Getting the Most From an Acid Stained Floor
Correcting for Surface Preparation Mistakes After Acid Staining
Surface preparation is the most important step in successfully coloring a concrete floor. It’s particularly important when acid staining because contaminants need to be both off of the concrete and OUT of the concrete. For acid stain perform optimally, it has to penetrate the pores of the concrete to react with the minerals to create permanent color. Contaminants like glue, paint, dry wall mud, oils and heavy dirt prevent or interfere with the chemical reaction causing an imperfect outcome, such as with Mr. Pankey’s floor, or the stain to wash off entirely during the cleaning process.
For best acid staining results on a heavy soiled floor, consider the following:
- What’s on the Floor? If you have a significant amount known and unknown contaminants on the floor. You’re probably better off grinding the floor using a machine from a local equipment rental company. Small areas of paint can be successfully removed with Soy Gel Paint and Sealer Stripper.
- What about Carpet Glue? In most cases, carpet glue is yellowish in color and relatively easy to remove by either mechanical or chemical means. If you have glue over the majority of the floor, use a Diamabrush tool from a local equipment rental company to remove the material. If it’s only a small amount of glue on the floor, chemically strip with Bean-e-doo Mastic Remover. Black mastic more commonly found in older homes and business can ONLY be chemically stripped.
- What about Construction Spills and Over-sprays? Covering the concrete prior to mudding dry wall or spraying insulation, especially in the ceiling, is ESSENTIAL for successful acid staining. If either of these two contaminants is present, grinding the floor is the only option.
- What about Removing Concrete Sealers? Most sealers can be removed using a chemical stripper like Soy Gel Paint and Sealer Stripper. However, if you need to strip more than 400 sq. ft., it would be more cost effective to use a high speed buffer with a 50-grit non-loading sanding disc to mechanically remove the sealer and save the chemical stripper for the edges and corners if needed.
Mr. Pankey Called Direct Colors Looking for a Solution to a Problem Caused by Poor Surface Preparation on a Previously Acid Stained Floor:
“The stain did not take around the perimeter and in random spots throughout the floor where I couldn’t remove the cure and seal sealer. I also wanted the floor a little darker, but at this point any fix would work.”
Though the acid stain had originally been purchased elsewhere, we thought we could help him perfect this troubled floor. Direct Colors technician, Shawna, recommended the DCI Concrete Dye in Coffee Brown and Sepia to darken the overall color of the floor and blend in the area where the stain couldn’t penetrate. The customer was looking for a glossy finish for a high traffic area so we also recommended applying a commercial concrete wax for added protection.
“Thanks again for the help. Disaster to perfection. It’s exactly what I originally wanted. Looking forward to working with you on my future projects!!”