Coloring a Floor With Acid Stain
Before you think about acid staining, you have to consider the condition of your floor; your floor may not be a good candidate for an acid staining project. Cracks that need to be filled in, can some times still be noticeable after the work is done, and repair work usually becomes more obvious with the use of lighter colors.
If you have cracks, try and find a darker color to work with. You can always have the floor top coated for a solid like finish, this will help you if you want to go with a lighter color, but there is much added expense to using a concrete top coat. Your local contractor can advise you on what colors could work, and why.
The first thing is to make sure the surface is ready to receive the acid staining, and this is usually done by polishing the surface down to a nice smooth finish. After it is polished, it will be cleaned using a commercial scrubber, or pressure washer if the flooring is outside. Most mild detergents are used, but some products specify a particular cleaner, the instructions must be followed.
Once the floor is polished and cleaned, the color acid spraying will begin. The colors are mixed for consistency, and then sprayed over the floor while being worked in with a broom. The broom helps to spread the product more evenly, but a respraying over the brush marks help to give the floor a more natural look.
Once the acid has had the proper amount of time to react to the concrete, the acid wash can be neutralized using the recommended neutralizing product. The neutralizer is thoroughly applied to the floor to stop the acid stain reaction with the floor, usually by mop. You'll notice that the workers do not walk on the un-neutralized areas, as this can cause shoe spots.
It's important to get up all the neutralized residue, not getting all the residue is the #1 reason why most acid stain sealers will fail to bond properly after application. The better the vacuuming of the slurry and residue, the better your end results, a good vacuum is the key! Most times it's necessary to make a second pass cleaning off the floor neutralizer. Don't worry that when it dries, it will chalk up; it will deepen with color when the sealer is applied.
After the floor has had the proper time to dry, decorative highlights can be applied to the surface, giving the floor wavy hues where the color blends in and out. When your customizing is done, then it's time to spray on the sealer. Most times you'll see 2-3 additional coats of sealer spayed on to help maintain a longer lasting finish. Then the recommended floor wax is usually applied, adding to the future protection of the surface.
Your local concrete floor contractor can help you figure if this is the path for you, or if you have to consider other restoration options. Give them a call today and find out the facts about your floor. Get a free estimate, it will help you to make the right decision.