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A Beginner’s Guide to Staining Concrete Floors

June 26, 2013

You may find this hard to believe, but staining a concrete floor can be a complex task; especially for a beginner. Different stains have different chemical compositions that may react with the flooring, while others do not have the durability necessary for the material of your floor. Here are some tips to consider if you are a beginner and you plan to do it yourself…

For the staining process, you will need protective clothing, including rubber boots, safety glasses, gloves, long trousers and a sleeved shirt. A fan is also useful to provide fresh air. Use plastic bags to cover what you don’t want the staining product to touch, like seats and furniture. Cleaning equipment includes a rayon mop, baking soda, a bucket and clean water. This is if the stain is acidic. For acrylic stains, a paint brush will replace your spray can.

Start by cleaning your concrete floor thoroughly so that the surface to be stained is clean. Remove any inhibitions that will affect the staining process. Seal any cracks in advance for smooth and level flooring, and allow them to dry. Remove any wax, grease, dirt, adhesives and oil substances, as this will affect your stain.

Do a small test on an inconspicuous part of the floor to see how the acid will react. Different acids will react differently. It is also helpful to know the acidity level of the product. Even though you can expect different results once you apply it to the floor, it is important to know if the acid will act severely on the surface. Ensure that the staining method and timing used on the sample area is the same that will be used for the rest of the room.

Pour the stain into the pump spray and set your sprayer nasal to fine for the first coating. Start spraying from the furthest corner of the room as you work your way out towards the exit. Try to give the surface the same level of spray to avoid small puddles. Let the area dry for about 24 hours, or check the stain container for the given time.

Additional coatings will intensify the colour quality, and you can add one or two more coats until you get the intensity you want. A little creativity is quite acceptable as long as you stick to the proper painting or spraying methods.

Make sure that the amount is also functional. Too little will not give the right coverage; too much of the product will create pooling on the floor. If you do not scrub in a natural flow, you will have mop lines, and swirls may also appear.

After the stain dries completely, use a sealer over the desired intensity. This allows your surface to have a clean and glossy appearance, and it protects the stain underneath, assuring a lasting finish. Use one or two thin layers of the sealer to make sure that you get the right cover for your surface. Allow it to dry and then clean it using a rag and water. Proper ventilation will ensure that chemicals and fumes do not accumulate in the room.