Acid Staining Concrete / Cement Floors - Applying the Acid.
After your floors are clean and dry it is time to apply the acid stain which will give your floors the deep rich color that you are looking for. There are several suppliers of acid stain. Some are listed on this page but you can do an internet search and find more. Our acid ran about $65 per gallon and a gallon was enough to stain about 400 square feet of cement floor.
When selecting the acid stain color that you will use keep in mind that the shade of your concrete slab is going to affect the final color. Dark concrete is going to be dark. The acid will not lighten dark concrete. Light concrete will come out closer to the advertised color. If your slab sat in bright sunlight for a long time then it will probably be lighter. If it did not it will be darker and the shade you will get will be darker as well. I do not know of a way to lighten a dark floor other than let the sun bleach it. Our floors were a little dark and the golden wheat color that we selected ended up being darker than what we thought it would be. However, we were very happy with the results and the floors ended up matching our cabinets, furniture, etc..
Once you have selected the stain and have enough for your slab it is time to apply it. Follow the manufacturers' safety procedure while using the acid. Protect your eyes, wear rubber gloves and long sleeves and pants. Also, make sure the area is well ventilated. The fumes are not good to breath. We had no issues with the acid. Here are the steps that we took when applying the acid stain to our cement floors.
Step One - Mix the acid stain with water at a 50/50 mix. Pour the acid/water solution into a pump up sprayer, mix and pump it up.
Step Two - Spray the acid on the floor in circular motions following a side to side pattern back and forth across the room.
Step Three - While you are spraying the acid have a second person scrub the acid into the slab. This will keep the acid from getting splotchy and will help the acid to penetrate the cement.
Step Four - Leave the first coat on the floor and apply the second coat of acid following step two again. Two coats should be enough to get the color depth you want but if it is not you can apply another coat.
Step Five - Wash the concrete either my mopping or using the floor buffer and water. Clean the concrete until a white towel wiped on the floor comes up clean.
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