What paint to use on Workshop floor?

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Aug 20, 2018
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I have just had a double garage built to become my new workshop. The floor is currently just smooth cement.

What paint should I use?

I got a quote for a thin and thick layer of epoxy coverings, but it is way out of my price range, like $1000. Also, if a drop a shard heavy metal piece on it (it happens!), it will be gouged and difficult to repair.

What sot of paint should I use. I have an old Shaublin 160 lathe that drops a lot of oil on the floor, so the paint should not be affected by oil.

Someone suggested oil-based stoop paint.

I would be grateful for any suggestions.
I would like to take you back a step. Paint may not be the best solution. Perhaps you should first ask what makes a good workshop floor.

In My last two shops I have covered the concrete with water resistant, interlocking, flooring grade chipboard (particle board). It is more comfortable under foot. Offers some insulation (presumably unimportant in Florida) and it does not damage, and is not much damaged by, things dropped. It absorbs oil. But, I don't know if it is a product available where you live.
Of the 2 floors I have done. One was in a high end industrial syntactic epoxy, this was a hassle to apply and highly toxic. Marked easy and all around a failure! The second was done in a basic water borne 2 part epoxy from the same company as the first. So far it has been very good. Yes it will chip when you drop something. All painted floors show every bit of dirt, I’m a bit of a clean freak so I actually like this as I can keep it cleaner! It prevents the normal stains that you get on a bare concrete floor and makes it easy to clean. Choice of colour is also nice although I have gone for a concrete gray anyway. Have not done any repairs to it yet, but don’t expect it to be to bad to touch up. Hope to be doing a 3rd floor soon and will most likely go for the same as the second.

Congratulations on the new workshop, please share some pictures. I think we all love pictures!
Unless you are ready to spend about 10 grand on a professionally done coating I wouldn't paint it.
If it were mine I'd spray it with a good cement sealer so oil doesn't stain it as quickly and fine dust sweeps up better and leave it at that.
I'm with Justin on this. Paint looks good for a few months then peals or comes off in some way. Epoxy is a good solution but expensive and some systems just don't work as noted above. Interlocking rubber is good but you really need the machines to be on a hard surface so its messy going around the machines. I always seal the concrete - several times - and have no dust. Its much cheaper and to my mind just works.
Congrats on the new shop.
In my case, I have a basement shop, I just sealed the concrete with three coats of sealer and let it dry well. It is important that the concrete be well cured if new or the sealer can chip or flake off. Then I put down the heavy rubber/plastic liner used to back shower stalls. It is available from my local Lowes or Home Depot by the foot. This keeps any oil from getting to the concrete and staining it, is easy to clean up and gives some protection to the floor and the parts in the event of a drop. I have been in this shop for about 6 years and so far it has worked great.
Thanks for the advice.
Cement sealer seems a good option. Can you recommend a product?
Fifteen years ago I painted the heated 40 m2 of my concrete shop floor with the cheapest possible outdoor concrete paint in 50/50 mix of green and grey. It has stood the test of time very well. It is easy to clean inclusive the generous amounts of oil that drip off my on 50 - 80 year old machines, mixed with a fair amount of cutting oil. A touch-up every 2 years suffices. The other unheated 60 m2 of my shop has a floor of hexagon industrial strength tiles. I remember that all floors in all the machineshops of Philips (employing 400.000 people in its heyday of which 25.000 in the machineshops worldwide) consisted of parquet floors for machines, i.e. blocks of 2 inches thick end grain hardwood, laid in a bitumen underfloor on a concrete base. Philips considered this pleasant for the workers and forgiving for any dropped parts or tools. But I find the cost even for my small homeshop prohibitive so I would advise simple concrete paint of an outdoor quality.

shopfloor concrete paint.JPG

shopfloor concrete hexagon tiles.JPG
the most important things to have in your new garage are insulated walls and ceiling !!!, lots of good bright lighting !!!, and lots of power outlets including some 220 2-phase !!!. my floor isn't even level (I have to put shims under one corner of my mill so it doesn't rock!), the floor is bare concrete and the last thing I worry about. My garage is so full of junk it looks like tornado aftermath, on the other hand I do sometimes envy folks that have clean room garages.

I really like one previous comment about laying down pressboard sheeting, I have bench top machines inside my house for small work, the house has wood floors, and it really helps avoid damage to dropped tools etc (plus when you drop a small screw you can hear it hit and tell where it went), but then I'd want to spend a fortune sealing the wood so maybe not so good.
Some interesting comments. I also use Rustoleum concrete sealer which ,being clear, can be applied after the machines are in place. I have often wondered how I would have treated the floor when the shop was initially empty - a bit academic but I still wouldn't use paint. I am however impressed with clockworks paint - may I ask - do you work in fluffy slippers to protect the paint?
Thank you for your kind words. I'm not really into fluffy slippers, but every time when my dog seeks another spot from which to watch my doings she will accumulate a rich mix of chips, dust and oil and thus clean part of the floor. Normally my wife requests a clean dog in the house itself, but not around Christmas as we like the glittering reflection of candle light in the shiny brass and aluminium chips that cling to the dog.

Mascha the dog.JPG
Not only am I impressed by the condition of your paint but also by how clean the floor is. Clearly the dog uses it's tail to sweep up any reluctant chippings!

After BREXIT we were released from the EU requirement to keep out floors clean - maybe as a country that's why we are in trouble BUT people still seem to want to come here in small boats..............

Hope the dog doesn't mind when the compressor fires up - mine makes quite a din!
As a matter of fact my old leaky very noisy compressor gave me such a fright every time it kicked in that it caused several rejects by my involuntary movements. The new one is low noise, and yes, the dog also appreciates it.

Low noise compressor.JPG
Interesting. I have a similar size Draper compressor with direct drive to twin cylinders. It is noisy (I don't have the dBA to hand) but I throttle the blow gun down to around 15psi for general use and use the second full pressure outlet for my sand blaster. Compressor does get hot with sand blaster and there is a smell of hot rubber which I have not located - Draper cannot help!

I am hoping that my sand blaster mods (media management and adjustable air feed to the mixing chamber) will allow for a lower air flow.

BTW I am thinking of fitting an automatic timed tank drain to replace the screw which I have to admit is seldom used!

Back to the noise. With 15psi the tank fill lasts for my complete workshop session. Compressor is initially powered up when the lathe is powered.

Like the dog!

Some years ago I painted my concrete shop floor with bright red epoxy. I had read somewhere that it was a good color because it made it easy to spot dropped parts. It was kind of cheery too. Problem was it showed dusty foot prints in excess. I ended up repainting with a beige like my dirt. I left the red around the edges and it looked kind of cool and saved paint.
I trust that this red floor was not a political statement!!!! I am not sure which way Wyoming leans.
My experience of epoxy floor (light blue as I recall) was that it had a very high non-slip characteristic to the extent that people fell over their feet. The floor seemed to grab the rubber compound of the safety boots and made for very unpleasant walking. In the end the floor was waxed to introduce a degree of slipping! FYI it was light blue in Atlanta, Georgia.

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