Properly Staining Concrete Floors
Many homeowners don’t consider the many ways they can improve the look of their concrete surfaces. Several staining methods are available, each of which provides property owners with options for revitalizing their exterior and interior concrete. Staining concrete floors is a worthwhile project. While Dixon Painting has stained concrete since 2003, we are glad to walk you through the process so that you can do it yourself. If something goes wrong, we’re always here to save the project. Learn more about staining concrete below.
Avoid Pitfalls By Following Our Step-By-Step Process
Never rush headlong into a concrete staining project because concrete is not as forgiving or easy to work with as wood floors. Doing your homework before you apply the first coat is essential. Staining a concrete floor might look like a simple four-step process. But many homeowners have tripped themselves on a range of pitfalls. For instance, the first step is cleaning and preparing the concrete. However, certain stains require a thoroughly porous surface. Cleaning concrete is also essential, but it is not as simple as applying some soap and water. The following steps will lay out each step in detail.
Step One: Choosing a Concrete Stain is Harder Than You Think
The first potential pitfall is choosing the wrong stain. For instance, you should never use an acetone-based dye on a driveway because the stain is not UV-resistance. It will degrade quickly under the sun. Acid-based formulas last longer but are limited to earthy tones. At the same time, a liquid acetone stain will offer more colors and UV protection. Choosing the correct stain is critical.
Step Two: Preparation is Crucial!
You cannot merely apply a stain to a concrete surface. Whether you are beautifying a driveway or walkway or plan to create a gorgeous foyer floor, you need to prep the concrete. If the concrete is new, please wait at least one month before staining it. There are several things to keep in mind with older concrete. If there are cracks, repair them with a crack sealant and wait 24 hours. Sweep and mop the concrete carefully to remove all dust, dirt, and debris. Using a floor scrubber is also advisable to take care of uneven patches. Also:
- Never use muriatic acid during the cleaning process.
- Strip all previous sealers, paints, adhesives, and coatings. Use a degreaser and neutralizer to remove oil spots.
- If you are using an acid stain, be sure to use a concrete etch and cleaner to prep the surface and rinse afterward.
- Make sure the concrete is porous by using a grinder to create a rougher surface.
- Mask for over-spray by using masking tape and water-resistant construction paper. Reinforce it with duct tape.
Step Three: Stain the Surface and Remove Residue
You will need to rent an acid-resistant airless paint sprayer to complete a professional-grade staining project. Smaller brushers and rollers work well in smaller areas, but you should not use them exclusively. The staining process is complicated and filled with potential missteps. You will want to consider the following facts and advice to ensure your floors look great:
- Moisture is Key: You want the area damp, but you never want to see puddling water. If you over-water, you will need to dry any puddling areas before you start.
- Overlap is Crucial: Spray the stain in an overlapping manner. You want to see a wet edge at all times.
- Be Patient: The stain needs time to react with the concrete, no matter which kind you use. To be safe, let the stain sit for at least six hours. You can let it go longer than that if you want.
- Thoroughly Clean: You’re not done yet. Next, you need to clean all residue and pour water on the floor. This step approximates the final color. You can add a second coat of stain if you want. Next, you need to use a degreaser and neutralizer solution and use an acid brush. Do this several times.
- Don’t Skip Rinsing: Rinsing is as essential as cleaning. Use clean water to cover the entire surface and then mop up the excess water. A wet-dry vacuum is advisable. Keep doing this until the rinse water is as clear as the clean water.
- Ensure the Process is Complete: Wipe the concrete with a white cloth. If you see residue, then you need to continue rinsing the surface.
Call Us If You Need Professional Assistance
We completely understand if the above steps seem like more trouble than they are worth. We are experts at staining concrete. We know how to work with various stains, and our team works quickly and efficiently. If you are concerned about the process, we don’t recommend moving forward on your own. There are too many seemingly small steps that can go wrong. These missteps will negatively impact how the concrete looks. Remember, stains are forever. If you decide you need professional help, contact Dixon Painting today. We’ll get started immediately.