How to Stain Concrete Floors

How To Stain Concrete FloorsConcrete floors that are treated with acid stain look polished and rich in color. As opposed to coating the floor with paint, acid stain soaks into the pores of the concrete and reacts chemically with the minerals that are already present in the concrete. When concrete is first laid, the minerals disperse in random directions.

This is why the reaction that happens during a staining application comes out unique. This effect can be achieved independently with careful planning. Here are the steps to get that marble-like finish through an acid stain application.

Prepare the Floor

The first step to staining concrete is cleaning the floor, removing the baseboard along the lower part of the wall and clearing the trim work. Use a mixture of mild detergent and water to lightly soak the floor. You can dry the floors with a shop vacuum. If you do not own a vacuum, you can wipe the floors manually to clear it of debris and dirt. Remove paint drippings and other particles from the lower wall with a scrubber. Any remaining residue can be caught with a damp mop. Make sure you scrub the floor in circular motions and that there are no scum marks left from the scrubbing or mopping. Those stains can show up when the acid stain is applied. Also, never use acid wash on the concrete. Acid etch products make it impossible for concrete to receive any staining treatments.

Cover the Walls

Protect the walls from fading during the staining process by lining it with masking paper. Use painter’s tape to make it stick. The masking paper should be at least 12 inches high. This, along with the cleaning mentioned in the first step, will ensure the least damage.

Prepare the Acid Stain Mixture

The stain should be mixed in a well ventilated location or outside. All of the protective accessories suggested by the manufacturer of the stain should be worn before preparing and handling the mixture. The water should be the base and not the acid stain. Therefore, apply the acid stain to the water to mix. Pour it into a plastic pump that holds at least 2 gallons. Make sure there are no metal parts on the pump. Metal will corrode if it comes into contact with the hydrochloric acid in acid stain. Test the release of the pump outside to make sure that the sprayer applies evenly with moderate strength.

Test a Spot

This step is optional, but it is recommended for the assurance of whether the stain will absorb properly. Choose an area that isn’t easily noticed. The timing should be the same that is applied to the actual process. If you are sure the floor will receive the staining treatment, the next step is to apply the acid stain to the whole section.

Start the Process

Hold the sprayer at least 18 inches above ground, and spray freely around the area. Do not stay in one place long enough to create a puddle. If some spaces turn out darker than others, it is because the areas where mineral deposits are located in higher concentrations will react more to the treatment than areas it did not spread to. Spray the mixture evenly using your own judgement instead of relying on the sprayer to do it evenly. After you have covered the entire section, you may let it dry for about an hour. Apply a second coat to ensure that there is a depth of color. Every application requires two coats. You are free to apply more coats as long as you know that the results will become darker with every extra application. After the reaction time, you can rinse off the residue. Seal the results with a water or solvent based sealer. You can place furniture on top of the results 24 to 36 hours after the process is finished.

Bob Jenkins AuthorWritten By:

Budget My Build
P.O. Box 72987
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Office: (602) 579-9660

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