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Acid Stained Concrete Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Patio & Walkway > Acid Stained Concrete Guide
Acid Stained Concrete Guide

Using acid stain to change the look of your concrete can be tricky. Acid stains depend on chemical reaction to work. The water, hydrochloric acid and acid-soluble metallic salts in the stain penetrate the surface of the cement by reacting with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete. Because of this, no two stains look a like, and you may not even know what your stain looks like until hours after it’s applied!

 

Acid based stains aren’t like paint. For one, they are translucent so they can’t cover up problems, marks or imperfections. Also, they don’t come in a wide range of colors. With acid stains, users are limited to natural tones like browns, blues, golden hues and tans.

 

Despite its limitations and somewhat unpredictable nature, acid stains can be truly beautiful. Done right, and with a glossy coating, they can shine like wood or even a rich leather.

 
  1. Acid based stains aren’t like paint. For one, they are translucent so they can’t cover up problems, marks or imperfections. Also, they don’t come in a wide range of colors. With acid stains, users are limited to natural tones like browns, blues, golden hues and tans.

    1.Professional or Do-it-yourself?

    Once you’ve decided to stain something, the next question is whether to do it yourself or call in a professional. There are arguments for doing either. When you are acid staining, you are working with serious chemicals. So, you should know what you are doing. A professional would know how to mix up the proper amount of stain and apply it with care. However, consider the size of your project. The amount of stain you’re working with could be small enough to fill a water bottle or small paint can. If your project is small, you could probably handle it yourself with ease. Either way, care must be taken to keep both the person applying the stain and the environment around them safe.

  2. 2.Applying the stain

    Again, take lots of precaution when applying your acid stain. Follow manufacturer’s directions closely. They will tell you how much stain to use for the amount of area that you will be covering. Make sure you are wearing gloves and heavy shoes. If you are applying a small amount of stain, use a face mask and goggles. For larger amounts of stain, especially if you are using a pump sprayer, wear a respirator. Take care to make sure nothing comes in contact with the stain while it’s setting. Walking across the stain before it’s done will result in permanent footprints across your surface. Know that your stain will change in appearance as it sets. Test a small amount of the surface to be stained before doing the whole thing.

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  4. 3.Visual appeal

    Acid staining gives you a lot of room to play in and be creative. You can use stain to highlight lines and shapes in already poured concrete. You can give it “texture” by applying it with different things like paintbrushes, rags, or sponges. You can even layer the stain with different shades. Figure out what will best accentuate your home and style.

     

    Acid staining isn’t exactly a cake walk, but with a little research and the proper precautions, anyone can do it. Figure out what you want and the best way to achieve it. Whether you use it inside of your home or out, acid staining could be the finishing touch you’ve been looking for.

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