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Epoxy has been the popular coating on many floors today whether it’s in residential or commercial facilities. But many don’t understand that epoxy is quite a vague term. What makes it more confusing is that some use the term “epoxy paint” when they are actually referring to “epoxy coating.” Why is that?

First of all, we have to make it clear that there is regular paint and there are epoxy paint and epoxy coatings. All of these can be applied to concrete but they are not entirely the same. Let’s remove the regular paint into the mix and focus our attention on the epoxy coating and epoxy paint.

The latter is actually just a term coined by consumers which garage floor epoxy coating companies eventually adapted. Apparently, it’s a marketing move on the part of garage floor epoxy coating companies. They noticed that consumers used the terminology “epoxy paint” when they search for epoxy coatings. Let’s dig deeper into the basic differences of epoxy coating and epoxy paint so you will be informed the next time you buy one.


Epoxy coating is made of one part epoxy resin and one part polyamine hardener. This means you have two products that you need to mix together before applying on the surface.

A typical garage floor epoxy paint, on the other hand, is considered a latex acrylic product. Many paint manufacturers offer paint with a small amount of epoxy and refer it as 1-Part epoxy paint. This makes it different from standard acrylic paint, but it is not really an epoxy product.


The ease of application of the two epoxy coating systems depends on the volume of the solids content of the product. You can check the percentage of the product in the package label. For example, if the kit says 100% solids epoxy, it means you have 100% of the product on the floor after it cures. A 50% solids mean your floor will have 50% of the product after it has cured and so on.

Epoxy coatings are typically 100% solids epoxy. It is harder to work with because of its thicker viscosity and it has a limited window of time to apply it or also known as pot life. Moreover, epoxy coating systems may also consist of several layers other than the primer and top coat which makes it thicker than a simple two coats of paint. Unlike the paint version, epoxy floor coatings cure rather than dry.

Epoxy paint, on the other hand, has lesser solids content, which means less viscosity and is easier to apply. The ease of application of this system makes it popular among amateur epoxy installers.

Durability and Longevity

Epoxy coatings are definitely more durable than its paint counterpart. After a few years, or possibly months, the epoxy paint may stain and fade. The concrete underneath will start to show off because of the thinner coat. In comparison, the epoxy thick coating will last for a number of years, even decades if properly maintained. This coating system creates a strong surface that can withstand abrasion, chemical strain, oil spills, and more. It is non-porous and is also slip resistant.


Epoxy floor coatings are more expensive than the epoxy paint because of its major advantages over the latter.


Now you know the major differences of epoxy paint and epoxy coatings. If you see an epoxy paint in the home improvement store again, it doesn’t mean you are getting the things that you are expecting for your garage floor. Even if a garage floor epoxy coating company used the terms interchangeably, you are now aware that they are not the same. You can make an intelligent decision on which one do you want for your garage makeover.