Direct Colors Q & A Series answers tough decorative concrete questions for DIYers. Can I successfully acid stain rough and textured concrete floors?
Concrete Acid Stain is a water-based liquid bearing minerals and acid. The acid stain penetrates the pores of the concrete forcing a chemical reaction between the muriatic acid and the available lime in the surface.
Once acid stained, the color of the concrete is permanently altered. When sealed with an appropriate concrete sealer and for indoor applications, sealed and waxed, acid stain produces the unique, variegated finish associated with this process.
Surface preparation is the most important step in the acid staining process. Prior to staining, a slab must meet the following criteria:
Often, concrete surfaces will have dry wall mud, paint, wood stains, tile adhesives, carpet adhesives, grease, pet stains, etc. on the concrete. Concrete Acid Stain is not an over coat, but is an opaque, penetrating color that permanently changes the appearance of the concrete. Areas where debris remains on the surface will likely not accept the stain leaving color imperfections on the floor, particularly mastic, dry wall mud and paint. Use Bean-E-Doo, for the removal of adhesives. Apply Soy Gel Professional Paint Stripper to remove epoxy, sealers, varnish or paint. For more information on these and other concrete cleaning products, visit www.directcolors.com/cleaners. Xylene can also be used to remove solvent-based sealers and clean up sprayers or tools. Soap and hot water can be used to remove water-based sealer from applicators immediately after application but Soy Gel Professional Paint Stripper or a similar product is required to strip water-based sealers from concrete. Cleaning floors that have been heavily soiled or have been previously tiled or carpeted to a stainable level is a considerable amount of work, but not impossible. If you desire a more even finish, consider overlay resurfacing especially on slabs with exposed aggregate or surfaces so soiled that cleaning would prove too difficult.
The vast majority of slabs only require minimum cleaning using an organic degreaser (such as DCI Orange, Simple Green, etc.) diluted at a medium concentration with water. Scrub the surface with a soft nylon bristle brush or power wash on a low setting to prepare most floors for staining. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clear water to remove any remaining cleanser and leave the floor to dry. For interior projects, use a shop vacuum, mop and/or squeegee to contain the water and aid in drying.