If you’d like a unique look to your concrete you may consider concrete staining. There are generally two methods to stain the concrete floor: Acid Based Stain and Solvent Based Stain. Both have their pros and cons. First, we’ll discuss the Acid Based Stain.
Acid Stained Concrete Floor
This method is also referred to as a "reactive" method because the color change that occurs is caused by a chemical reaction that changes the color of the concrete. The color change will resemble natural stone or rock.
The reason this happens is because the acidic ion particles in the acid stain react with the free alkali in the cement which forms oxides. This process gives the cement a marbleized look. The acid will absorb into the concrete and change the color without leaving behind any residue or coating on top.
A wide range of colors are not possible since this form of staining limited to a natural reaction. Typically you’ll see mostly earth tones and manufacturers will offer about eight colors.
Is Concrete Acid Stain a DIY Project?
Because you’re dealing with acid you must be careful. Furthermore, in order to get the proper effect it has to be applied in a certain way. If you don’t have a lot of experience in staining concrete in this manner you won’t be able to achieve the desired effect of your stained concrete floor.
If you don’t apply enough of the product it won’t etch the concrete enough to absorb and change the color. If you apply too much acid you will cause pooling and an overreaction to the surface.
Solvent Based Stain
This method of concrete staining uses a coating that is applied to the concrete. Manufacturers differ on the best time to apply the stain. Some suggest to wait nearly a month until the concrete is fully cured while other suggest to wait only two weeks. You will be able to use a more diluted amount of stain if the concrete is freshly laid. The longer you wait the more concentrated the stain needs to be.
You may apply the concrete stain using a sprayer, paintbrush or roller. If you use a sprayer, make sure it doesn’t have any metal parts or acid residue. If so, the acid and the metal will interact causing the color of the stain to change.
It will take two applications of the stain. Allow the first layer to completely dry before adding the second layer. Make sure to evenly apply the stain otherwise you will have unevenness in the color.
The final step is to apply a gloss finish using either a roller or a sprayer. Same as the method involved to apply the stain you will need to apply two coats allowing each to fully dry before applying the second coat.
Although applying concrete stain using a solvent rather than an acid may be easier, it’s still best to hire a concrete stain contractor to get the job done correctly. Each method requires its own skill and the more experienced you are the better the results.
We are the #1 concrete cleaning company called upon to perform concrete staining. Call us to find out the cost to stain concrete and to stain your concrete floor. We have been working all over Los Angeles County for over 12 years, give us a chance you will not regret it. For service and more information please contact us at: 800.742.3585