How Do You Prepare a Garage Floor for Polyurea Coatings?

When applying garage floor coatings, preparation ensures the coatings adhere properly and promotes a higher quality, longer-lasting concrete coating. Preparation is critical to a successful high gloss application; you cannot skip it.

While you can apply polyurea or polyaspartic coatings yourself, hiring a professional team ensures optimal appearance and performance. If you need a concrete floor coating, we can help.

The Armor Coating Co. team explains the following preparation steps for the polyurea application process.

Step One: Etch the Concrete Floor

Etching the area encourages a strong adhesion between the garage floor and the polyurea. You’ll need to etch before applying any coating, from garage floor epoxy to polyaspartic.

Regardless of how you choose to etch your floor, the idea is to create tiny scratches on your concrete. Your coating then sinks into the scrapes, establishing a strong bond. You’ll require varying levels of roughness depending on the coating formulation.

The concrete roughness scale, known as the concrete surface profile (CSP), helps professionals determine what roughness they need. For thicker solutions, you need a higher CSP and vice versa.

We’ve explained the three main ways to etch your floor in the following:

Acid Etching

Acid etching uses an acid solution to chemically eat away at your floor in a controlled setting. Typically, acid etching produces CSP-1 or CSP-2, or smoother concrete. To acid etch your surface, you must follow these steps:

  • Thoroughly clean your surface of all debris and grease
  • Dampen the area
  • Distribute and scrub the acid solution on your concrete floor
  • Wash away all traces of acid and allow to dry

A professional should perform acid etching. Doing so without training can cause inconsistencies or harm your property and yourself.


To grind your floor, use a diamond-studded grinder and carefully go over every inch of the surface. Choose a course grit to ensure you rough the surface instead of smoothening it further. Professionals use diamond because it’s a hard enough substance to mar the concrete—lesser materials will not suffice.

There are two ways to grind your floor: wet and dry. Wet grinding requires water and eliminates dust. However, the dust gets replaced with mud, which is challenging to clean. Dry grinding creates large amounts of dust, so make sure you wear a mask.


Sandblasting requires spraying the surface with pressurized air and sand. This action gently erodes the concrete, giving you an ideal surface for coating. However, it takes knowledge and skill to get the right CSP rating.

Step Two: Fill in the Cracks

Depending on the type of floor and its age, you may need to fill in some large cracks before applying garage floor coatings. You’ll need concrete or a mix of polyurea and sand to do this step. Allow the repaired cracks to dry before moving on.

If you are applying over garage floor tiles or other types of garage floor, confirm with a professional before you begin. Each type requires varying preparation techniques, and one mistake could lead to costly repairs.

Step Three: Clean the Surface

Before applying anything and after the preparation steps, you must clean the garage floor. Cleanliness is critical; specks, dust, debris, or spills will affect the appearance and lifespan of the coating.

Clean the area with warm water, soap, vinegar, and a deck brush. Shop vac the remaining water and allow it to dry completely.

Step Four: Porosity Test

The final step requires a porosity test. Ensuring porosity allows the coating to absorb better and create a strong bond, which is essential for a long-lasting coating.

To test porosity, spray water on your clean, dry concrete surface. If the water absorbs within a minute, the concrete is porous; if it does not, you may need to prepare your floor again.

Proper Preparation for Your Garage Floor Coatings in Duluth

If you choose to forgo the preparation or do it incorrectly, you will experience problems with the application and appearance. Hot tire pickup is a common symptom of amateur applications or inferior materials.

Hot tires will ruin a low-quality, incorrectly applied, or overly thin floor coating. Choosing a reputable company helps eliminate this issue.

Some other problems with improper preparation are as follows:

  • Fisheyes
  • Cloudiness or blushing
  • Stickiness
  • Pealing

Prevent these unsightly blemishes with our help. Armor Coating Co. offers a 15-year warranty and ensures complete customer satisfaction with every job. Contact our team at (715) 934-9037 to learn more about garage floor coatings in Duluth, MN, or if you have any questions about our salt pit removal services.

How Much Do Your Concrete Floor Coatings Cost?

Each project is customized to your particular concrete flooring needs. Every job we do is different, because we offer different types of coatings and finishes.  We will work with you to develop a free estimate keeping your budget in mind. 

How Long Will The Concrete Coating Last?

We use the highest quality materials in our polyaspartic floor coatings and we’ve perfected our application process to make the concrete coating permanent.  Once completely cured and adhered, the concrete coating is meant to last as long as the substrate it’s adhered to.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Over Epoxy Floor Coatings?

Polyaspartic Floor Coatings dry more quickly than Epoxy Floor Coatings, and the finish is also more durable.  Our floor concrete coating finishes are also more slip-resistant and will not discolor like some Epoxy Floor Coatings.

How Long Do I Need To Stay Off My Concrete Floor Coating After It Is Installed?

Our flooring cures within a few hours, however our team of professionals recommends waiting at least 4-6 hours before walking on your brand new concrete coated flooring. After 12 hours, you can begin moving lightweight objects onto the flooring, like light patio furniture.  We recommend waiting a full 24 hours before moving anything heavy back into the area where we’ve applied the coating (your car, heavy equipment or furniture etc.).

Will My New Concrete Floor Coating Turn Yellow?

It sure won’t! Our concrete floor coverings will not yellow or discolor, because they are UV stable. This  one of the many benefits of using Polyurea or Polyaspartic floor coatings.

Will I Need To Reseal My Concrete Floor Coating?

If you follow our maintenance and cleaning guidelines, you should not have to worry about resealing the concrete floor coating. We offer a professional grade cleaner that will easily remove stains or tire marks, but will also preserve the life of your concrete coating topcoat.

How Long Does It Take You To Apply Concrete Floor Coatings?

We’ve perfected our 6-step application process, so most typical projects take between 5-10 hours depending on the square footage.  We pride ourselves in a one-day application, and will do everything possible to stay within that time frame.  Rainy weather can delay the project, but it is rare.

How Do I Care For My Concrete Floor Coating?

You can clean our concrete coatings with typical sweeping, mopping or steaming, and hoses.  We offer maintenance services should your concrete flooring ever need cleaning, however you can also use non-abrasive cleaners, like CLR, to remove grease or other stains. 

Will Oil Stain My Concrete Floor Coating?

Armor coatings are oil resistant as well as moisture resistant.

Who Invented Polyaspartic Coatings?

Bayer Material Science first developed Polyaspartic coatings in the 1990’s to protect steel bridges and infrastructure from rusting and corrosion. It has since been modified for different applications, once being durable concrete flooring coatings.

What Are Polyaspartic Concrete Coatings?

Polyaspartic Concrete coating is another name for Aliphatic Polyurea, which is a hybrid material consisting of ester and other materials. It was originally developed to coat metal bridges.  It was later used to coat concrete flooring due to its durability and moisture resistance. Polyurea is also used to coat truck bed liners.

Can Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Be Used Outside?

They sure can!  We offer wonderful solutions for driveways, patios, and even the area around the pool.  Our coatings are all UV stable, which will help prevent discoloration or flaking.

What Types Of Environments Can Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Be Used?

Polyaspartic flooring coatings can be used in a variety of environments.  The durability, slip resistant finish is fantastic for any industrial setting, storefronts, patios, or even driveways or garages.

How Are Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Applied?

We have perfected a six step process for applying Polyaspartic Floor Coatings that involves prepping the floor, basecoating, applying chips, scraping the chips, and applying the clear UV protective clear coat. 

Can I Apply Polyaspartic Floor Coatings In Cold Temperatures?

You can!  Polyaspartic floor coatings are safe to apply in temperatures as cold as -40 degrees.

How Long Do Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Take To Dry?

Our Polyaspartic Floor Coatings are engineered to rapidly cure, and can be dry in a matter of a few hours!  However, we recommend waiting at least 5-6 hours before walking on newly applied coating and 24 hours before moving heavy objects back onto the flooring.

Do I Need To Hire A Professional To Install Polyaspartic Floor Coating?

Installing Polyaspartic Floor Coating correctly is critical to the appearance and durability of your flooring.  Hiring a professional is the best way to ensure that your flooring will look amazing and last a lifetime! Our team at Armor Coatings is certified in Polyaspartic Floor Coating installation and have many years of experience.

Is It Possible To Cover Existing Epoxy Floor Coating With Polyaspartic Floor Coating?

It is!  Polyaspartic floor coatings are specially formulated for their incredible adhesion properties.  If you have existing patches of epoxy coating, our team can sand it down, vacuum, and wipe down the area with a solvent.  Once prepped, we will apply your new, superior, Polyaspartic Floor Coating