The acid stained floor process, often termed as ‘colored concrete’, is one of the most popular applications to add dramatic effects to a concrete floor. The application can be viewed as an ideal alternative to carpeted or tiled floors, as it gives a depth of color to the floor by combining different colors and techniques. It actually results in uneven coloration of the concrete floors making different patterns.
Xtreme Polishing Systems brings to you a complete guide on ‘how to acid stain concrete floors’.
Taking precautionary measures:
Before starting to acid stain the floors, we remove all the baseboard and trim work to avoid damage. The wall and the exposed lower cabinets are covered with at least 12 inch masking paper.
Preparing the surface:
Floors are washed away with water to confirm they are not sealed. Grease and oil spots are removed by using sandpaper, floor sanders or chemical strippers. Acrylic patches are repaired using acrylic patches. We usually tend to avoid any uneven coloration or imperfections as they may add to exclusive finish of the floors.
Mixing the acid stain:
Acid stains are the blend of water, acid-soluble metallic salts and hydrochloric acid (the main ingredient). All the compounds penetrate into the surface and react with calcium hydroxide in the concrete to produce distinctive patterns and finish.
Applying the acid stains:
Next, we apply the stains using sprays. The spray wand is kept almost 18 inches above the ground and is used in random patterns to wet the floors. It is made sure that no puddles are generated. At least, two coats of acid sprays are applied; the second coat is applied after a gap of about an hour to let the floors dry completely after the first coat. The subsequent coats are applied until the desired color is reached.
Neutralizing the acid stains:
A mixture of water and ammonia in proportion of 4:1 is applied to neutralize the hydrochloric acid stains. We make sure to thoroughly clean the floors using water to further ensure that no acidic residue is left. The extra water is vacuumed at the end and floors are left overnight to dry.
Sealing the floors:
The next step involves using solvent based acrylic to seal the stained floors as it penetrates into the concrete. The floors are sealed to avoid everyday wear and tear and air bubbling as well as to improve the color of the stain effects. We, at Xtreme Polishing Systems, use sprayers to seal the floors to achieve nice consistent finish. This step (again) requires two coats: first with approximately 15% solid acrylic and second with 20-25% solid acrylic.
Applying floor finish wax:
This step involves adding a protective layer to the stained concrete floors so that they are easy to maintain. Either applicator or spill method is used for the purpose. It generally takes 20 to 40 minutes to dry and at least two to four coats are applied for the maximum shine.
The floors acid stained by the XPS professionals are easy to maintain and requires not more than a wash with mild detergent or an occasional waxing.