Acid staining has become a popular way of adding color and interest to concrete. This technique is used both indoors and out, to enhance concrete floors, driveways and patios for a customized, high end look. However, acid staining is not an exact science, and problems can arise. The best way to ensure the success of your acid staining project is to properly prepare the concrete surface before the staining takes place. This article will offer three easy steps to prepare your concrete surface for a successful acid stain.
Acid stain, like wood stain, does not cover up blemishes and dirt on the surface of the concrete. Therefore, it is essential that you remove those blemishes before beginning the staining process. The first step in preparing your concrete for acid staining is to thoroughly clean the surface. This can be done with a non-residue cleaner and a stiff bristle brush. Avoid wire bristles, since these can damage the surface of the concrete, making the acid stain take unevenly.
Use a degreaser to remove grease spots and scrub until the spots are gone. Adhesives and paint spots can be effectively removed with paint thinner. After using these cleaning substances, it is important to rinse the area thoroughly with a garden hose. You can also use a power washer to make sure every speck of debris and dirt is removed before the staining process commences. Once your concrete surface is completely clean, allow it to dry thoroughly before staining. This may take a day or two, depending on the weather conditions.
If your concrete surface is damaged in any way, it is important to make necessary repairs before applying stain. Shallow pits and cracks can be filled with epoxy, but consult a professional concrete contractor to make sure you are using the best product for the job. A concrete contractor can also look at your concrete with a more critical eye, ensuring any blemishes that could affect the stain result are repaired or removed before staining begins. Once the concrete is repaired, a light sanding will even out the surface and prepare the concrete to accept the stain.
Getting Professional Advice
The older your concrete is, the more important the preparation process becomes. If you are interested in staining the concrete of a current patio or driveway, it is best to consult with a concrete contractor prior to staining. This experienced professional can give you a pretty good idea about how well your concrete surface will take the stain. Part of your preparation process should also be preparing yourself for the unknown, since it is impossible to predict a precise outcome. A concrete contractor will be able to give you a rough idea of what the end result will look like and what variations might be possible.
Acid staining is a lovely way to brighten up old concrete or add color and dimension to a new project. If you are considering an acid stain, it is imperative to make sure your surface is prepared. Concrete that is properly cleaned and repaired will usually offer a satisfactory result.