you want! But, the top coat provides an additional layer of durability and if you mix in the anti-skid powder that comes with it, it’ll make your floor a lot less slippery! The plain coating is very smooth and can be a bit dangerous if the floor gets wet at all. We work in our garage all the time, and power tools and slipping don’t mix well!
The top coat works very similarly to the base coating step – just burst the pouch and mix it thoroughly before opening it. If you’re adding the anti-skid additive, you’ll need to pour it all into a separate bucket and mix before you begin painting (and I highly recommend using the additive!).
You’ll follow the same process to apply it as before – cut in, then pour it on the floor and use your roller to spread it. You don’t need to do the swirls for the top coat, though!
This layer doesn’t need to go on as thick as the base coat layer, either. As long as you’ve got the floor covered, you’re good!
Allow it to dry for 12 hours before walking on it, and for 24 hours before putting anything heavy (like your car!) on it.
DIY rockSolid garage floor faqs
how much does it cost?
I know you’re all dying to know the cost. I’ll preface it by saying this isn’t really a budget project. I’d consider it to be a bit of an investment, but I promise it’s 1,000,000% worth it, especially if you use your garage often!
Here’s the budget breakdown for a standard 2-car garage:
NOTE: As of writing this, the garage floor kits are on sale – this price is based on the typical non-sale price, though. So, you may find it’s cheaper!
- Clean + Etch (3 gallons): $54.00
- Rock Solid Metallic Garage Floor Kits (4 kits are recommended for a 2-car garage): $510
- Rock Solid Clear Top Coat (1 kit): $149
- Other necessary tools: $60
APPROXIMATE TOTAL COST: $773
Does my garage floor have to be new?
No! This works great on any gayrage floor as long as it’s in sound condition and is properly prepped.
You can read the full application instructions right here for full details on how to prep various concrete surfaces before coating.
What if my garage floor has small cracks?
Minor cosmetic cracks in your garage floor are no big deal, and they’re really easy to repair before applying any finish! If the crack is large enough that the flooring is uneven or the crack is wider than 1/8″, you’ll need to call a professional. But anything smaller than that is simple to fix on your own.
Simply clean out the crack and use this Concrete Patch & Repair Kit to patch any cracks. Once it dries, you can apply the base coat as normal!
What if my garage floor is already painted?
If you want to use the metallic garage floor kit on previously painted or sealed surfaces, you’ll need to take an extra step prior to using the RockSolid coating. Rust-Oleum recently released a Garage & Interior Floor Primer specifically meant to prep previously-painted surfaces before adding any coating.
When we did this in our old house, we had to scrape off all of the paint prior to applying RockSolid, so this is much easier! You just clean, prime, and coat!
Is there an ideal temperature to apply this?
Yes! Optimal temperatures to apply in are between 55-90 degrees Fahrenheit. You should never apply when temperatures are below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees.
We also learned while applying that it’s not ideal to have the coating drying when you have big temperature swings happening. We had a few bubbles pop up in our coating during dry time, and after some research learned it was probably due to the 40-50 degree temperature swings we were having while I applied. So, just check the weather for the few days you plan to work on it to ensure it’ll be relatively steady!
Does Rust-Oleum offer other garage floor coatings?
Rust-Oleum offers three different brands for garage floor coatings. They’re all great products and have different benefits and price points. It’s really just a personal preference on which one you choose.
- 1) Rust-Oleum Floor Paint + Primer, a low-cost one-part paint
- 2) EpoxyShield, a two-part water-base epoxy coating
- 3) RockSolid, a two-part industrial grade polycuramine coating
You can check out the product comparison chart on Rust-Oleum’s website: here.
What about the epoxy floors with decorative chips?
Rust-Oleum includes decorative chips in its EpoxyShield Garage Floor Kit and RockSolid (solid color) Garage Floor Kits. The decorative chips are also sold separately if you’d like to choose a different color.
We did consider using the RockSolid garage floor kit in a solid color this time, but since we were already familiar with the process of applying the metallic floors (and were on such a time crunch) we figured we’d stick with what we know. But, the process is very similar for the two and both look gorgeous!
Are there other color options?
Yes! RockSolid Garage Floor Coating comes in multiple colors and finishes. Click here to see the full range of options!
I hope this was helpful if you’re considering applying a garage floor coating to your garage! I highly recommend it as a really fantastic DIY project, and it was worth every chaotic minute of getting it done while moving in.
If you have more questions, you can read a full FAQ on Rust-Oleum’s website!