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Applying Concrete Stain

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When applying stain to either new or existing concrete, understanding the basics -- from surface prep to final sealing -- are vital to a successful outcome. Even staining specialists with years of experience can encounter problems from time to time.
Using the right application tools is important too, especially with acid-based stains, which require an investment in acid-resistant brushes and spray equipment. Some tools, such as mops, rollers and squeegees, should only be used by experienced applicators because they can leave undesirable roller marks or streaks of color.
Keep in mind that once the stain is down, the color is permanent-there's no going back. If you have any doubts, hire the services of an expert, especially if the slab is large or requires extensive surface preparation or you want to incorporate multiple colors and elaborate decorative effects.

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Applying Concrete Stain

  1. 1. Applying Concrete Stain
  2. 2. When applying stain to either new or existing concrete, understanding the basics -- from surface prep to final sealing -- are vital to a successful outcome. Even staining specialists with years of experience can encounter problems from time to time. Using the right application tools is important too, especially with acid-based stains, which require an investment in acid-resistant brushes and spray equipment. Some tools, such as mops, rollers and squeegees, should only be used by experienced applicators because they can leave undesirable roller marks or streaks of color. Keep in mind that once the stain is down, the color is permanent-there's no going back. If you have any doubts, hire the services of an expert, especially if the slab is large or requires extensive surface preparation or you want to incorporate multiple colors and elaborate decorative effects.
  3. 3. Stain Application Tips Staining concrete successfully requires a deft hand and a discerning eye. Here are a few tips for getting the best results: • • • • • • • • • • Be scrupulous with surface preparation to ensure removal of contaminants or defects that could ruin an otherwise beautiful staining job. Carefully mask off surrounding areas to avoid unintentional staining - acid stains can be tough, and sometimes impossible, to remove. Always apply a test sample of stain to a small, inconspicuous area of the concrete to be treated. Because so many variables can affect the final color, that's the only way to get an accurate preview of the finished look. Stain colors will be more intense if you apply the stain soon after the concrete has been placed. Follow the stain directions. Acid-based chemical stains often have different requirements than acrylic stains for surface preparation, application and cleanup. To produce various concentrations of color, you can dilute the stain by adding water, either by wetting the concrete before the stain is applied or by spritzing the concrete after stain application with water from a spray bottle. Don't expect color consistency or perfection. Variations are inherent in the staining process. To treat areas that did not stain well, try applying a concrete dye or tint. When using an acid-based stain, be sure to remove any residue remaining on the surface so the sealer will bond properly. Use a mixture of water and detergent, adding a tablespoon of baking soda per gallon of water to neutralize any remaining acid. Scrub with a buffing machine, and then pick up the residue with a wet vacuum. Rinse until the water is clear. Protect your newly stained surface with a sealer. Be sure to select a product that’s compatible with the stain you’re using.
  4. 4. Stained Concrete Maintenance While protecting stained concrete with a sealer or floor finish will repel dirt and help prevent wear, it does not eliminate the need for periodic maintenance. How much traffic the surface receives often dictates the amount of ongoing maintenance required. Here are some general maintenance tips: • • • • • For interior concrete floors subject to only light foot traffic, maintenance is usually a simple matter of dry dust mopping and occasional wet mopping with a neutral-pH cleaner. If stained floors begin to loose their luster or shine, re-waxing will usually revive the appearance. In a typical residential setting, a year or longer may go by before it's necessary to buff and re-wax the floor. In businesses with more traffic, it will be necessary to reapply the finish at more frequent intervals. For exterior stained concrete, keep the surface clean by sweeping it with a broom or leaf blower or rinsing with a garden hose. To remove stubborn dirt, scrub with a mop or medium-bristle brush and a mild cleaner. To keep exterior surfaces protected, apply a new coat of sealer every year or two, or as necessary. When you begin to notice that water no longer beads up on the surface, it's time to reseal. Stained concrete countertops will have different protection and maintenance needs than walking surfaces.
  5. 5. Visit Us! Learn more about Foundation Armor’s professional grade line of concrete sealers, concrete coatings, concrete cleaners and concrete repair products by visiting FoundationArmor.com or by calling 866-306-0246.

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