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Epoxy paint does not dry

I had a contractor paint the basement floor with epoxy paint.  They damaged parts of it and repainted but those patches have not dried in about 3 weeks.  The patches look terrible.  What do I do to fix the floor?

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Posted 2011-12-24T21:01:01+0000  by DrBob DrBob

Hey DrBob,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


First off let me ask you a few questions, just so we can get a idea of fixing your floor.


  • What kind/brand of paint was the epoxy paint? Was it different paint  that the contractor put down than was originally on there? 
  • How large are these patches that are looking bad? 
  • Was the paint applied with a brush, roller, or other tool?
  • Were the areas that were damaged cleaned/primed/prepared in any way before the touch-up was done to it?
  • When you say it looks terrible, what exactly is it doing? Chipping? Bubbling? Warping? It's still soaking wet, or just tacky to the touch?

Please let us know these answers and we can get your floor fixed. Reasons the touch up areas that were covered by the new epoxy paint are now failing could have various issues with anything from moisture in the concrete slab to even improper mixing of the paint, if it is a 2 part epoxy.


Get back with us with more information and we can get you squared away on getting this fixed.




Posted 2011-12-24T21:16:28+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Wow.  Thanks. 

I have not asked the contractor about these questions as I'm trying to gather intelligence before I do.  What I know is the brand of paint is Sherwin-Williams Armorseal, Epoxy Floor covering.  The original was put down with a roller.  Then workers came back in two days and scratched and soiled the floor (I suspect before it fully cured).  Some spots seem to be rubbed as if an attempt to clean.  Those have dark spots in them.  Several places are painted over with a brush as you can see the brush strokes.  The new paint is lighter in cover and still tacky in almost every place after three weeks since applied.  I found one can of paint, part A , in the basement but can't find a second can for part B. I don't know what preparation was made before the repairs.  There are about two dozen repair patches spotted all over the floor.

Posted 2011-12-25T04:16:10+0000  by DrBob

Hello Dr. Bob!


Because The Home Depot does not sell the product you are using, I cannot address that product specifically.


But generally, I can address how our products are meant to be applied and how we have solved two problems similar to yours.


First, I should say that in my experience it is very uncommon for this type product to fail.


In nine years of helping customers with 2-part epoxy garage floor coatings, I have only had two customers experience problems similar to yours. In both cases, the installation instructions on the enclosed DVD were not followed.


I have shot this brief video to explain those two problems and their solutions.


Have a look.


So, as difficult at it may seem to remove the newly installed material, that is likely the only way to properly repair your floor.


Try denatured alcohol ... it produced the best results for my customer.


After removing the surface, be certain to review the installation instructions with your contractor before reinstalling the floor.


The Community is all about helping find solutions, so please come back and share your solution for this problem.

Posted 2011-12-27T17:01:17+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Thank you.  Before I can proceed, I need just a couple of clarifications.  First, the video does not load.  It shows "content unavailable."  Second, do I have to remove all of the painted surface or just where the bad spots are and then paint over the entire floor with a second coat?  Can you add a second coat directly on top of the first or does the first coat need to be treated in some way?

Posted 2011-12-27T18:04:37+0000  by DrBob

Dr. Bob,


Our Community Managers have posted the video on YouTube ... when you click the link in the answer above it should go to that page. After viewing the video, click the back arrow to return to The Community.


Essentially, what it says is that one customer didn't thoroughly mix the catalyst into the base and another added the citric acid etcher to the paint thinking it was for traction. In my experience using several gallons of Denatured Alcohol and several packages of terry towels was the easiest way to remove the gummy product from the floor.


Please keep in mind that your questions relate to a product we do not sell.


Again, referencing our products, Rust-Oleum recommends spot repairing tire pickup by removing the surface coating around the spot(s) by sanding, removing the sanding dust, cleaning with the etching solution, and then applying the new coating to the spot only.


They also offer the option of abrading the entire surface, removing the dust, cleaning with the etching solution, and then recoating the entire floor.


A third option would be using a "diamond blade etcher" that removes the old coating as well as a thin layer of the concrete floor ... this is an alternative to etching with an acid solution. This mechanical tool is available at many of our Tool Rental Departments.


Since you will purchase the entire kit just to patch a few spots, I prefer one of the two options for recoating the entire floor.


NOTE: I never recommend mixing products from different manufacturers on the same surface. So if you decide to spot treat the floor, I recommend you continue with the product originally used on the floor.

Posted 2011-12-27T18:22:21+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Again, thanks for the answers and I'm amazed at how prompt.  I am totally impressed by your service.  Let's consider this a solution and I will propose to the contractor the options and see what happens.   I'll come back to check the video later.


Posted 2011-12-27T18:41:20+0000  by DrBob

Thanks Dr. Bob!


It is always difficult to address products from manufacturers we don't represent, so I appreciate your spirit of working within general instructions toward a solution.


We tried numerous other solvents, but Denatured Alcohol proved to work best to remove that gummy residue.


Happy New Year!!!

Posted 2011-12-27T19:03:32+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Again, thanks.  I will keep you posted on what happens.

Posted 2011-12-27T21:28:43+0000  by DrBob

My husband deals with epoxysand said the product may have been old and if it has not dried yetit more than likely won't... he suggested grinding it off (which works but is not fun)... good luck.... have the contractor fix it

Posted 2011-12-28T02:15:14+0000  by becnscott2

The Sherwin Wiliams tech sheet lists the shelf life of this product as only 18 months. If I had to hazzard a quess, however, it would be that they got the mix wrong. Too little catalyst will greatly slow down the cure. Humidity and cool temps will also slow down the cure. When I had to two coat with a two part epoxy, the same batch could be used at different times  if the batch were cooled down to mid 30 degrees. The chemical process just stops at those temps! 


The solvents (reducers) for most epoxies are either acetone or MEK ( Home Depots is a water base). I would have tried these in an attempt to remove the tacky areas. Another possiblilty would be to mix a small batch of the material that was used and recoat the areas, hoping that the hardeners in the new coat would be sufficient to transfer down to the tacky coat and harden it too.


One concern is for proper ventilation and fire safety in an enclosed basement. MEK and Acetone are flammable. They are also not the greatest to be breathing in high concentrations.You would definitely want to extinquish possible sources of ignition such as pilot lights or electronic ignitions.


I would concur that the only way this floor is going to end up looking really good is to re-coat the whole area. Scuffing up the old surfaces is definitely in order to aid in adhesion of the new coat. I would think "screening" the surface, as the hardwood floor guys do, would be suffiicient. However, I am a firm believer of following the manufactureres's instructions. If all else fails, read the directions!  :)

Posted 2012-01-09T04:43:46+0000  by ordjen
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