Acid Stained Concrete: Choosing Colors and Preparing Surface

Acid stained concrete is a water-based liquid that comprises of minerals and acid. When applied to concrete, the stain penetrates to its pores hence forcing a chemical reaction between the available lime in the surface and the muriatic acid. The end result of the penetration is a permanently altered concrete in terms of color.  A variegated, mottled, marble-like look is what the acid stained concrete gets when applied. Because chemical reaction occurs, you shouldn’t expect a uniform or even tone once the staining is done. The stain can be applied to both old and new concrete as long as they fit the mold. Acid stained concrete has excellent wear resistance and UV stability hence making it an effective remedy for revitalizing dull surfaces. It can be utilized both in the interior and exterior and can be applied in a wide range of places from patios to walkways, kitchen desktops to family room floors, as well as fireplace surrounds and walls.

acid staining of concrete

Though they add a certain level of beauty when applied, acid stained concrete does little to hide flaws such as blemishes or cracks from the surface applied.

Choosing acid stain colors

Typically acid stains come in the very limited colors of earthy tones such as browns, tans, soft blue-greens and terra cottas. They come in shades of green, brown, blue, blue-green or a black that is not pure. With the limited colors present, you have the option of mixing different colors together or layering them in order to achieve a more unique look. Ultimately though, it is ideal that you test the given colors before applying because once applied, it becomes near impossible to get rid of it. Ideally neutral colors are preferred because they tend to complement a wide range of lifestyles. As a tip, the stain color that you purchase will not automatically translate to the actual color you will get on the acid stained concrete since it all comes down to the chemical reaction with the given surface or concrete. The color intensity too will depend on number of factors such as how recently poured the concrete is, how old the concrete is and the protective sealer that is applied after staining.

Related: How much stained concrete floors cost

acid stained concrete
acid stained concrete

Preparing the area for acid staining

Before you work on a given area, you need to ensure that it is properly prepared if you wish to get the best acid stained concrete result. Ensure that the area is clear of things such as dirt, coatings, grease, curing membranes, glues or sealers. In case of old concrete, ensure that you don’t use any kind of acid wash or etching solution to clean the surface since it will not produce the desired acid stained concrete. This is because when applied, the acid wash or etching solution will take out some of the chemicals in the concrete that could have been colored by the acid stain hence producing undesirable results.

Once you have chosen the color and cleaned the surface, then you are on the right path to creating a beautiful acid stained concrete!

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