Staining concrete can help one give his floors the look and finish of elements such as marble at an inexpensive rate. Known for its durability and for a large variety of patterns, concrete surfaces are very much in demand, especially for homes.
Stained concrete floors, patios, doorways, and driveways are the best ways to enhance the interior and exterior of the house. The most popular methods of doing so are using acid stain or acrylic stain, and both use different techniques for the same purpose. Here, these two methods are discussed in detail.
Due to the porous nature of concrete, it is easy to work with and get the effect of elements like marble, granite, and wood. The acids used for concrete staining are usually made up of hydrochloric acid, water, and certain metallic salts.
Every concrete surface reacts differently to different types of acids, and hence, it gives various effects. As mentioned earlier, the metallic content in the acid reacts with the calcium hydroxide (lime) in the concrete to form stains.
Old concrete surfaces lose their lime content with time and hence there is not enough amount of lime in the concrete that will react with the acid to form a concrete stain.
If you are using a new surface to stain, ensure that the surface has been cured for at least a month. These acid stains are permanent stains that don't fade, and they don't hide any imperfections of the floor.
Acrylic stains make a physical bond with the upper layer of the concrete surface and ooze through its pores. These stains work best on old concrete surfaces as they are more porous and give better results.
These stains are also good for hiding surface imperfections. They are not only easy to apply, but are also economical, and are available in a large variety of colors.
Acrylic staining may not give good results if the concrete surface is too smooth; it requires a porous surface for better staining effects. You can even experiment with the faux finishing technique. This is the best DIY method, and is more suitable for old surfaces that are not ideal for acid staining.
1. Cleaning the surface is the first and most important step of the concrete staining DIY process. Proper cleaning will give you the desired results. So, before you start staining, remove all the adhesive, paint, and concrete sealer remains. See that there are no small stones or rocks left on the surface as these may interfere with the staining process.
2. Once you are done with the cleaning, apply the type of stain you have chosen with the help of appropriate equipment like a brush or a mop. Use an acid-tolerant brush for acid staining; for acrylic staining, all you have to do is spread the stain.
3. Ensure that you read the label of the products carefully and follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. Apply coats of the substance until you get the desired effect. For acid staining, you will be required to remove the remains left on the surface.
4. After completion of acid staining, seal the surface with the appropriate sealant.
Stained surfaces are permanent, and they do not chip or peel off. Choose a method depending upon the type of your concrete surface for best results. Staining concrete is a procedure that is suitable for any type of outdoor or indoor concrete surfaces. Doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional can save you a lot of money.