Epoxy Paint vs Epoxy Coating: What’s the Difference?

epoxy paint vs coating

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your concrete floor, you may be wondering what the difference is between epoxy paint and epoxy coating. In the DIY world, these two terms can get mixed up and, since there’s a big difference, it’s a good idea to do your homework first rather than make a choice you may regret.

What is epoxy paint?

Epoxy paint is essentially garage floor paint. Any epoxy paint product will consist of mainly acrylic latex, although some may contain an amount of epoxy in the paint formula to help it adhere better to the floor and last longer. However, it’s still just paint, and lacks the durability of a true epoxy resin coating. Epoxy paint will crack and peel, particularly if used in an area that gets a lot of foot or vehicle traffic.

Using an epoxy paint instead of an epoxy coating may potentially be a cheaper option upfront, but the finished product will only provide minimal surface protection over the base concrete. This is because unlike an epoxy coating, paint dries rather than hardens, and doesn’t form a seal with the substrate. The resulting layer is thinner, without the long-lasting qualities and resistances of an epoxy coating.

What is epoxy coating?

epoxy floor coating

An epoxy coating is a thermosetting epoxy resin containing a hardener that undergoes a curing process after application. A top sealant is also applied, and this results in a tough and durable surface that can be resistant to chemicals, oil, grease, stains, and abrasions. The surface preparation required for an epoxy coating is more costly and rigorous, but this ensures a smooth, well-bonded, and hard finish of much higher quality than you’d get from using epoxy paint.

When compared to epoxy paint, an epoxy coating is the most cost-effective method of ensuring long-lasting surface protection for the area you’re covering. An epoxy resin floor coating can also be top-coated with a UV-stable protectant and slip-resistant coating, to add additional protection and usability. There is also a wide range of finishes available, including flake and decorative finishes, that you can’t achieve with epoxy paint.

Epoxy paint vs epoxy coating

Epoxy coating, when applied correctly, will achieve a much higher quality finish that will outlast an epoxy paint-treated concrete surface significantly.

An expertly applied epoxy coating can achieve a lifespan of over a decade if installed professionally and properly cared for. By comparison, using epoxy paint on a concrete surface is likely to show considerable wear marks from foot traffic and suffer from peeling and cracking within a few years. In the long run, an epoxy coating is a more cost-effective and durable investment than epoxy paint on a concrete floor.

Here at Tough Floors, we understand the importance of balancing cost with quality. We’re an accredited epoxy flooring company, and we offer expert technical advice to make sure you have all the information you need to decide what garage epoxy flooring solution is best for you. Contact us for a fast, ‘no surprises’ quote for your interior or exterior floor today.

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About Euan Bennett

A self-confessed epoxy flooring nerd and dog lover, my great team and I just love transforming an ordinary floor into a thing of beauty with a carefully applied epoxy finish.