What is the difference between epoxy coatings and epoxy paints

Epoxy Coatings vs. Epoxy Paints for Garage Floors:

This article will cover the difference.

Many factors go into deciding the best product to use for a given project. After all, if you’re doing it yourself, you want to get it right. And if you’re hiring an experienced contractor, you want to make sure that they get it right.

When your project is applying a protective finish on to your garage floor, should you use an Epoxy Coating or Epoxy Paint? This article will cover the difference.

The truth about Epoxy Paints and Coatings.
The challenge in choosing which of these finishes to use for your garage floor is that a product labeled Epoxy Paint might actually be an Epoxy Coating.

The truth is that Epoxy Paints and Epoxy Coatings are NOT one and the same. Why the two names then? Consumers began to use ‘Epoxy Coating’ and ‘Paint’ interchangeably. The more people began to say “Epoxy Paint,” the more manufacturers and retailers marketed their products as such. Typically, a garage floor paint is a latex acrylic product. Many of the well-known paint manufacturers do offer paint which is blended with epoxy resin and refer them to 1-part epoxy paint. This allows for better adhesion and durability, but is not an epoxy coating by any means.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what is an Epoxy Coating?

An Epoxy Coating is an epoxy resin combined with a polyamine hardener. The two have to be mixed together prior to being applied. Once mixed, you have only a certain amount of time to apply. The resin is what gives Epoxies their color. Without color, it would go on as a clear coating.

Why is an Epoxy Coating ideal for finishing and protecting garage floors?

Epoxy Coatings create a very hard, strong, chemical resistant and durable surface. They can withstand heavy abrasion, chemicals and staining, grease and oil in a garage, and of course, vehicles themselves.

The real question to ask:

What percentage of solids should you look for?
This is the real question to ask when deciding the right product for you. After all, percentage of solids is what determines how easy the coating is to apply, how durable a finish you’ll end up with, and what you’ll be spending.


Essentially, percentage of solids means how much of the epoxy product (whether solvent or water-based) will evaporate during the curing process, and consequently, how much of the actual product will be on the floor in the form of protection when all is said and done.

100% solids epoxy— 100% of the product is on the floor after it's applied and dried.

50% solids epoxy — 50% of the product is on the floor after it's applied and dried.

The greater the percentage of solids, the thicker the final layer of protection.
After all, the less that evaporates, the greater the layer of protection you’ll have left, and vice versa.

However, the thickness of a 100% solids Epoxy mix makes it harder to apply, and once mixed, you have less of a window to apply it. An Epoxy Coating with a lower percentage of solids content offers a thinner layer of protection, but because the mix itself is more viscous, it’s easier to apply.

Dry Film Thickness (DFT) — In technical terms, the final thickness of your protection is known as DFT. The greater the solids content, the greater the DFT.

Are DIY Epoxy Paint Kits from typical Home Improvement Stores any good?
These kits are easy to buy, more affordable, and can be applied as easy as paint. So what’s the problem?

To begin with, they may not be a 'true epoxy coating'. The main backbone chemistry may be latex based. They contain very low amount of solids content. So you’re getting what you pay for — a product that may be easier to apply, but because the solids content is so much lower, your protective coat will be much thinner. It might only give you a DFT of 4-5mils (1 mil = 1/1000th inch).

The real problem with these kits is that the thinner the coat, the less durable it is, and the lifespan of your garage floor finish will be short compared with an Epoxy coating with a higher solids content. The average lifespan these kits offer is only 1-2 years.

So is a more expensive kit worth it?
Because of its higher solids content and the chemistry involved in formulating these products, it is considered a true Epoxy Coating. Our Epoxy Coatings give you a thicker, more durable, longer-lasting surface, and come in various color options. The thickness of protection you’ll have is 20-25 mil, a good 4-5 x thicker than the kits found in commercial DIY stores. That means it’s also about 4-5x more durable and could last you close to 10 years if properly maintained. That’s a big difference.

The long-term value of purchasing a system with a higher solids content.
Because our quality Epoxy Coating lasts so much longer and won’t need to be replaced every few years, while initially more expensive, in the long run it will save you money.

Another major advantage of a higher solids content Epoxy Coating —
Hot tire pick up resistance.

The third big advantage of a higher solids content coating is something called ‘hot tire pick up resistance’. Tires get hot. When you pull out a vehicle with hot tires on a garage floor with a thin, cheap coating, the paint will stick to the tire and pull it right off of the substrate. Our higher solids content coatings won’t stick and delaminate from the substrate when pulling out a vehicle that’s been parked all night.

In the final analysis…

The higher the solids content of your Epoxy Coating, the higher the likelihood you’ll have garage flooring protection designed to last.


Please follow the link below to watch the installation of a true, professional grade epoxy coating system for your garage floor.

Garage Floor Installation Video.

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