Concrete staining has rapidly become a popular flooring. The process of acid-etch or water-based staining produces a lush richness that cannot be done by other coloring mediums. Paint produces a solid opaque effect, but staining will permeate concrete. This effect can look like stained wood, polished marble, natural stone or leather.
Where Can Concrete Staining be Done?
- Large interior rooms
- Fireplaces and walls
- Countertops of kitchens
- Patios and walkways
What is the Difference Between Water-based and Acid-Based Stains?
Unlike acid stains that produce primarily earth-tone colors, water-based stains are available in a larger array of colors that can even have a metallic tint. They can also be used without ventilation because they do not produce harmful fumes and it is easier to clean up.
Clean-up for water stains is simpler than acid stains because they do not require rinsing. A simple application of water and soap will clean it up.
The majority of acid-based stains available use a mixture of acid-soluble metallic salts, water and hydrochloric acid. It can permeate the concrete to react chemically with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete. Once the stain has been applied and dried, it is considered a permanent part of the concrete. It also will not peel away, fade or chip off. The colors and limited, however, to terra cottas, earthy tones and soft blue greens.
Containing the runoff and residue of acid staining has to be contained when cleaning. Outside vegetation like grass and surrounding vegetation could be harmed if the runoff reaches it.
Concrete staining does not hide any blemishes like cracks, chips or stains like an oil spill. The concrete needs to be cleaned before a stain is applied. Applying stain to covered surfaces like sealers, glues, grease, dirt, sealer waxes grease paint and curing membranes is not recommended.
Outdoor Versus Indoor Stained Concrete
For the most part, the stains can be used both outdoor and indoor. Outdoor stain usually is abrasion-resistant and UV resistant. Acid staining does penetrate further in the concrete which will prevent wear and fading over time.
Indoor staining has to take into consideration the type of stain used and how well the area is ventilated. For a bolder design statement, water-based stains offer a better variety of colors. It can also be mixed to create custom colors.
Concrete sealing can be done on most types of concrete. If the concrete is older and has a sealer on it, it is recommended the sealer be removed prior to being stained. For floors that are waxed, a floor wax remover must be used. At All Around Surfaces, we sand the floor which will not only remove the sealant or wax, it will also remove paints and glues.
Grease and oil are harder to remove so we need to apply a degreaser to lift it out of the concrete. The degreaser can act as a natural solvent as well, so it will deep clean and lift the oils that are in the concrete pores out. Our floor buffing machine has stripping pads that will scrub the floor before we wash it off with clean water.
Once the concrete is completely dry, if the concrete is old, we will choose a small area to apply the stain to see how it will look. By doing this, we can be sure the floor has been appropriately cleaned and stripped, we can make sure the stain is reacting properly and the color is what was chosen.
After we have determined how the concrete stain is working, we will apply the stain and let it dry. We will then apply a concrete sealant to preserve the look of the newly stained concrete.