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Stamped Concrete Guide: Tips for Working With Acid Stains

Dec 19


Working with acid stains can be fun, but it’s also a little complicated because of how sensitive the concrete needs to be to the acid. If you’re considering getting some acid stains done on your concrete, make sure you follow these tips from the experts to ensure you get the perfect stain every time and that you don’t ruin your concrete in the process!

5 Tips for Working With Acid Stains

An acid stain can add texture, color, and design to your concrete patio, walkway, or pool deck, and they’re usually easy to apply if you use these five tips when working with an acid stain on your concrete project. Acid stains will often fade over time and are best used in low-traffic areas of your home where fading isn’t as noticeable, but if you use these tips when applying your acid stain, you’ll be able to minimize the fading even further so that you can get the most out of your stained concrete for as long as possible.

1) Patience

Patience is key when working with acid stains because it takes more time to get the desired result. Be sure to allow the stain to sit and penetrate the concrete before moving on to a new section. If you try to move on too soon, you may not get the full effect of the acid or you may miss some parts of your design. Keep in mind that all of this will depend on how many coats you apply. For example, if you're looking for a light marble look and only want one coat, then there's no need to be patient as long. But if you're trying to create a darker, chocolaty brown color then patience is important. Again, this will depend on how many coats are applied so it's best to let the experts handle that decision-making process. A local stamped concrete contractor near me can help you determine what number of coats are needed based on the type of look you're going for.

2) Research

Acid stains are a popular way to add color and design interest to concrete. They come in a wide range of colors, textures, and designs, which you can use to make your stamped concrete stand out. But before you get started with acid stains, there are some important things to keep in mind. 

  1. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying the stain. 
  2. Apply the stain evenly across the whole surface using a trowel or other tool. 
  3. After applying the first coat, wait 2-3 hours and then apply a second coat if needed. 
  4. Protect the stained concrete from water damage by sealing it within 24 hours after staining it with an acrylic sealer or other sealant product like Protector Plus or Mod Podge Outdoor Acrylic Sealer (see below).

3) Gloves

Gloves are a necessity when working with acid stains. The gloves need to be thick enough to not allow the acid to seep through and burn your hands. They need to fit snugly so that they don't come off when you're using power tools. Gloves also help protect you from other chemicals such as concrete cleaners or sealers, which can have negative effects on your skin if used without protection. If you prefer not to wear gloves, then make sure that your hands are thoroughly washed after finishing up any work with acids. 

The risk of exposing yourself to harmful chemicals is decreased by wearing long sleeves and pants while doing work around these substances. It's also important to wash clothes before wearing them again to keep harmful substances away from your body. 

4) Ventilation

  • The best time to apply acid stains is on a day with low humidity and moderate temperature. 
  • Do not try to do the job in one day. Take your time to get it right! 
  • Ventilate well before, during, and after the application of the stain. A good air filter/fan combination will help keep the work area under control as you work. 
  • Keep children and pets away from any acid-staining operation! Always wear protective gear such as safety glasses, a respirator, or even full-body coveralls while working with acid stains. 
  • Follow all label directions and precautions when using this product!

5) Protective clothing

Dress in protective clothing, such as heavy rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and pants, and safety goggles to protect your skin. Make sure to remove jewelry and watches so they are not damaged by the acid. Cover your hair with a hair net or hat so it is protected from any splashes of acid. Work in well-ventilated areas and make sure there is plenty of running water nearby. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand just in case something goes wrong. Apply the stain mixture to a small area of concrete at first, then see how that looks before applying it all over. Use a paint roller or brush to apply the acid solution to ensure an even coat. Remember, concrete has pores so you'll need more than one coat for coverage. If your concrete is old, you may need more than one application of stain per day to get good coverage. Let each coat dry before applying another one to allow it time to set up. Be aware that color will fade slightly over time so don't expect too much from the first few applications. You can find stamped concrete in Pittsburgh pa here if you need help with anything else.