Concrete Acid Staining Floors
Concrete acid staining is one of the most common applications for transforming concrete surfaces and slabs. Usually known as colored concrete, builders, designers, and homeowners are mainly attracted to stained concrete, due to unique outcomes. The unique outcomes are mainly achieved through combining application techniques and colors, on cement flooring. Acid concrete staining can be conducted on indoor concrete floors, garage floors, stairs, and patios, walkways, basement floors and other concrete surfaces.
Stain Types Available
There are two main types of stains to choose. They are a water-based and acid based stain. Here are the benefits and setbacks of each.
– Acid-based stain: In this stain, the color palette tends to be quite limited. However, it is more durable than water-based stains. It is therefore ideally suited for high traffic areas. Additionally, it doesn’t, chip, peel or fade. It is mainly available in translucent and earth tones. Making it easy to pick up variations found in concrete. It also resembles a more natural look like that of wood or stone. After application, you have to clean the surface to remove any residues.
– Water-based stain: With the water-based stains, you can achieve almost any color or color combination that you wish. Unlike their acid-based counterparts, they rarely interact with the concrete being stained. This means that the color will remain consistent.
– Moreover, their application process is easy while clean up is minimal. Apart from that, they are non-toxic which makes it easy to find several environmentally friendly products to work with. Their main setback is that they take longer to adhere to the surface. This makes it hard to fix a mistake. If you have sealed concrete, stains that are hard to remove or concrete already cleaned with acid, then you should use water-based stains.
How to Apply Acid Stain
Whether you intend to stain old or new concrete, it is essential to prepare the surface thoroughly. Unlike coatings and paints that are opaque and can cover several defects, acid stains are translucent. Therefore, any residue left on the concrete’s surface is likely to be noticeable through the applied stain.
If this initial step is properly done, it greatly impacts the final look of the finished surface. Surface preparation can be undertaken through two ways. It can be done with the use of a specially formulated cleaner or via mechanical grinding.
Apply the Decorative Stain
Before the application of the stain, it is advisable to test a sample in another area. This will give you a rough estimate of the number of coats needed to produce the desired effect. You also need to mask off the area that you intend to apply the stain, to protect the walls, door frames and other surfaces that can be affected by the stain.
After masking the other surfaces, dilute your stain using water, based on the manufacturer’s specifics and recommendations. Brush or spray on first coat. In areas where precise stain application is needed, use a sponge or brush. Allow the newly applied stain to dry. This may take around 20 minutes, based on the prevailing humidity, air flow, and temperature. For more color intensity, repeat the process. It is advisable to wait for several hours, for repeated applications.
Remove Residue Neutralize the Acid Stain
After application of the stain, a thorough cleanup is needed. Failure to do this leaves behind undesired marks showing through on the acid stained concrete. For the cleanup process, use water to rinse the concrete until it runs clear.
Use ammonia or baking soda to neutralize the stain. This is very necessary since you are using acid-based stains in this process. Water-based stains don’t need any neutralization. Use a soft broom or brush to loosen all the stubborn residues before final rinsing.
Add a Protection Coat
Allow the concrete acid staining concrete floors to dry throughout the night or even longer. Proceed to apply any sealer that you prefer. For optimum durability, it is recommended to apply two coats of stain.
The sealer applied mainly depends on whether the surface is outdoors or indoors, as well as the desired gloss level. For extra protection against scratches and scuffs, you can also apply a floor wax or finish.
Acid-based stains are composed of inorganic metallic salts, which are dissolved in an acid solution. They penetrate the concrete’s surface, then react chemically resulting in a permanent bond. They help people achieve decorative and unique effects, at a reasonable cost. You can use them to create a wide range of colors on both exterior and interior surfaces.
For more information about concrete acid staining contact us 818 984-1195