Tips for Applying Stains to Concrete

Written: November 23, 2016

Tips for Applying Stains to Concrete

Staining concrete isn’t the toughest job to tackle if you have all of the right tools and as long as the surface has been properly prepped. However, there are some basic rules that should be followed to ensure the results you want. Also, keep in mind that if the job is complex or large that hiring a contractor is suggested. Let’s review some tips for applying stains to concrete.

It is a good idea to use a small test area before staining the entire area. This is important to do because there are many variables that impact the final appearance, so doing a test area is the best way to preview the final appearance.

When planning to stain newly laid concrete, make sure to wait at least fourteen days after the concrete has been laid before applying chemical stains. It takes a while for concrete to properly cure, during this process the concrete can retain moisture while it’s curing in the first month. If stain is applied prior to fourteen days after the concrete has been poured the color may not turn out as desired due to the moisture that is still in the concrete.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s stain instructions when applying stains. Acid based stains instructions differ from water based stains instructions. In fact, everything from preparation to application to clean up has different instructions for acid based and water based stains. Manufacturers also may recommend specific tools and coverage rates for each product.

The best way to avoid start and stop lines is to ensure that the applicators edge is always wet when applying the stain. A good way to do this is to split the floor up into small areas, utilizing the floor joints as your starting and stopping points.

When using a sprayer to apply the stain it is best to use a sprayer that sprays in a cone pattern so that the stain disperses evenly, as opposed to a sprayer that sprays in a fan like pattern which is difficult to avoid showing spray patterns.

Ensure that when spraying the surface of the concrete with stain that the tip of the sprayer stays at least 12 inches away from the surface. If the tip gets too close, darkened areas can result from the stain reacting to fast.

It is important to avoid over applying the stain. The stain will build up if it is over applied. Over applying stain is especially problematic on less porous concrete and when darker colors of stain are used.

Make sure to neutralize the surface after using acid-based stain.

Make sure you are not expecting perfection or consistency when using stain, there will be variations which is inherent in the staining process.

Apply a sealer after the staining process is complete to preserve the finished appearance of the stain. Protective coatings may need to be reapplied as needed.

We hope these staining tips have been helpful! There are so many creative and custom options for finishing concrete, but first and foremost important is the concrete itself. At Custom Concrete Creations we have state of the art equipment and a properly trained team with years of experience. Custom Concrete Creations is a premier contractor serving the Omaha area as well at the Midwest. Give us a call or send us an email for your custom concrete finishing needs today!

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Custom Concrete Creations holds manufacturer certifications for L&M FGS Permashine and LM Scofield polished concrete systems.