Have you thought about staining your concrete?
Applying concrete stain is not difficult and can transform unsightly old gray surfaces and make them into a pleasing work of art.
Concrete staining is a more viable, long term solution over your floors than paint or concrete epoxy, and provides more options for decoration.
You can do concrete stain for approximately $.50 per sq/ft and have superior durability, ease of cleaning, and a posh look of real stone or marble.
Stained concrete uses a mixture of acid, metallic salts, and special materials to cause a chemical reaction in the concrete that changes it’s composition and color. Do not use cheap concrete stains that are just film applications, as these will wear out quickly and have a less polished finish.
The steps to getting your concrete surface ready to accept the stain includes: getting materials and equipment, testing the stain, fixing surface imperfections, and cleaning the entire area.
Scrapers are needed to remove existing blemishes and imperfections, which will show through the new stain application. Mask off areas that should not receive the acid stain with tape and plastic covering. A high quality sprayer is the best way to apply the stain and a paint roller is used to apply the final sealer. After the staining and sealing process is complete use Acrylic floor wax for maintenance to keep a high quality sheen on your surface. Surfaces that have an existing a concrete sealers are not be stainable and when you are cleaning the surface you must not use an acid wash, as this will cause a reaction with the top layer of your floor, removing the ability of concrete to absorb the new chemicals.
Stained concrete is the result of a complex chemical reaction, and the results will be different for each unique surface so you must test the staining application first – do not rely on manufacturers color charts. Get samples from the acid stain manufactures and select an area that is out of sight, such as a closet to use for testing. Clean and mask off the area then apply a solution 1:1 diluted of the concrete acid stain/water mix.
Repairing the concrete surface may be necessary if it is old concrete with lots of cracks and stains. Concrete staining is similar to wood staining, and if the wood is not sanded, smooth and free of blemishes the final job will not look good.
If you have concrete cracks, fill them with concrete glue, then fill the crack with anchoring cement and let it dry. Scrape away the high spots and sand the new surface until it is smooth.
Scrape off all imperfections and remove any unwanted stains. Rust stains can be removed with CLR, and any glue or foreign substance on the concrete surface should be washed or scraped away.
Scrub the concrete surface with a TSP and water mixture and vacuum all areas to ensure any remaining debris is gone. Before applying the stain make sure the surface is completely dry.
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