Welcome to our article about whether you can epoxy over sealed concrete.
This is a question that many people have when they are considering epoxy flooring. In this article, we’ll answer your questions and show you what the best ways are to apply epoxy over sealed concrete. It’s important to note that the process is different if you are epoxying an outdoor space vs. a garage, bathroom or basement floor (although much of it will be the same). We’re going to give you several options depending on your needs and budget so that you can find the best process for your situation.
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Can you epoxy over sealer?
In general, yes you can epoxy over sealer—but it’s not quite that simple. There are a few things to watch out for:
- The surface of the sealer must be rough. If the finish is too smooth, the epoxy won’t adhere well. We recommend using a floor grinder with a coarse tooling for this project.
- The sealer must be completely cured. For most sealers, this is about 7 days from application or according to the manufacturer’s technical data sheet provided by the product manufacturer. You can also use an infrared meter to test for moisture levels in concrete floors before installing an epoxy coating system on top of them. Just point your infrared meter at the floor and wait a few seconds to get your results!
- The sealer must be compatible with the epoxy coating system you’re using (or vice versa depending on which was installed first). Some sealers and coatings are incompatible with each other even when fully cured, so make sure you do your research ahead of time so you don’t run into any problems later!
How do you prepare sealed concrete for epoxy?
If you want to apply an epoxy coating to a large surface—like the floor in your garage or basement—you’ll need to prepare the concrete. Giving the surface a good cleaning and sanding down any bumps is a great start, but if there’s sealant on the concrete, you’ll need to take additional steps. By following these simple preparations, you can ensure that your finished product will be strong and have long-lasting durability.
- Remove sealer from concrete
- Clean surface with water
- Sand down any bumps
- Apply etcher as per manufacturer’s instructions
- Rinse off etcher thoroughly with water
- Wait until surface is completely dry before applying epoxy!
Do I need to seal concrete before epoxy?
It is not recommended to seal concrete with a sealer before epoxy. If you are sealing the concrete with a sealer before the epoxy, this can cause the epoxy not to form a good bond to the surface and may cause delamination from the slab.
Here are some reasons why you should not seal concrete before an epoxy coating:
- Epoxy needs to sit on top of pores in order for moisture vapor transmission (MVT) to release
- Concrete has pores that need to be filled with epoxy so it can adhere properly
- Sealers do not allow for MVT release which can lead to bubbles and blisters forming under your epoxy
Can sealed concrete be painted?
Can sealed concrete be painted? The answer is yes! However, unlike unsealed concrete, which can be painted right away, the sealer must first be etched to allow the paint to adhere. There’s no need to completely remove the sealer before applying a new coat of paint; etching is simply scratching or abrading the surface so that it is no longer smooth.
Etching also creates a key for the new paint layer or coating, making it easier for subsequent layers of coverage to stick and remain in place. Etching requires a very specific process because certain chemical cleaners that are placed on top of flooring may actually damage its surface.
Can you paint on top of sealed concrete?
Fortunately, if you’re getting ready to do any painting on top of sealed concrete, the answer is a resounding yes. Painting over sealed concrete will in no way harm or negate your previous efforts at sealing it, and it can go a long way toward protecting the surface from future damage as well. However, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind when you prepare for this task. Let’s take a look at what they are!
How do you remove sealer from concrete?
The short answer to this is: no. Here’s why:
If you’ve already applied a sealer to the concrete, there are three options for removing the sealer. Option one is mechanical removal, which includes grinding and sanding. This method will work if you have a very thin layer of sealer on your surface. You can also etch or sandblast the top layer of your concrete with a very fine abrasive media like garnet or aluminum oxide.This option works best when you’re dealing with an older slab that has never been sealed before and has just developed some sort of finish on its surface otherwise, such as a polish or shine from use and wear.
The second option is chemical stripping, which involves using a chemical stripper to remove the coating. This method uses hazardous chemicals and creates hazardous waste (which can be expensive) so it should never be done by anybody who isn’t experienced in handling these materials safely and professionally trained in their use.
The third option is called “peel-n-stick” removal; this requires that you peel off any top layer of sealant from your concrete using an adhesive remover such as Goof Off™ (not recommended because it will release harmful fumes). You then apply an epoxy overtop before applying your primer coat. I would only recommend doing this if there’s no other way around it—it sounds dangerous!
Does power washing remove concrete sealer?
The short answer is no. Sure, it will remove most of the surface sealer and you’ll think that it’s all gone, but after it dries, you’ll notice some spots where the finish looks rough and uneven. Those are the deep-down spots that your power washing didn’t reach. You could go over it again with the pressure washer, but unless you’re using a machine designed for paint removal—and in that case, why would you need to strip concrete sealer?—it will be difficult to get into those fine cracks and crevices. Also, even if your pressure washer does come equipped with paint stripping capabilities, this method is likely more expensive than sandblasting or chemical strippers anyway.
Will epoxy stick to smooth concrete?
You might be asking yourself, “Will epoxy stick to smooth concrete?” The simple answer is yes.
Epoxy floor paint can adhere to any type of concrete, so long as you prepare the surface properly. You’ll need to fix any cracks or holes and prime the floor with a special primer made for the concrete. If you’re looking for something specific, you should find an epoxy that’s also designed for the type of flooring you’re working with. For example, if your garage has a smooth concrete finish, then it should be easy to use these types of products!
So, can you epoxy over sealed concrete?
The answer is yes, depending on the type of sealant used. A water-based sealer should be compatible with most epoxies. An oil-based sealer will need to be removed before the application of your epoxy floor coating.