How to apply the first coat of epoxy on the floor?
Depending on which epoxy coating system you are installing, your first coat will be a primer coat or the color base coat. Contingent on the manufacturer, you will have approximately a 40 minute working window during perfect conditions. This window will shorten if the temperatures are warmer than ideal and lengthen if it’s cooler.
If you are applying polyurea, then you have plenty of time to get the product applied. In most cases, you will be working out of a paint tray. Be sure your chip brushes, rollers, and epoxy are staged and ready to go. If this is your color coat and you are applying vinyl color flakes, make sure they are staged and ready as well.
After the epoxy is mixed, immediately start pouring it out in a 1”-2” ribbon along the back border of its designated spot. Continue working the ribbon back and forth across the whole part until it’s all poured out.Do not pour the mix out over the minimum coverage rate for the amount mixed. For example, if you mixed 1.5 gallons to cover 200ft² – 250ft², pour the whole amount of epoxy out in ribbons up to 200 ft² of floor. Hence it’s the first coat and you don’t know how much epoxy the concrete will soak up initially, it’s best to start rolling for 200 ft² of coverage first. If you have additional epoxy left over after rolling the 200 ft², continue rolling on the additional 50 ft² if it allows without stretching it.Once poured out on the floor, start in the back corner and begin rolling it out. Be sure to preload your roller with a ribbon of epoxy first. This will remove air in the roller and alleviate the chances of rolling air bubbles into the coating. Take care to keep the roller loaded at all times. It’s OK to roll rather quickly.While the epoxy is being rolled out, the second installer should preload the chip brush and with his spiked shoes on, start cutting in at the edges. Once done, he can be ready to start mixing another batch of epoxy or start applying the optional vinyl paint chips over the parts of the floor that have been back rolled already.
Once you are done rolling out one area, it’s time to start back rolling. Back rolling the epoxy is important due to its help to eliminate bubbles, roller marks, application imperfections, and provides for a uniform thickness of the epoxy.
Start the back rolling process by rolling forward and then rolling back on the same track in a direction that is perpendicular (90 degrees) to the direction the epoxy was initially rolled out. Cover about 6’ or more in your pass letting the natural weight of the roller do the work. Make a second pass if necessary to smooth the epoxy out.At the end of your back roll, pick the roller up and move it over for your next pass while making sure to overlap the prior one. Continue across the floor this way until you have to start a new row, making sure the new row overlaps the prior row. It’s OK to walk on a back rolled part in your spiked shoes if necessary.
If you are using the 18” rollers, the initial application and back rolling will go almost twice as fast as the 9” rollers. It also reduces the amount of chances by almost half to create a roller line in the epoxy. If your first coat is the primer coat, it’s OK to spread it out a bit thin if you feel as though you are running out before you complete your first part or all over the floor. This can happen if the floor is more porous in certain areas and soaks up more primer. Do not spread the epoxy thin if it’s the color coat however. The color coat is the high build coat. Spreading it thin will reduce the durability of the floor and the appearance will not be as glossy which is noticeable. Don’t worry about the contraction joints or saw cuts when rolling. The roller should pull any additional epoxy out of the joint as long as they are not too deep. If the roller doesn’t, you can try the chip brush to push the additional epoxy out of the joints as you roll. Also, touch up any areas that need it immediately. If you wait till the back rolling is done before you touch up, the epoxy can become somewhat tacky and make the touched up spotsseem worse. If working alone, cut in with the chip brush first after pouring out the epoxy onto the floor. Work quickly and start rolling the epoxy after cutting in. After you are done back rolling you can start tossing color flakes if you are using them. Any remaining epoxy on the floor can be scooped up with a wide putty knife, drywall taping knife, or old dustpan and deposited into the mixing bucket for disposal. When done, you now have time to cleanup while your first coat cures. Remove the roller from the frame and throw it into the used mixing bucket. Throw the chip brush in there as well and let it all harden before you dump it in the trash.Don’t forget to use your rags and cleaning solvent to clean your spiked shoes, squeegee, roller frames, mixing paddle, and anything else that may have collected epoxy during the process.
Horizon Epoxy Floor, as a company of many years of experience in this field, has been doing the best to make the customers happy and satisfied. In case you are interested or you have any question we will be highly glad to hear from you.