Rawlins Paints distribute and manufacture a wide range of epoxy paints, which are heavy duty and hard wearing, economical surface coatings - most commonly used in the UK to finish concrete floors. These specialist floor paints offer excellent chemical and water resistance – making them ideal for large-scale industrial use. Mostly, epoxy floor paints come as a two-pack - containing an epoxy resin (base) and a co-reactant hardener (curing agent). The two are mixed together at an exact ratio, allowed to stand for a specified period, and then applied to floors, or other applicable surfaces. It is important that the epoxy coating is applied to the surface within the specified time (per product), and before that timeframe expires.
Rawlins Paints stock a wide range of epoxy floor paints, from manufacturers including Rust-Oleum, 3M, Sika, Coo-Var, Blackfriar and more in a wide range of colours. Each product will containapproximate coverage rates. These floor paints can transform a showroom floor with a new, striking colour and finish in a single weekend – ideal for the look and longevity of the surface, its chemical resistance and durability, as well as the cost of a major upgrade to your flooring system.
Please read the technical information on each product page, and download the datasheet to check that the paint is suitable for your requirements. When the two packs are properly catalysed and applied to the floor, they will produce an industrially hard finish that is both oil, chemical and solvent resistant. Each product listed here will have different drying and curing times, as well as some being more heavily textured than others.
A correctly prepared surface will ensure the successful application of an epoxy paint coating – but there are some checks that need to be done first, namely the condition of the surface which is being painted.
For warehouse floors, or heavy vehicular use areas which have succumbed to oil spillage, water pooling and general surface wear and tear, it is advised to assign sufficient surface preparation time. It could take up to a day for larger square metre flooring to have its oil spots removed, with a high quality cleaning/degreaser product.
Small square foot concrete floors may need adhesion promoting primers, or etching with a mild acid, before the surface being thoroughly scrubbed clean. It is generally recommended by manufacturers that concrete floors are prepared using methods including shot-blasting or diamond grinding. There is a very informative article on our knowledgebase blog which details professional floor preparation methods:
“This article aims to outline some of the most common principles of surface preparation when preparing a substrate to receive a resin flooring system. Whilst outline information on the methods and equipment used to prepare surfaces is included within this guide, it is recommended that advice is sought from specialist surface preparation companies.”
If sufficient surface preparation is not undertaken, it may result in an unsuccessful application of epoxy floor paint. Please contact us for additional technical support for concrete floor surface preparation, or leave a question on the linked-to knowledgebase post.
Once the floor has been successfully cleaned and etched, it may be time to fix cracks and small holes, ready for the application of the first coat of epoxy paint. Be sure to clean the surface after holes and cracks have been filled in – vacuuming or sweeping away dust and debris from concrete surface repair work.
It is important to check for damp problems in the concrete before applying epoxy floor paint. If there is dampness in the concrete, (coming either from the ground or a freshly laid slab still drying out) not all epoxy floor coatings will be suitable. In these circumstances its best to seek advice from our Technical Department to see what options are available for damp proof primers, epoxy systems that can be applied to newly laid concrete, etc.
Drop a small amount of water on to the floor to check if a concrete sealer has previously been applied (check whether water beads up when applied to the surface – if it does, then it’s likely a concrete sealer has been used on the surface). This must be dealt with appropriately, depending on the system you wish to use it may need to be removed completely.
The moisture content of a substrate should always be checked prior to application. Various methods can be used but we would recommend a combination of digital moisture meters, core samples and an easy initial test with no expense is to tape down a plastic bag to the concrete floor for 24 hours. When removed, if it is dry underneath, then an epoxy floor paint can be applied. However, if there are moisture droplets under the plastic covering, there is a damp issue, whose pressure will break the bond between the coating and the floor. This should give a good indication of whether further investigation needs to be done or primers, etc. need to be used.
Newly laid concrete (slabs) will need to be left between 28 days and 2 months for the floor to fully cure and be dry enough for the epoxy coating to be applied depending on depth.
Further application directions will be contained within product datasheets – such as air temperature and exposure from weather conditions.
Generally, the best epoxy coatings available and mainly used by professionals, Solvent Free 100% solids epoxy coatings do not contain any evaporating solvents, making their layer thickness much higher build, extremely hard wearing, very fast curing, low odour and very chemically resistant to name but a few advantages. Because there is no solvent to escape during the drying process, solvent free 100% solids epoxy coatings mean that whatever thickness you apply the coating at wet, will be the thickness it dries at.
Solvent based epoxy floor paints’ solvents (VOC’s) can be potentially hazardous and it is recommended that these products are used by professionals, or experienced operators. Personal application equipment is essential when handling these coatings – respirators can be purchased from here. If, for example, solvent based epoxy floor paints are being applied to a garage floor, the area must be well ventilated and any person in the vicinity must also wear respirators.
Solvent based epoxy floor paints are primarily used in heavily industrial facilities, and major manufacturers include Rust-Oleum, Jotun and Sika. Typically, these solvent based paints contain between 40 to 60 percent solid epoxy – to be mixed with the curing agent.
Water based epoxy resin floor paints, or water dispersed epoxy resin floor paints as they’re sometimes referred to, are considered by many users to be the best floor painting application system. One of the main reasons for their tag of being one of the best floor paints is that they contain little or no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) – otherwise known as dangerous solvents. Due to this, the paint can be applied in ‘occupied’ work areas, such as on factory or warehouse floors. They are also not sensitive to naked flames, which has led to them being very popular in garages which conduct welding work.
Suitable for a range of flooring, from domestic to industrial, and light traffic up to commercial heavy vehicular use properties, water based epoxy resin floor paints are an industry favourite for their wide range of uses, low cost and high performance.
The ‘build’ of a coating refers to the thickness of the dried epoxy film, and it may be recommended with some epoxy paints that two coats are applied. Higher solid content epoxy coatings will give a higher build.
Epoxy crack filler is also available for small cracks and holes, or spalled areas.
Winter Grade epoxy floor paints should be used during the colder months of the year to ensure good drying times and product performance is maintained. Also ideal for use in lower than average temperature areas such as walk-in freezers, cold storage facilities, etc. (predominantly for food production and packaging factories).
The two parts (base and curing agent) that are mixed together must contain the correct proportions, and be allowed to stand for the recommended time – in which the co-reactant will begin to harden the epoxy resin, ready for application. If you require any technical support with the mixing, or standing time of epoxy paint, please contact Rawlins Paints prior to attempting to mix the two parts.
Epoxy paint rolls to leave a smooth finish - due to being both thicker and stickier than standard floor paints – which is easy to clean and maintain high levels of hygiene. To create a non-slip or anti-skid coating, paint additives can be applied to ‘break-up’ the glossy surface on the second coating and add grit to the finish. This is a common process for floor areas that may get wet or slippery – such as in kitchen or food preparation areas, floor surfaces exposed to the elements, and where there may be chemical or oil spills – such as in garages and warehouses which use forklift trucks.
Epoxy paints can be extremely durable, and are suitable for small projects and floor spaces (such as cellars), but more widely recognised as a floor coating for industrial and factory settings, where its hygienic, durable and easy maintenance qualities come to the fore.
Workshop, garage, warehouse and showroom floors would benefit considerably from the use of epoxy floor paints as opposed to standard medium use floor paints, especially if there will be vehicular use on the floor spaces. If you have recently painted the flooring of your facilities and are needing a heavy duty coating, that is water and chemically resistant, epoxy floor paint can be directly coated over many existing surfaces – always check the datasheets for suitability on existing floor coatings.
Once cured, some epoxy floor paints are perfect for commercial food preparation areas. There are certain products that specialise in food safe versions which will not taint or ‘pollute’ unwrapped products.
Epoxy paints can be used for a wide range of non-industrial purposes, such as within the leisure industry. Swimming pool paint is often an epoxy coating, to be resilient to chemicals within the water (chlorine). It can also be used on metal and bathtubs within changing room facilities.
Epoxy resin floor paints are not UV stable, and will require a UV stable topcoat if used externally or internally, but open to the elements. Externally, under UV light, epoxy paints 'chalk' - this means they will begin to lose their colour, fading with a white stain appearing on the surface. After going through the full process of applying epoxy floor paints externally, finish the job professionally with a UV stable topcoat.
Rawlins Paints also distribute other epoxy paints, and not simply for floors. Epoxy paints could also be used, for example, on other domestic tasks, such as counter tops. On larger scale projects, they can be used on pressure vessels, pipes and recreational equipment – roller coasters and park benches for example.
Also known for being used as a ‘plastic’ laminating resin, epoxy coatings are also used in the automotive industry, on aircrafts and boats – acting as a primer that improves the adhesion of top coats. Considered a primary construction material, they can be used as a sheathing applicant for hulls, or to replace water-damaged polyester resins on high-speed boats.
As epoxy paints are rust-resistant, they can be found on metal cans, white goods, golf clubs, skis, moulds and master models, casting, fixtures and other industrial production aids.
For more information about health and safety when using epoxy resin paints, please contact Rawlins Paints’ technical support team.