You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 16: Tips for Successfully Sealing Outdoor Countertops. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening. After investing a great deal of time and effort into your countertop project, you want the last step to go smoothly. You may not realize that there are differences between successfully sealing indoor countertops and sealing outdoor countertops but there are and here to tell us all about it is Shawna Turner, General Manager for Direct Colors. Continue reading →
You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 11: How to Remove Oil Stains from Concrete. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for joining us. One of the biggest challenges to acid staining garage floors, driveways and patios is oil stains in the concrete. Motor or vegetable oil and animal fats if the spill is around the barbeque can be very challenging to remove and unless properly removed will prevent acid stain, concrete stains or sealer from penetrating the concrete. Shawna Turner, General Manager, at Direct Colors joins us to talk about how to successfully dissolve oils in the concrete surface before staining and sealing. Let’s get started.
You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 10: What to Do About Carpet Tack Holes on Concrete Floors. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for joining us. We often receive questions about how to fix or hide carpet tack holes on concrete floors. Even with the greatest care, it’s difficult to avoid some damage when removing carpet tack strips from the concrete. Fear not! Direct Colors has a solution that will repair carpet tack holes and actually improve the final floor finish. We sat down with Direct Colors General Manager, Shawna Turner, to find out how to resolve this common decorative concrete problem.
You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 21: Prepping Concrete for Acid Staining. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for joining us. Prepping concrete for acid staining before getting started is critical to success but how this is done can make or break a project. Here to discuss how to and how not to prepare concrete for acid staining is Shawna Turner, General Manager for Direct Colors.
It seems like surface preparation is the most important step of the process. Can this be a big problem for customers if they don’t do it right?
Shawna Turner: Absolutely. Not all concrete can be acid stained but most can if the concrete is properly profiled using the correct product or method before staining. Determining which method or product is best can be the biggest challenge.
Could you explain what it means to profile the concrete?
ST: Sure. Profiling the concrete simply means to change the surface texture to allow for better acid stain penetration. Profiling can be accomplished by either a chemical or mechanical means. Chemical profiling using an acid stain approved etcher such as our DCI Hard Trowel Floor Prep will open the pores without interfering with the later acid staining process. Mechanical profiling would involve a concrete sander or grinder which might be used on extremely smooth or heavily contaminated floors. For example, floors with glue, paint and drywall mud over most of the concrete should probably be mechanically profiled using a grinder because the cost of a chemical strip would be greater than the cost of renting the machine.
What products should not be used to profile concrete?
ST: That’s a pretty easy question to answer. If the etcher is intended for use with anything other than acid stain, don’t use it. That would include water based stains, sealers, epoxy coats, paint and anything else not specifically called acid stain. Acid based cleaners and etchers used in conjunction with other coatings actually dissolve the minerals in the surface of the concrete necessary to support the reaction between an acid stain and the concrete. Without those minerals, the acid stain will sit on the surface and be washed away later in the cleaning process. So if you have previously cleaned your concrete using a muriatic acid and water solution, the slab will either not stain at all or stain very unpredictably depending on how the solution was originally applied and how strong it was. I really can’t emphasize enough that you’ve bought a concrete etching product from a local big box store, don’t use it if you want to acid stain later. Really that’s the bottom line.
Ok. That is straight to the point. How would a customer know aside from obvious surface contaminants that their concrete needs profiling in the first place?
ST: Most indoor concrete and some outdoor poured in the last 10-15 years was likely finished using a machine trowel. We discuss this in some detail on the first page of our How to Guide for Applying Acid Stain. A simple water test will often reveal whether water will readily absorb into the concrete or bead on top. If beading does occur, the surface needs to etched using our DCI Hard Trowel Floor Prep before acid staining. Basement and garage floors are generally the smoothest floors in the house and will more likely than not require etching prior to staining.
Prepping Concrete for Acid Staining
So what happens next for customers that have used an acid based etching or cleaning product on their concrete?
I’ve used this product at home on my walkways and patio and have been very happy with it. If you are in some doubt as to whether your concrete will stain or not, try an acid stain sample bottle and make sure. It’s always a good idea to test the quality of your concrete regardless and it never hurts to try. You’ll find acid stain samples and samples of all our products on our website.
AN: Thank you, Shawna, for setting us straight on prepping concrete for acid staining. No doubt this will help a number of homeowners avoid a costly DIY mistake. For more information on acid staining floors and outdoor concrete, visit Direct Colors Design Blog or Featured Projects pages.
If you have questions, call one of our expert technicians at 877-255-2656 and we’ll help you select the best products and technique for your needs. If you prefer email, send in a free online design consultation and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.
Step-by-step how-to instructions on pouring and stamping colored concrete for new construction. See how it’s done before you start your own integrally colored concrete project. Footage courtesy of Link Cowen Homes in Shawnee, OK. For…
You’re listening to DIRECTCOLORS.COM/LISTEN podcast episode number 24. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. I’m Tommy Carter and today we’re talking about acid staining floors during the construction. As acid stained floors have become more popular, homeowners need to know when to acid stain and what to do to protect the finish throughout the construction process. Shawna Turner, General Manager, with Direct Colors is here to give us the scoop on new construction staining projects. Welcome, Shawna.
ST: Thank you very much
Tommy C: What’s the first thing to keep in mind when acid staining floors in a new construction home?
ST: Probably the first thing is to make sure your General Contractor knows and understands that you plan to acid stain the floors. If he or she knows in advance, they can properly direct the ready-mix company pouring and finishing the concrete as well as other building contractors to act accordingly.
Tommy C: What role does the pouring and finishing of the concrete play in successfully acid staining?
ST: If you plan to acid stain concrete, the mix should contain no more than 10% fly ash and should only be lightly machine troweled if at all. The concrete should be rich in cement content and the pores open for the stain to readily absorb and react. As long as the GC knows in advance, these requests should not be difficult or costly to implement.
Tommy C: When should a homeowner plan to acid stain their concrete during construction?
ST: The concrete should be allowed to cure for 30 days for best staining results. If at all possible, the concrete should be stained after the dry wall has been hung but BEFORE it has been mudded in. The reason this is so important is that dry wall mud is a very challenging contaminant to remove from concrete after the fact. Homeowners wishing to acid stain their floors are then forced to spend a lot to time and money cleaning that could have been entirely avoided. Spray insulation is also a problem. Spray insulation should be installed AFTER the floors have been covered with overlapping cardboard. The chemicals interfere with the staining and sealing process and are notoriously difficult to remove.
Tommy C: Just to be clear, could you give us the step by step process from acid staining to waxing?
ST: Sure. That’s a good idea. Once the dry wall has been hung, clean the floors thoroughly using a medium to heavy duty organic degreaser and water solution. All debris, particularly chalk lines, paint, oil stains, dirt and the like, has to be off the surface and out of the pores before you begin. Sanding may be necessary for stubborn debris and staining. When the floors are clean and dry, apply the stain, neutralize and clean according to the instructions. Leave the floor to dry. At this point, you really only want to apply one coat of sealer. I recommend our Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer, especially if you’re working in the winter months. It does have a strong odor during application but can be sprayed on floors freezing and above.
Tommy C: Why just one coat of sealer at this stage?
ST: Even when you cover the floors with overlapping cardboard, damage can still be done during construction. Once the work is complete and the floor cleaned, another coat of sealer can be applied to repair any existing damage and make the floor look brand new again. The sprayable satin finish or AC1315 High Gloss are both solvent-based and have the ability to re-emulsify the acrylic for a smooth final coat.
Tommy C: So what are the final steps after applying the sealer?
ST: After the sealer has been successfully applied, allow the concrete to dry for at least 10 hours before covering with overlapping cardboard. DO NOT TAPE THE CARDBOARD TO THE FLOOR. Tape will bond with the sealer and ruin the finish. Keep the floor covered until construction is complete and the baseboards are ready for placement. At this point, you’re ready to remove the cardboard, clean the floor and apply your final coat of concrete sealer. Allow for 24-48 hours ventilation and dry time before applying the concrete wax and floor polish according to the instructions.
Next step: Enjoy your Floors!
Tommy C: Thank you, Shawna, for that detailed information about acid staining floors during construction. I know it’s a common planning question with our DIY customers. Check out our blog for more on the Care and Maintenance for Acid Stained Floors and other decorative concrete flooring projects.
Tommy C: directcolors.com/listen includes podcasts on many decorative concrete topics so visit our podcast library for past episodes and check back frequently to see what’s new in the world of DIY decorative concrete! Thank you for listening.
If you have questions, call one of our expert technicians at 877-255-2656 and we’ll help you select the best products and technique for your needs. If you prefer email, send in a free online design consultation and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours. Direct Colors DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at directcolors.com/listen. Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ , YouTube and Instagram. I’m Tommy Carter and thank you for joining us!
Tommy C: You’re listening to DIRECTCOLORS.COM/LISTEN Podcast Episode 27, How-to Successfully Acid Stain Side by Side Concrete Slabs Poured at Different Times. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening. I’m Tommy Carter, Sales Manager and Technician with Direct Colors. It may sound odd that concrete poured at different times would not acid stain the same but if you’ve added on to your patio, interior floors or driveway, this podcast is worth the time spent listening! Here to tell you more about why and how to get the best results from your next DIY project is Shawna Turner, General Manager with Direct Colors. Welcome to the podcast, Shawna.
Shawna T: Thank you.
TC: Let’s get started. So why does it matter if side by side concrete slabs are poured at different times if you’re planning to acid stain?
ST: Acid Stain is a chemically-reactive stain not just a topical colorant. The stain relies on the minerals available in the concrete surface to react properly and develop the variable, rich color acid stain is known for. Concrete is not mixed exactly the same way every time and the mineral content can vary substantially from one batch to another. Concrete finishing, especially if a machine trowel is involved, can alter acid staining results dramatically from one floor section to another as well. Keep in mind that exposure to the elements can impact color development on older outdoor concrete slabs. In addition, concrete patches will also stain differently from the surrounding concrete and should be given special consideration before beginning a project. More to this subject than you thought, I suspect.
TC: For sure! What recommendations would you make for indoor floors poured separately or patched due to plumbing problems or for carpet tack holes for example?
ST: For indoor floors, making sure the profile is the same across the slab is important. Whether you choose to mechanically profile the floor using a sander or chemically profile with our Hard Troweled Floor Prep, do the same thing everywhere. I recommend reading over page one of our How to Acid Stain Concrete Guide to determine what process will yield the best results for your concrete before beginning. As for concrete patches, they can be tricky particularly if they are in a conspicuous area of the floor. Patches should be sanded flush with the floor before staining. For best results, I would stain and neutralize the rest of the floor first leaving the patch to be stained afterwards so it can be more easily color matched by carefully controlling the stain’s activation time. Once the patch achieves the same color as the floor, neutralize the stain and move on to the cleaning step. Spray both the patch and the floor with water from a handheld spray bottle to determine when the matching color has been achieved prior to neutralizing. Keep in mind that we offer topical stains, such as DCI Concrete Dye and Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain, to touch up or further accent any difficult areas so don’t worry, there’s more than one path to a beautiful floor.
TC: That’s good news. What about outdoor concrete?
Many homes have patio and driveway slabs poured at different times. If you want the concrete to be as close to the same color as possible, I suggest applying the stain to the older slab first and leaving it to process for up to 10 hours for maximum color development. The longer concrete is exposed to the elements, the more surface mineral erosion occurs. For this reason, older concrete needs more processing time to achieve optimal color results than a newer slab. After the processing time is complete, neutralize the concrete and rinse so you can get a good look at the color. At this point, apply the stain to the newer slab and leave to process for 2-3 hours. Using a spray bottle of water, dampen a small area of the old and new concrete and compare. If it looks like a good match when wet, great. Neutralize and clean the entire slab in preparation for sealing. If not, let the new concrete process for another hour and repeat the test until a color match is achieved. Remember to look at the concrete only when it’s wet not dry. Dry, acid stained concrete does very little to reveal the final color as it will appear when sealed.
TC: What happens if a color match can’t be achieved with the acid stain? What else can be done?
ST: As I mentioned before, we have several topical stain options for indoor and outdoor use. I most frequently recommend our Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain for patios, driveways and other outdoor concrete. It can be used as a stand-alone concrete stain and often is or as an accent for acid stained concrete. If a satisfactory color match isn’t achievable, Liquid Colored Antique can be applied to blend the colors and create a more uniform final result. Customers often use this to color match on existing stained outdoor slabs where repairs have been made. It’s really an excellent, easy to use product that can renew color, fix problem areas and save customers a great deal of money by avoiding unnecessary tear-outs and refinishing.
TC: That’s great to hear. Everyone likes to save time and money on home improvement and want to successfully acid stain concrete slabs. Thanks, Shawna, for the helpful tips on how to get the best results when acid staining interior floors and outdoor concrete. I’m sure this will useful information for many of our customers.
DIRECTCOLORS.COM/LISTEN DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at DIRECTCOLORS.COM/LISTEN. Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. I’m Tommy Carter and thanks again for joining us!
Acid Staining Interior Floors
Staining Older Concrete Patio
Tips on Converting Patios into Indoor Living Space
You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 13: Acid Staining Basement Floors. Basement floor remodels are fast 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 project’s individual circumstances. Shawna Turner author of Direct Colors How to Guide Acid Staining Basement Floors joins us to talk about basement projects.
You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 34: Q&A Customers Ask Top Acid Staining Questions If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening. I’m Shawna Turner, General Manager with Direct Colors.
You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 33: Bathroom Remodeling is a Snap with Decorative Concrete. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening. I’m Tommy Carter, Sales Manager and Technician with Direct Colors.
Tommy: If you’re thinking of starting a home remodeling project but are overwhelmed by the idea of tackling your whole house, why not begin in the bathroom? Bathrooms are an ideal size for a first time project and our General Manager, Shawna Turner, is here to discuss why and tell us how to get started. Welcome Shawna.
ST: Thanks, Tommy.
Tommy: So why is a bathroom remodel such a good introductory project for homeowners?
ST: As you mentioned before, it is often the smallest room in the house so refinishing the floors or bathroom vanity doesn’t seem like such a daunting task. We had a customer a few years ago with a particularly challenging bathroom remodeling project. He had basically gutted the room and was starting from scratch. The floor was heavily stained and in such terrible condition that after some discussion, Mr. Thomas decided to use a concrete overlay to create a brand new floor surface. A wise decision in this case. The floor was less than 50 square feet so he only needed one box for the project and after watching our videos and reading over the how to application guide, he felt ready to proceed. I think the results speak for themselves.
DCI White Concrete Overlay with Diluted Coffee Brown Acid Stain
Tommy: How would you say decorative concrete compares to other interior design options?
ST: It’s true that there are a lot of options out there. I know Mr. Thomas appreciated the ways in which he could customize his overall design outcome. For example, he chose our white DCI Concrete Overlay and followed with various dilutions of Coffee Brown Acid Stain. Though we offer white in both our overlay and countertop mix, white concrete can be difficult to find locally. Mr. Thomas selected that option because it provided the color contrast that complemented the other elements of the bathroom well. Here’s the review he later posted on Direct Colors Facebook page:
“I had what I called, “a botched job” at an attempt to stain my floor. I panicked and contemplated vinyl flooring. I called your toll free number and you recommended that I start over with a concrete overlay and apply diluted acid stain in various ratios based on my intended design. I really appreciate your patience. The floor came out far better than I could have ever imagined. My wife and I owe it all to the great advice from Justin and Shawna of Direct Colors Inc.”
I also think that people like to be creative and have something beautiful in their homes that they actually did themselves. Acid staining in particular offers our customers a one of a kind finish and that’s very appealing.
Poured Bathroom Vanity Countertop with Black Acid Stain Designs
Tommy: What about countertops? Remodeling existing countertops or adding a new poured concrete top in a bathroom also seems like a manageable project for homeowners.
ST: That’s absolutely true. We offer products for both options and concrete countertops offer endless customization options for any bathroom design. In fact, I think refinishing bathroom vanities is one of our most popular projects at the moment. Vanities are typically smaller than kitchen countertops and require less time as well as money to remodel. Our concrete overlay does a wonderful job of putting a brand new finish on a properly prepared surface that allows our customers to start over in the bathroom with any look they wish – affordably. It’s important to point out that remodeling doesn’t have to break the bank and using decorative concrete products is definitely working smart for bathroom floors and countertops.
Tommy: What’s the top selling Direct Colors product for refinishing bathroom vanities?
Tommy: Any final thoughts for our listeners about taking on a bathroom remodeling project with our products?
ST: I’d say plan everything out carefully before you begin. Direct Colors has hundreds of project photos categorized by product or project in the case of concrete countertops. Make a note of what pictures appeal to you. Use the search bar on the website. Type in bathroom, remodeling or countertop to see all the relevant blog posts, featured projects and products that might be of interest to you. All of our product how-to guides and videos are available online so read up on the application details to help decide is this is the right direction for you. Lastly, call us to speak to a technician directly or send in a free online design consultation by email if you prefer to discuss the specifics of your project. We’re here to help and are happy to do so.
Tommy: Thanks, Shawna. That’s sound advice and if you’re a homeowner with a remodeling project call me, Tommy, at 877-255-2656 and we’ll determine the best products and technique for your needs. If you’d prefer to send us an email, visit https://www.directcolors.com/resources/design-consultation/ and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.