Decorative colored flakes (sometimes also known as chips or flecks) add color, texture, and visual appeal to your floor coating. If you have never worked with epoxies and colored flakes before we suggest you give this article below a read to ensure you know how to properly apply colored flakes on your epoxy floor coating.
Flakes come in all different shapes and sizes. See our article about the different types of colored flakes and sizes. Every epoxy application will differ slightly in install schedule but it’s important to note that when applying epoxy flakes they will always be applied to either a primer/base coat and then coated over with a clear topcoat. The flakes need to adhere to the wet epoxy underneath and then are sealed in with the clear topcoat creating a seamless, decorative finish.
You want to start the application of broadcasting flakes within a couple of minutes of laying down the colored coating layer that the flakes will be adhering to. Ensure that you have your colored flakes prepared for application prior to rolling on the colored epoxy coat so you are ready for application when done rolling.
What Is The Best Way To Apply Colored Flakes?
There are a couple of methods to applying colored flakes to a floor coating. The first is the most standard method and that is by throwing the epoxy flakes onto the floor and letting them naturally fall on the wet epoxy. Most colored flake combinations come pre-mixed but if they are not then you can mix them yourself by pouring all the flakes into a bucket and mixing/tossing them around with your hand to get an even mixture.
Since the epoxy floor is still wet you will can use spike shoes to walk on to the floor when tossing the colored flakes. Ensure to walk slowly around the floor and begin to toss a handful of flakes onto the floor in an even manner. The floor is still wet so we highly suggest not rushing this process and walking slowly and doing small sections at a time. This will ensure you can visually inspect each area before moving onto the next to ensure an even broadcast. Alternately you can apply about a four foot width of epoxy and toss the flecks onto that section, then apply another section and apply the flecks until the area is covered. Always keep a wet edge if you use this method. It can be helpful to watch a video that showcases how to walk across the floor while throwing color flakes about. Remember you can only apply flakes to a wet floor, otherwise they won’t adhere.
Photo Credit: Action Plus Home Inspections
If you are applying a full broadcast system then you do not need to be as cautious about getting an even broadcast onto the floor. A full broadcast covers the entire colored coating with flakes to the point of rejection. Ensure you have enough flakes to achieve this type of broadcast before starting. Below are some rough estimates on application rates that can be used to achieve desired floor texture:
- Light Broadcast .25lbs – .5 lbs per 100 sq.ft
- Medium Broadcast: .5 lbs- 2 lbs per 100 sq.ft
- Heavy Broadcast: 2-4 lbs per 100 sq.ft
- Super Heavy Broadcast: 4-9 lbs per 100 sq.ft
- Full Broadcast: 10 lbs per 100 sq.ft
Hopper Blower Gun
The hopper blower gun uses an air compressor that will shoot the colored paint chips onto the floor spanning 15-20 feet. This allows for an easy application method and if working in small spaces like garages or basements you eliminate the need to walk directly on the floor with spike shoes to broadcast the flakes. This method is a bit tricker and the hopper gun price will vary from retailer to retailer.
The final method for applying epoxy flakes evenly is by using a homemade shaker. You can use an old one gallon milk container (be sure to clean and dry it before use!) to create a shaker that will evenly distribute the flakes as you walk across the floor.
To create your own shaker take an empty milk container and cut a big hole at the top. Take a power drill and drill a dozen or so 3/8in holes at the button. If you are using larger sized colored flakes then make the holes slightly bigger so they can easily shake out from the shaker.
Put on your spike shoes, walk around the floor, and shake the colored flakes onto it. Go slowly and apply in sections to ensure you are achieving the desired broadcast before moving onto the next section. There are no do overs!
In closing remember to always be prepared and have a plan of action for how you are going to apply the flakes. ArmorPoxy is here to support you on your projects so please feel free to reach out to our support team and ask any questions you have when applying our products.