The shed is coming along quickly now, and so it is time for some thought to be given to the concrete slab. Sure, it has been cast and finished well, but there is something more that I want to do with it.
The inspiration initially came from seeing the floor of Marc (The Wood Whisperer) Spagnuolo’s new shed and floor. It looked like a million bucks.
A friend then recently mentioned that there was a sponsor of the Australian Woodwork Forums that had a product that might be worth considering, and the idea quickly germinated, as it was just what I was looking for.
The company is Globak Woodcare, and among the other products they have on offer (including Miniwax wipe-on poly and other interesting products for woodworking), they have Shield-Crete for concrete floors (be that garage, shed, etc).
I was always intending to seal the slab, but this achieves that in style.
The hardest thing was deciding on the colour, but in the end I have opted for Ivory. Each pack of Shield-Crete will cover 20m2 according to the description, so hopefully I can push it that extra 5 – Steve from Globak thought so, but I’ll double check with him before I start! There are extra beige and ivory flakes to add, to give good coverage of the colour, adding depth to the floor. The Shield-Crete is a 2 part epoxy – this is not a painted floor effect!
In the pack there is a packet of powder to give the finished surface grip, and a degreasing agent (more important for coating floors that have already been in use, but I’ll prep the surface with it anyway). It is interesting to read about how to coat existing garage floors, where cars have already been parking on it. The chemicals in the tyres will have been leaching into the concrete surface, and if you have been using a wheel polish, that is silicon-based so these floors need a bit more preparation before the epoxy can be applied. Any floor that has previously been sealed (which is very hard to spot just by looking) also needs extra consideration. If you drip some water on the concrete floor, if it forms droplets on the surface, this is a fair indication that it has been sealed.
Fortunately for me, I haven’t sealed my slab yet, so I don’t have to do an acid-etch, sand etc. Not that these are difficult, it is just a bit more work if needed. Down track I may do the garage floor as well, and that will definitely need extra steps.
The application of the Shield-Crete is pretty straight-forward – it is applied with a paint roller. The flakes are then rained down on this surface (throwing handfuls into the air – there is a video demonstrating this on their website).
You can leave the finish here, but to really complete the surface (and that is what I am aiming for), a clear acrylic glaze is then rolled over the top. This gives a better finish, and locks the flakes into the surface better.
I’m not sure at this stage when I will apply the epoxy to the concrete – it is all a matter of timing, between when the shed is finished, and to give it the 48 hours to harden before I start moving into the shed. Ideally, if the shed can be finished on Wednesday, I will be able to apply this Thursday morning, so it will be ready for the weekend. However, whatever happens I need to apply this to the concrete before I begin using the shed, as it would be impossible once the machines are in there (and especially when I start making a mess (no, I am not going to make a mess, I am going to keep this shed clean – repeat 3 times!)
The finish will look something like this