How to Correct a Bad Concrete Acid Stained Job
We recently acid stained a bedroom floor in our house but had some acid staining issues. We think it’s because of the poor surface prep done prior to staining and possibly even the floor was too smooth to acid stain. We’re not sure. At this point, we have an acid stained floor that looks kind of weird and we’re not sure how to fix it. What products and application steps would you recommend to resolve surface prep problems on our floor? Thank you.
You’re absolutely right that surface prep is the most important step in the acid staining process, but never fear this too can be overcome! As to why the acid stain might have taken unpredictably to the concrete, that could occur for a number of reasons. As you said, the surface could have been power troweled at the time the concrete was poured and rendered too smooth to stain. Pouring water on the concrete prior to determine if water readily absorbs or simply beads on the surface will help you determine if profiling will be required or not. Hard Trowel Floor Prep will quickly and easily profile the concrete to create a sand papery like floor finish. If you have other widespread contaminants or if you think the insulation might have been blown into the ceiling during construction, I would definitely recommend sanding the floor with a machine to ensure the best possible staining outcome.
So, what do we do from here? First, clean the floor with a light concrete degreaser and water solution, thoroughly rinse all residues from the surface and allow the floor to dry. The best product we have to correct acid staining imperfections is DCI Concrete Dye. Our concrete dye can be applied where needed to hide the problem areas and accent the entire floor. For best results, I would recommend applying one coat of water-based concrete sealer prior to spraying the dye colors. Feel free to use multiple colors and apply accents as needed or desired across the entire slab according to the instructions. The last step is a second coat of sealer followed by a concrete wax. All done!
If you have more widespread acid staining issues caused by very smooth concrete or possible insulation over spray, a tinted concrete sealer could also be used in place of the first coat of a water-based concrete sealer to provide a more uniform color before dyeing.
One of our most popular decorative concrete contractors, Joseph Lipsey in Maricopa, CA, discussed a similar project with Direct Colors General Manager recently and submitted a few photos of what the floor looked like at the beginning and end of the process.