Acid Stained Floors

We test the concrete- by pooring some water on the surface in several locations to see if the concrete absorbs water. If it doesn’t, contamination agents such as grease, oil, paint drops, taping compounds, caulk or sealers may prevent absorption of the acid stains and must be removed.

We clean the concrete by abrading, applying solvents or stripping agents, sanding, and grinding. If a slab must be patched, we use fast drying acrylic-modified, low-shrinkage portland cement based materials that will accept stain. To open up the surface for stain penetration, many installers prefer to sand floors using floor buffing machines with #60, #80, or #100 paper or screen-mesh sandpaper that allows dust to pass the pad. This process can add its own pleasing effect to the final appearance by accentuating high and low areas on the surface. More material is removed from high spots, giving them a richer color.  After the concrete is cleaned, prep and free of any contamination issues, It’s now ready to apply the acid stain!

Stain manufacturers agree on when to apply stain. They say that a new slab must cure for 28 days before work is started.

When choosing how to apply stain, keep the following things in mind:

  • Colors are more intense if stain is applied soon after concrete is placed. Stain diluted with water and applied immediately can often achieve the same results as full-strength stains applied later.
  • Water drives the chemical-stain reaction. To achieve color consistency, make sure the moisture content of the concrete is roughly the same for every placement colored. If one concrete placement is stained 2 days after its placed, then other placements should be stained when they are 2 days old for color consistency.

We use garden pump Sprayers to apply the stain. We use use a spray tip with a circular pattern, spraying in a pattern of a figure 8 with someone scrubbing the stain into the surface using a medium-bristle brush in a circular motion just behind the spray. It’s important to scrub in the stain and not just push it around. An additional spray pass just behind the scrubbing removes brush marks. This method ensures good penetration and minimal marking from either the sprayer or brush.

“Staining, sealing, and covering finished work before other construction trades return to the area saves on cleanup, achieves a better-looking installation, and makes damage repair during the rest of construction easier to handle.”

12-24 hours after the chemical reaction is complete, a layer of colored residue with an acidic pH will remain on the surface. This layer must be thoroughly cleaned off with a scrubbing machine and water mixed with a mild detergent with baking soda and rinsed thoroughly and left to dry as so the Clear Coat will bond properly when applied to the surface.

A variety of top rated clear coats are appropriate pending on the application needed:

  • 100% Solids Clear Epoxy (High Traffic)
  • Solvent acrylic sealer with a waxed finish (Interior of Home)
  • 100% Solids Clear Epoxy followed by Urethane (Restaurants and Retail)