Should I Use an Epoxy Floor Primer?

Concrete Primer

We have been receiving a-lot of inquiries surrounding the topic of whether to use a primer for your concrete surface. An epoxy primer is the foundation of your floor coating system. Without it, your epoxy system will not work as well no matter what type of epoxy you are applying. Epoxy primers are the layer that you will build upon with other base coats and topcoats. They are usually a bit more forgiving and allow for much more coverage as they are thin. Unless you are using a single coat epoxy/primer system, we highly recommend using an epoxy primer on all concrete surfaces to achieve maximum durability, strength, and bondage that will in-turn lengthen your floors lifespan.

Benefits of Using an Epoxy Primer

  1. Better Adhesion
  2. Reduce air bubbles and holes in your final coating
  3. Allow for stronger bondage of base and top coats
  4. Provide fountain to build your coatings on top of
  5. Moisture Tolerant/Oil Blocking

How do Epoxy Primers Work?

Primers adhere to concrete by forming a chemical bond. When you mix your primer what you are actually doing is creating a chemical reaction that initiates the process of hardening. Epoxy primers are formulated to seep into the pores of your surface to achieve a strong bond. If you were to apply a primer onto an unprepared surface, this bondage would not be as strong, that’s why it’s important to either acid etch and power wash or mechanically prep your floor so the primer can properly bond.

moisture vapor barrier

Why Use Epoxy Paint Primers?

Concrete flooring primers create the best foundation for your epoxy base coat to bond to. Epoxies are designed to cure and harden. If the substrate your are applying your epoxy base coat to is not properly prepped or primed then from the start you are putting yourself at a disadvantage to have floor issues down the road. While primers can be expensive, sometimes more than the epoxy itself they are well worth the money as the benefits outlined above clearly outweigh the downside.

Using Big Box Store Brands

Most products that can be found at your local home improvement center are single coat water based epoxy systems. Some of these systems will go on easy and look great for a couple of weeks or months but most of them will fade over time because there solids count is low. What this means is they the amount of epoxy you are actually putting on your floor is very low compared to higher solids epoxies. The best primers for concrete floors are not found in these stores. If you are looking for high performance coatings I would suggest searching online and reading the SDS to understand exactly what the primer is comprised of, (Tip: Look for the solids count!)

How is Brew Floors Products Different?

Brew Floors sells some of the best primers for epoxy coatings as all of our flooring solutions are specially formulated to perform at a maximum level. We have tested our products throughout the 20 years we have been in business and rarely receive feedback that one of our systems have failed. If your are looking for a multi layered primer and epoxy coating, our Brew Floors III Acid and Chemical resistant flooring system is right for you. If you are looking for a single coat epoxy/primer then our Brew Floors I 93% solids epoxy is a great solution. 

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9 thoughts on “Should I Use an Epoxy Floor Primer?”

  1. I need to reapply epoxy to worn spots but I don’t want to use a sander. Can I acid wash, then apply primer, then apply the epoxy?

    1. Hi Ethan,

      It would be best to prep via sanding as you do not know if the coating will stick. if you do not profile the substrate you run the risk of imporper bonding which can leading to lfooring failure.


      The Brew Floors Team

    1. Hi Deb,

      Yes we recommend mechanically prepping the floor before application either by sanding, diamond grinding of shot blasting. Check out our Floor Bulletin on floor prep here


      The Brew Floors Team

    1. Hi Frank,

      When using different products from different manufacturers it’s always best to test for proper adhesion. Water based primers usually take well to most epoxies but there’s no gurantee.

      Test first before laying out an entire floor.


      The Brew Floors Team

  2. I have tried floor primer for a number of times but had no luck. These kinds of stuff just keep running. Found your article and tried of my own and found it super useful.

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