How to acid stain concrete?

acid stain concrete

Who knew concrete could be used to create decorative flooring? Concrete is traditionally used as a base material on which different colored tiles are laid for a better finish. But now concrete that is laid can become a decorative choice of flooring structure. This process can be done by staining the laid concrete with acids that react with the concrete creating vivid patterns. The newly formed patterned flooring is then glossed with a protective coat that reduces damage possibilities. This entire process of achieving decorative concrete floorings is called stained concrete.

Decorative concrete has limitless design options that can’t be achieved with other floor finishes. Acid stain concrete flooring can be customized to fit any interior decor.

Every concrete surface reacts differently forming unique patterns and color options. The reaction depends on the application of these residential decorative concretes. The regular gray appearance of concrete is transformed into a beautiful creation, mimicking wood, slate, brick and different hues by using different materials along with a decorative coating. Here’s how you can acid stain concrete.

Surface Preparation

Whether you are staining new or old concrete, thorough surface preparation is essential. Unlike paints and coatings, which are opaque and can mask many evils, acid stains are translucent. Any residue remaining on the surface of the concrete is likely to be visible through the newly applied stain. When you prepare the surface properly, you will have an attractive finish.

Stain Application

Follow these steps for stain application.

  • Mask off areas to protect from staining like door frames, walls, etc.
  • Dilute stain with water to the desired ratio
  • Spray or brush on the first coat. Popular sprayers include airless sprayers, HVLP sprayers, production guns, pump sprayers or even a trigger spray bottle. A brush or sponge may be used for cases that require precise control of the stain application.
  • Let the newly applied stain dry. The dry time will vary based on temperature, humidity, and air flow. In optimum conditions, the concrete will be dried in 15-20 minutes; however, the total cure time is 24 hours.
  • Repeat if more color intensity is desired. Most stain manufacturers recommend waiting a few hours between applications.

Clean Up and Neutralize the Stain

Once the stain has been applied, cleanup is required. Here is a standard cleanup process:

  • Rinsing the concrete with clean water until the water runs clear.
  • Neutralizing the stain with trisodium phosphate (T.S.P.), baking soda or ammonia. This is only necessary if you are using an
  • acid stain, water-based stains do not require neutralization.
  • Using a soft bristled brush or broom to loosen any stubborn residue before the final rinsing.

Sealing the Concrete with Protective Coat

The sealer or protective coat is applied after the stained concrete is left to dry overnight or longer. It is recommended to apply two coats of sealer for optimum durability. In addition to the sealer, a floor finish or wax can be applied for extra protection against scuffs and scratches.

Residential decorative concrete is applicable to walkways, patios, family room floors, kitchen countertops, and even vertical surfaces like walls or fireplaces. Therefore, if you want acid stain concrete, get in touch with a professional company that provides residential decorative concrete services.