The basics of concrete staining

Looking to add more color to your flooring? Stained concrete floors just might be right for you! If you already have concrete floors, staining is not a lengthy process, and it’s affordable, too. If you need new concrete floors and you want to stain them, the project will take quite a bit longer as new concrete can take up to 28 days to completely cure. Below are the basics of concrete staining.

The types and colors

First things first, you’ll need to know the different types of staining and choose a color. There are acid stains and water-based stains. Acid stains are rich in color and are a great choice if you’re going for an earthy tone. They also require neutralization and can take more time to bond with the concrete. Water-based stains give you more color choices, and they’re simpler and safer to apply. Water-based stains do require a bit more surface prep.

The materials

There are a lot of necessary materials for concrete staining. Concrete professionals will need a concrete stripper if the concrete is already sealed, a concrete cleaner/degreaser, an etching solution if you’re choosing a water-based stain, the concrete stain, a neutralizer if you chose acid staining, a sealer, a roller or sprayer, a mask or respirator, gloves, goggles, rubber boots, a scrub brush, a plastic bucket, booties, a pressure washer, a scraper, a hose with a spray nozzle, a shop vacuum, plastic sheeting and tape.

The steps

When you’re ready to apply the stain, abide by the below steps!

Prepare the surface

Surface prep is necessary for both old and new concrete, even more so if you’re using a water-based stain. Acid stains are translucent, so you’ll want to make sure there’s not any residue that will appear through the stain. You can surface prep by either mechanical grinding or using a specific cleaner. How well you surface prep the concrete determines the success of the desired result.

Apply the stain

After the concrete is grounded or cleaned, the stain can be applied. Be sure to tape door frames and walls off, and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to correctly dilute the stain with water for your desired ratio. Use a sprayer or roller to apply the first layer; you can use an airless sprayer, HVLP sprayers, production guns, pump sprayers or a trigger spray bottle, and if the floor requires precision, use a sponge or brush for more control over the stain. Once applied, let the stain dry. You can complete the process for a more intense color.

Rinse the concrete

The standard clean-up process is to rinse the concrete with water until the water runs clear. You can neutralize the acid stain with T.S.P., baking soda or ammonia. Then, before the final rinse, use a brush or broom to loosen up any residue.

Add a protective layer

Finally, you’ll want to add a protective layer to preserve the stain and make it last as long as it should! Give the stain at least 24 hours to completely cure. You can achieve different levels of gloss with your sealer. We recommend applying two coats of sealer for the utmost durability.

Contact us for your stained concrete floor needs

Staining concrete properly requires professionalism and attention to detail. Staining your concrete can elevate your space without any additional maintenance. Contact us today to discuss stained concrete floors in greater detail!