Acid Staining Basement Floors
Good Surface Preparation is Key
Basement floor remodels are becoming our number one DIY project here at Direct Colors. We talk to customers everyday about the peculiarities of basement applications and recommend products based on each individual project circumstances. If you have a basement floor remodel in mind, check out of How to: Acid Staining Basement Floors Guide for tips and ideas specific to basements.
Scott recently stained his basement, and he wrote in to let us know just how he did it:
“To prepare the concrete for staining, I thoroughly swept and vacuumed as much dirt as possible. Then, I used a metal scraper to remove dried-on paint and rust spots from the concrete, and vacuumed again. I had to use a stiff brush to scrub some difficult paint stains. My basement is approximately 400 square feet and is very dry with no sump pump.
“I used an organic degreaser cleaner diluted with water and mopped the entire floor. I used a squeegee to push all the dirty water down the basement drain, and then rinsed the floor two more times with fresh water and used the squeegee again. I let it dry for 24 hours, with a large box fan to assist in drying.
“I diluted the Desert Amber with a 3:1 ratio (3 quarts stain, 1 quart distilled water) and put this into a garden sprayer. I sprayed an even coat over the entire basement surface, and let it sit for an hour. I had the sprayer nozzle about 8 inches from the surface for the base coat. After an hour, some natural pooling had occurred due to the uneven concrete surface.
“I used full strength Malayan Buff and applied it only to the high/dry parts of the concrete, where there wasn’t a standing pool of acid already on the floor. On this part, I put the sprayer nozzle much closer to the surface to force the pooling action to occur. This resulted in the darker color pooling down into the lighter colors, and gave it a unique marbling/pooling effect.
“I wore my golf shoes but the acid stain resistant shoes will also work; this helped to prevent footprints but still allowed you to walk on the surface.
“I let this stand for 8 hours, and then I used a watering can with a baking soda/water mixture to neutralize the acid. Again, I used the squeegee to remove all the water from the surface. I rinsed it once more with more baking soda, and rinsed it three more times with clean water. I let it dry for another 24 hours with the box fan to assist drying time.
“At this point, the floor was ready for the clear coat. I used a 9.25-inch nap roller. I used the garden sprayer again to wet the surface with the clear coat, and then used the roller to spread and even it out. I had just enough sealant to coat the entire 400 sq. ft. with only one gallon (per the instructions – thinner coat of sealant provides a more durable surface, so my goal was to use as little as possible). The clear coat turned out perfect. There’s virtually no visible roller marks and it’s a nice gloss finish.
“Waxing the floor was simple. I just used a clean mop and dragged it over the surface as directed. I applied four coats. The wax made the floor a little streaky, but I’m sure I could buff it out with a dry microfiber mop.”
“For other DIY customers, I would strongly recommend performing a test sample before coating the entire floor. I tested the stain under the stairs where I wasn’t going to notice it, and this helped me to gauge how much I needed to dilute the stain to get my desired color.”
Thank you, Scott. Your basement looks amazing! You did a great job with it.