Acid Stain it
Interior floors can be acid stained (by a professional). Interior applications include basement or laundry room floors, as well as concrete slab interiors of houses. Acid staining can also be done to driveways, pool decks, patios, to name a few outdoor applications.
This area of decorative concrete is growing exponentially in popularity around the country. Originally seen mostly in the Soutwest United States, this inexpensive yet unique artform accentuates the imperfections of all concrete, making each slab a blank canvas of artwork, never to be duplicated.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT AND HOW-TO:H&C® Infusion™ Reactive Acid Stains
This product is intended for PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY. Due to the intricate detail involved in applying this, we recommend only experienced professionals install Infusion™.
In order to manage customer expectations, a sample area of the actual concrete pour is imperative. Acid stains chemically react with concrete, and all pours of concrete are different. The sample area should be prepped, applied and sealed exactly the way the entire project will be completed. It's a good idea to have the customer approve this sample area before beginning the full-scale project.
The Infusion™ color chart is just a starting point for color approval. The stains can be diluted, thinned and mixed to many more than the 12 basic colors offered. The customer may like the look of just sprayed on stain, or he/she may like the scrubbed in look. There are infinite possiblities of the artistic nature of acid staining. Practice as much as possible on cement boards to hone your skills.
*Do not acid etch/wash prior to acid staining.
Concrete must be fully cured prior to application. The pH of the surface should be between 6 and 10 units.
Air, surface and product temperature must be at least 50 degrees during the application and until installation is complete.
Remove ALL contaminants such as grease, glues, loose paint, oil, laitance, efflorescence and loose mortar from the cement. All visible imperfections should be ground to create a uniform porous surface (unless the customer wants to accentuate those imperfections). Surface should not appear or feel like polished concrete, an accurate penetration/reaction will not occur.
Try to limit the exposure of other trades in new construction. For example, if carpenters drop metal nails onto the newly poured concrete, it may result in the acid stain not reacting in that area. That area already had something "react" to that spot...the metal in the nail. Sometimes these imperfections (along with small cracks) can be seen as unique, and can create all the more artistic final look. If other trades will be on site, put a protective coating over the concrete like a Tyvek® wrap or Rosin® paper; something durable that can be removed once ready to acid stain.
You will need: Pump-up garden sprayer (all plastic parts), Wet-Dry Vac, Brown Masking Paper, Acid Brush, Mop Extension pole, Bucket, Rubber Gloves, Blue Masking Tape, Protective Eyewear, Neutralizer (ammonia or baking soda), Spiked Shoes, Rags.
Protect surrounding areas before staining. Rope off areas to be stained and keep all traffic clear until the installation is complete. Wear suitable protective gear. Read all cautions and all MSDS.
Use nonmetallic equipment. An acid resistant pump sprayer is ideal for application. H&C Infusion Reactive Concrete Stain will react with metals, therefore, the use of brushes, brooms, sprayers and buckets that are nonmetallic is recommended.
Spray a light mist of water onto the concrete right before the first application for a more vibrant color. Depending on the color desired, an application of two or more coats of stain might be required. Allow H&C Infusion™ Reactive Concrete Stain to remain on the surface between applications and after final application until the chemical reaction is complete a minimum of 4 hours.
Scrub H&C Infusion™ Reactive Concrete Stain into the concrete as soon as it is applied, keeping the brush in constant contact and motion with the surface. Keep a wet edge and a uniformly saturated surface. Gradually spread the stain until fizzing stops.
DO NOT allow the stain to puddle, splash, or drip on the floor or treated surface, as darkening and discoloration from the rest of the floor or treated surface will occur.
H&C Infusion™ Reactive Concrete Stain will not hide cracks or other blemishes in the concrete, and may accentuate imperfections within the concrete finish.
Neutralize and Remove Residue
Remove H&C Infusion™ Reactive Concrete Stain residue (after it has reacted for 4 hours minimum), by wet scrubbing with a neutralizing cleaner like ammonia or baking soda diluted in water. Then rinse the surface until the rinse water is clean. After a few rinsings (changing out your mop water frequently), use a white buff pad to see if any residue remains. If so, continue to clean.
All residues MUST be removed before any coating or sealer can be applied. Use caution when handling the stain residue and water drainage. Protect all adjacent foliage and soil from over-spray and runoff. Use an acid resistant wet vacuum, and follow all governmental regulations for disposal.
Apply SealerSealer should be applied at least 24 hours after the acid residue has been removed. Use 2 coats of H&C Infusion™ Solvent or Water-Based Sealer. For interior floors add at least 2 coats of H&C Infusion Industrial Floor Finish for maximum protection.