12-18-2013 07:31 PM
Thank you for your question and welcome to our community. Happy Holidays!
Your first task will be to determine if you have a water base epoxy or a solvent base. Take a small cutting (1 inch X 1 inch or larger) and bring it to your local Home Depot paint desk and check with one of the paint specialists there to find out if you have a solvent or water-based epoxy.
Once this has been determined, you will want to purchase your stripping solution. Your next step will be to prepare your floor for stripping. To be extra care full, you might want to remove all furnishings and window coverings from the room to prevent them from being splashed with the stripper or absorbing any of the fumes.
Sweep the floor thoroughly and do a light damp mop to remove the finer dust. Allow the area to dry. Open all the windows and doors into the area for maximum ventilation. Be sure that you have the proper safety gear before starting this project such as goggles, rubber gloves and a painter’s mask.
Once the floor has been prepared and you have all of your safety gear on, apply the stripper. Either pour or spray the stripper on, starting in the farthest corner from the doorway or other exit. Cover an area about 4ft X 4ft at a time. Use a string mop or a fiber mop to move the stripper around. Do not use a sponge rubber type of mop. Spread the stripping solution around the whole area evenly.
Your next step will be to close the area up and let the solution set for 24 hours or whatever is recommended by the manufacturer. After the prescribed period of time has passed, open up the doors and windows again to vent out all the fumes. Use a good electric venting fan to help remove he fumes. Point it toward the closest window. Put your protective gear back on and be sure to use a fresh painter’s mask!
Use a long handled scraper to remove the layer of epoxy. Start at one edge of the room and move toward the door. Try to do just one row at a time, cleaning off an area about twice the width of the scraper blade. Be sure to scoop the epoxy waste the proper container for safe disposal. Re-apply the sections of the epoxy that do not come off. Follow the same procedure as above.
Once the epoxy has been removed, rinse the floor with cool water if it is a water base or follow the instructions on the package for a solvent based epoxy. Allow the area to dry. You are now ready to apply your new epoxy!
Please let us know if you have any further questions. Be sure to take a video of your project and share it with us in our Project Library.
I’m a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
12-19-2013 01:15 AM
A second option for removing old paint from concrete is by use of a concrete grinding machine. Such machines look somewhat like a floor buffer, but where the polishing brushes would be, they are replaced with grinding stones. These machines are actually what companies that specialize in finishing garage floors often use to prepare the surface. The machine not only removes old finishes, but abraids the slick concrete to assure that the new epoxy finish will bond well. Failing to bond to a slick concrete surface is a prime reason many concrete floor paints fail.
Grinding machines will raise some dust, but does not leave paint stripper "gunk" to be removed and rinsed off. Once vacumned clean, the surface is ready for finishing without having to wait for the concrete to dry.
Such machines can be rented at the nearest Home Depot Rental Center. The rental cost is off set by the chemical stripper and supplies not neccessary if the chemical stripper option is used.
12-19-2013 08:49 AM - edited 12-19-2013 08:51 AM
You cannot get better help that you find here on The Community!
Although Rick and Ordjen have recommended different approaches, both have given you a pathway to success.
Rick's process requires more "elbow grease."
Ordjen's process uses a diamond blade etcher which is proven by flooring pros every day.
If I chose a quick and easy pathway to success, I'd select the diamond blade etcher from Tool Rental.
The machine looks like a lawn mower and has a vacuum canister attached to help pick up dust and debris.
Keep in mind that this tool will "dig a hole" if left stationary ... so keep moving and cut only deep enough to remove the surface layer.
This tool also has numerous blades designed to cut progressively harder surface coatings.
Finally, be prepared to add weight to the top of the machine for more firm contact with the floor.
When using this tool, I would also recommend using a shop vac afterwards to ensure you pick up all the dust and debris before recoating your floor.
I am a Home Depot Paint Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.