A Step-by-Step Guide in Installing Acid-Stained Concrete Floors

Are you already tired of the bland appearance of a concrete floor but on a tight budget? One way to spice up good old concrete is to have it acid-stained. 

The purpose of acid-staining is to change the color of concrete using a solution that contains acid and minerals. The reaction between the acids in the stain and the lime in concrete causes the concrete to change color permanently. With this method, you are able to improve your concrete to be more appealing and, also, more durable. Plus, acid stains are generally affordable and can be applied all on your own – saving you money from hiring professional installers. 

If you are ready to start this DIY, here are the steps that you should follow in acid-staining your concrete:

acid stained concrete
  1. Make sure the surface is smooth and even.

First, you have to prep your concrete by inspecting if the surface is even. Bumps and cracks can ruin the finished look. Smoothen the surface using sandpaper or grinder and fill in those cracks with fillers.

  1. Clean the concrete from any dirt and residues.

After sanding, you should make sure that the surface is all clean from all the concrete residues. If the concrete has painted, your job can take a bit longer because you have to scrape that all off. 

For a total deep cleaned concrete, first, brush all these dust and dirt off the floor. Then, you should scrub the floor using a mop and water mixed with soap. If the surface has accumulated too much dirt, you might need a pressure washer. Third, vacuum the water off. You might need to mop and vacuum again if there are still visible dirt on the concrete or the water.

  1. Etch the concrete. 

Etching your surface is crucial, especially if it is very smooth. Etch solution helps open up the pores of the concrete for it to be able to absorb and lock in the stain that you are going to apply afterwards.

  1. Tape the surface, you do not want to get stained.

After the floors dried up, cover up nearby surfaces if you do not want to be coloured as well. Tape the edges to achieve a straighter and flawless finish.

  1. Start staining!

Now that the tedious preparation is done, we got to start staining. First, you have to make sure that you wear protective masks and gloves, then onto the application. With your stain in a spray bottle, start applying section by section, making sure the layer is even. Remember not to step on it if you’re staining the floor. Depending on the look that you are going for, you can do an additional coating. 

  1. Neutralize the stain.

Neutralising the stained concrete brings it back its basic state. It will help the concrete properly absorb the sealer and prevent it from peeling. There are different neutralising solutions, but one is a mixing cup of ammonia with a gallon of water. Around 24 hours after staining, apply the neutralising solution to the surface, then rinse it with water until there are no residues.

  1. Proceed with sealing.

Once you’ve achieved the perfect stained look that you want, then you can finally proceed with the final step. Usually, it takes another 24 hours after the neutralizing process for you to start with sealing. Sealers help in adding that elegant glossy look to the stained concrete. It also protects the surface from chipping off and cracking. Using a paint roller, apply the sealer for a couple of coatings. Just let it dry, and you’re done with your beautifully stained concrete!

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