What is Epoxy Paint and What is it Used For?

epoxy

If your floors are starting to look a little dull, a coat of epoxy paint could be all that’s needed to restore their luster. Whether we’re talking bathrooms, pool rooms, or garages, epoxy paint’s superb durability and high shine qualities can come immensely in handy. But what exactly is it? And what, while we’re on the subject, is the difference between epoxy paint and epoxy coating? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Epoxy Paint?

Epoxy paint was originally designed for industrial purposes, but thanks to its excellent durability and wide array of uses, it’s since become as widely used in residential settings as commercial ones. In essence, it’s a product that contains both acrylic paint and epoxy in the mix. The acrylic component allows the paint to be customized into as many different colors as regular paint, while the epoxy adds an extra layer of durability that goes far beyond the remit of latex or acrylic paint. It also offers excellent resistance to chemical and oil stains, heat, and damage, as well as being easy to clean and maintain – hence its widespread use in garages, workrooms, and areas of high traffic.

What Is Epoxy Paint Used For?

As DoItYourself.com points out, epoxy paint has numerous practical applications. Thanks to its high shine and excellent durability, it’s often used in…

Garages and Workrooms

Garages and workshops are the ideal environments for epoxy paint. Regular paint can easily and quickly wear out from the stresses and strains of cars driving in and out and constant footfall. Epoxy can stand up to a lot of abuse. If you spill some oil or drop a spanner, you won’t need to worry about damaging the paint.

Bathrooms and Saunas

Any paint used in a bathroom or sauna will have to stand up to water, moisture, and in the case of saunas, a tremendous amount of heat. Regular paint simply isn’t up to the challenge. Epoxy paint, on the other hand, most definitely is. If you rather not be constantly touching up flaking, peeling paint, epoxy makes a wise choice.

Pool Rooms

Like bathrooms, indoor pool rooms are subject to a high amount of moisture. If you don’t want that moisture to ruin your paintwork, epoxy paint is a solid option.

Commercial Buildings

By and large, commercial buildings are subject to a lot more wear and tear than residential properties. With so many people coming and going, latex or acrylic paint can quickly crack under the pressure. Epoxy paint will put up a much bigger fight before it succumbs to damage.

What are the Pros and Cons of Epoxy Paint?

Before you start slapping epoxy paint all over your floors, it’s worth taking a moment to weigh up its advantages and its disadvantages.

Pros

  • Affordability: The price difference between epoxy paint and latex or acrylic paint is nominal. Even better, it can be added to your current flooring without any issues, saving you the cost (and the effort) of ripping it up and starting from scratch.
  • Durability: One of the joys of epoxy paint is that once it’s down, it’s down. Thanks to the super-strong bond it forms with surfaces, you won’t usually have to worry about maintenance or retouching it for years, even if it’s in an area of high traffic.
  • Resistance: Epoxy paint stands up remarkably well to shock, heat, moisture, water, and chemicals. If you spill some oil onto a surface painted with latex, good look in cleaning it up. With epoxy paint, you don’t need to worry.
  • Maintenance: Once applied to a surface, epoxy paint creates a dust-resistant, smooth layer that’s easy to wipe free of any spillages or grime.
  • Protection: Epoxy paint is strong enough to provide a protective covering for your flooring, acting as an effective barrier against wear and tear.

Cons

  • For all its advantages, epoxy paint isn’t without its faults. Before you rush out to buy a can, check out the disadvantages.
  • Removal: One of the benefits of epoxy paint is that once it’s applied, it sticks to the surface through thick and thin. While that’s great, it can become a huge nuisance if you ever get bored enough of the color or the design to want to remove it.
  • Application: Removing epoxy paint is tough enough, but applying it in the first place is no picnic either. Before you slap a layer on the floor, you’ll need to clean it thoroughly to ensure no trace of dirt, oil, or grime remains. After that, you’ll need to invest several days into the application process to ensure that each layer is dry before applying the next.
  • Durability: While epoxy is significantly more durable than most other kinds of paint, it’s not invulnerable. Over time, wear and tear can do a number on an epoxy-painted floor, with the result that you’ll eventually need to add a fresh layer to keep it looking as it should.
  • Yellowing: As Hunker notes, epoxy can occasionally yellow over time with too much sun exposure. However, the problem generally applies to epoxy coating rather than epoxy paint.

What is the Difference Between Epoxy Paint and Epoxy Coating?

While ‘epoxy paint’ and ‘epoxy coating’ are often used interchangeably, there are actually several important differences between the two products. As mymove.com says, epoxy paint is simply that – a paint. Although it boasts certain qualities that regular paint doesn’t, it’s not that much harder to apply than acrylic or latex paint. Epoxy coating, on the other hand, is usually made up of two parts, a harder and a resin. Unless you’re exceptionally good at DIY, applying epoxy coating is best left to the professionals, who’ll ensure the proper application to ensure long-lasting, durable results. As to which is best, it really depends on what kind of result you’re looking for. If you’re more concerned about aesthetics than function, epoxy paint is ideal. If you’re looking to add some serious durability to a high trafficked area in a garage, workshop, or other room at risk of chemical or oil spills, excessive heat, and abrasion, epoxy coating will be preferable. That’s not to say epoxy paint doesn’t offer better durability than regular paint – it does, but epoxy coating is in a whole different league. As with everything else, price also comes into the equation. Although the price difference between a can of epoxy paint and a can of epoxy coating isn’t huge, you’ll need to factor in the additional cost of getting a professional to apply epoxy coating.

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