Metallic Epoxy Application Techniques


Metallic epoxy floors are indeed a unique system in that no two floors will be the same; each floor is a one of a kind creation.  Ten different installers could all install the same color metallic epoxy system, and you’d end up with ten different looking floors because of the slight differences in how they apply it.


While there is no one right way to apply metallic epoxies, here are a few tips and some of the most common techniques used today.

Related: Epoxy Flooring: Everything You Need to Know


Primer Color Makes a Difference:

 All these different techniques are used after a solid color epoxy primer has been applied. Typically a black primer is used under darker colors, but for under some of the lighter color metallics, a lighter color gray or beige will be used.  Because the Metallic Epoxy is somewhat translucent, the color of the primer is another variable of how the end result will turn out.

Get the best metallic epoxy floor coating with Thermal-Chem.

Timing is Important:  alt: shiny brown floor with chairs

When you do your finishing techniques, it’s very important to know how the end result will look. If you do your effects right after the metallic epoxy is applied, the results will not be as dramatic as it would be if you waited 15 or 20 minutes. 

When you apply your effects early, the epoxy is still moving and settling, and lots of your effects will dissipate.  

If you wait and give the Metallic Epoxy a chance to cure and gel up slightly, the coating will hold the impact much more, and the results will be more dramatic.

Related: Tool and Equipment Checklist for Epoxy Coating Installers

Just Squeegee and Roll It:

For a more muted looking floor, some installers simply squeeze and roll the metallic epoxy out.  You don’t want to roll it out in straight overlapping rows like when a solid color epoxy is being applied; otherwise, you will see the straight lines between the rows.  Instead, spread the epoxy out evenly over the whole floor as much as possible with the squeegee and simply use the roller to make sure all areas are even.

Get the best metallic epoxy floor coating with Thermal-Chem

Random Patterns using a 9″ or 6″ Hot Dog Roller:

Another popular way to finish a metallic epoxy floor is to squeeze and roll the coating out evenly and then wait for it to gel some. Then use a 9″ or 6″ roller to make random patterns in the coating. The key is to keep the movement as random as possible, so a pattern does not develop by doing the same movement over and over on the floor. 

Some installers will do different size circles combined with other random movements. Some contractors will write out the alphabet. The possibilities are endless, and each result will be different. Keep in mind that the longer you wait to do the effect, the more dramatic it will be.

Get the best metallic epoxy floor coating with Thermal-Chem

Spraying Solvent:

To get a cratered effect in your metallic epoxy system, you can spray a solvent over the surface. Denatured Alcohol, Xylene, and Isopropyl Alcohol can all be used for this purpose. The solvent will disperse the pigment where it hits the metallic epoxy. It is most commonly done using a spray bottle with a fine mist that will give a mottled look to the coating, but some installers spray larger size drops or use a paintbrush to create even larger size craters that can make the metallic epoxy look like the surface of the moon.

Related: 5 Reasons Epoxy Flooring is the Best Option for Any Restaurant


Loop Roller, Spike Roller or Leave the Plastic on Your Roller:

alt: grey floor with red coloring

Spike or loop rollers can be used to create different textures as well. Some installers even leave the plastic wrapper on their roller covers and use that to create random patterns. Each variation on this technique will leave a different textured look.

Get durable, aesthetically pleasing metallic epoxy floors with Thermal-Chem.

Leaf Blower:

alt: white shiny ground with various coloring

Using a leaf blower in a circular motion can create dramatic movement with a wavy textured look. Using a cordless leaf blower is critical, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about the cord getting into the epoxy. Extreme care must be taken not to blow dust or debris into the coating. The end result is very dramatic and may be too busy of a look for some customers’ tastes.

Related: How to Prep Concrete for Epoxy or Urethane Coatings


Combining Different Techniques:

Yet another wrinkle is to combine several of these finishing techniques on the same floor. Most customers don’t want to be able to see any straight roller lines in the finished floor, so lots of coatings installers make random circles and patterns with their rollers and then spray the floor with a solvent to add more movement to the metallic epoxy pigment.

Combining Different Colors:

alt: grey ground with white and red coloring all over


Blending two or more metallic epoxy pigment colors is a great way to create a visually stunning floor. This is typically done using one primary color combined with one or more accent colors. You can either pour out the different colors on the primed surface next to each other and then blend with a roller to keep the colors more separate. 

Or, you can apply the primary metallic epoxy color over the whole floor then add the accent color on top, which will cause them to blend more with each other as you roll them together. Combining different colors can take some practice to get the finished look you want, but the results can be worth it.

Metallic epoxies are truly a unique type of a coating providing one of a kind floor for your customers. Let your artistic side come out to develop your unique look and style!

Related: What Is a DecoEssence Metallic Epoxy Floor Coating, and What Are the Benefits of Installing One?




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