Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Problems with Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Peeling

Epoxy coating peeling on garage floor

Epoxy coating peeling on garage floor.

I applied an epoxy coating to my garage floor several months ago, and it’s already peeling! I followed the package instructions carefully – what happened?

If your garage floor is peeling so soon after application, the concrete slab must not have bonded well with the epoxy coating. Even if you followed package instructions to the letter, there could still be problems caused by:

  • Dirt, Grease or Oil: The acid etching solution that’s applied before the coating doesn’t remove soaked-in oil or grease, so any stains or deposits must be completely removed before you begin. You also need to remove all traces of the degreaser you use. If the concrete is badly stained with oil or grease, you may never be able to remove enough for an epoxy coating to bond properly.
  • Cleaning Residue: Throughout the preparation and cleaning process, each of the chemicals used need to be completely removed from the surface. Don’t allow the acid wash – or any other cleaning materials – to dry on the surface.
  • Peeling garage floor

    Peeling garage floor.

  • Treated or Sealed Concrete: Sealants, curing agents, concrete hardeners, and other treatments to the concrete will interfere with the bonding of the epoxy. Any previous coatings should be ground off using a diamond grinder. To test, pour water over the bare concrete. If it beads up or doesn’t soak in, the concrete has a coating of sealant that needs to be removed, or it may be heavily contaminated with grease.
  • Hydrostatic Pressure: If moisture wicks too quickly through your concrete, the epoxy will flake off. To test this, tape a 2’ by 2’ piece of plastic onto the bare concrete floor, and leave it for 24 hours. If moisture collects on the bottom of the plastic, your floors likely have too much hydrostatic pressure or lack a vapor barrier under the concrete for an epoxy coating to work.
  • Uncured Concrete: Newly poured concrete needs to cure for about a month before applying any coating to it.
  • Concrete Too Smooth: The concrete floor needs to be slightly roughened to allow the coating to stick.
  • Prior Coating Failed: If a previous coating on the floor flaked or peeled, chances are that unless you figure out why, the new epoxy coating won’t stick either.
  • Bad Material: DIY epoxy kits have mixed reviews, with the one-part kits failing more frequently than kits which require mixing two parts together. Make sure to buy a product that has received positive reviews and has a high success rate.


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13 Comments on “Problems with Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Peeling”

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  1. Richard Bliss Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I’ve always had an efflorescence problem on my floor. For years I simply cleaned up the powdery residue from time to time. Then I decided to use an acid wash on problem areas and paint with Rustoleum two part epoxy. That worked for 1-2 years and the powder came back. More cleaning.

    I then read about Aldon Chemical and their concrete floor treatments. We stripped off all the old paint, treated the entire floor with their efflorescence treatment, and sealed with their penetrating sealer.

    All went along fine and afterwards we decided the floor would look better with a light gray color. I checked around and, while speaking with Rustoleum, l was told about their Zinsser BIN Primer. The rep said it was fine over a sealed concrete floor and would have no problem sticking. The primer was used with a few shots of gray tint and looked great. The plan was to stop with the primer and not use a finish coat.

    Several weeks later I left a basement window opened, for two days, to freshen the air. Afterwards I noticed a slight condensation on parts of the floor near the window. I went to wipe up this light coat and all the primer came off on the towel. This was after the primer had dried for over a month. Immediately called Rustoleum and was told by their tech that BIN primer had shellac in it and was sensitive to puddles of water. I said no puddles just a very light condensation. His suggestion was to purchase a good non urethane floor paint and paint over the primer. We used a Behr product.

    Two weeks ago a contractor spilled some water on the floor. It must have been on the floor for about 3 minutes or less. I went to clean up with a towel and all the finish coat, and primer, came off.

    Spoke with Rustoleum, after following their techs suggestion for these last two steps, and was told they have never heard of such a problem with their product. I asked that they send a rep to view the floor. The answer was they have none to send out. How about a sales rep I said. They have never done that before.

    Suggestions offered by others include grinding the floor. reusing BIN primer, removing all the sealer, using Kilz Super Primer, removing all the paint, selling the house, etc. Can you imagine what would happen if my sump pump failed for a few hours in extremely rainy weather. How to clean up a floor with wet paint all over? All my equipment stands a chance of being damaged. Everything was moved out to do the job and all was returned afterwards.

    I would think there has got to be answer as to why this happened. Am I the only person since BIN has been on the market that has had this happen? I think the finish coat mixed with the primer left me with the same end result.

    I’ve got to do it right this time.

  2. Bill Kirchner Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 10:12 am

    We applied a DIY epoxy paint /kit to our unpainted concrete garage floor 3 months ago, yesterday we noticed peeling where the front tires of the cars would be. Is this from the heat of the tires ? also, in the last few days we have had rain which resulted in the car’s tires being wet as well as hot. The garage is above grade and we are living in Southern California..usually moderate temperatures etc. Can you offer any suggestions to prevent the peeling? Thanks

  3. Dave Gerson Says:
    August 4th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I used your garage floor epoxy and like it but have 2 small places that it came up do you have a repair kit in small amount so I don’t have to buy a whole gallon, I need it in a tan color.

  4. Ray Inman Says:
    February 9th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I have the gray two part epoxy and the floor is peeling i’m looking for a small amount of the paint to repair. i have stripped the floor two times in two years and the last time i purchase extra cleaner to make sure it clean. rinsed the floor 3 times with fresh water to make sure it was clean and do not want to strip for a third year in a row to make it look good

  5. Paddy Says:
    June 22nd, 2014 at 7:52 am

    I did not put the 2x extreme epoxy in the floor coating and now the floor coating will not dry. How can I fix this?

  6. Dale Jensen Says:
    July 25th, 2014 at 7:30 am

    We hired a person to apply the paint. And now its peeling. Do you have a repair kit for free? This wasn’t a cheap job and I thought it would have lasted a lot longer. :(

  7. Todd Says:
    July 28th, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Am about to apply 2-part epoxy coating to an old garage floor. I have pressure washed, and repaired a number of old crumbling areas with concrete. But… I applied the recommended bonding adhesive (Quikrete Concrete Bonding Adhesive) to and around those degraded areas first. So… will this bonding adhesive (seems like a sealer to me) interfere with this bonding process?

    Any advice welcome! And thanks!

  8. Barb Says:
    September 21st, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I have paint three times each time it peels up last time I was very careful to follow instruction and do it right three months later the whole floor peeled up your rep suggested applying bonding down this time please help I’m so tired of the flakes all over I need it done right thanks

  9. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    September 21st, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Barb,
    We give home improvement advice, we don’t have flooring representatives.

  10. dan Says:
    October 13th, 2014 at 11:56 am


  11. Doug Barber Says:
    October 21st, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Installed epoxy on my garage floor two months ago. Starting to peel where my two front tires are parked. How can I repair these two areas?

  12. Marlene Blankenship Says:
    November 4th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I installed epoxy paint on my garage floor and its starting to peel where my front tires are parked. How can I repair it.

  13. Don Says:
    March 20th, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I finished my garage floor with a two part epoxy paint and applied colored chips, then applied a clear coat. after two years the clear coat is dull looking and flaking where the sun hits it. Is there any way I can remove the clear coat in this area without damaging the paint underneath and install new clear coat?

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