Concrete staining is a process of staining concrete floors and giving it a new and improved look. People use this process when they decide to change the look of a dull grey piece of slab or when concrete floors are degrading and corroding.

The 2 types of concrete stains are reactive and non- reactive. Reactive stains are water-based acidic solutions that react with the concrete. Once the chemical reaction has taken place, the stain forms a permanent bond with the concrete and won’t peel away.

Non-reactive stains are water-based acrylic stains to penetrate the concrete surface and deposit particles in the open pores. Nonreactive stains are easier to apply than acid stains but it is not as successful. It won’t produce the color texture that an acid stain can do and is a less durable finish.

Cleaning the concrete is one of the most important things that have to be done before any type of staining takes place.

1) Sweep and scrub the floor using TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)

2) Scrape off as much mastic and caulking compound as possible using a floor scraper

3) Use a smooth paste derived from fly ash with denatured alcohol

4) Scrub the floor again with TSP and then use a wet-vac to dry the floor

5) This will ensure a smooth floor for the staining process

The actual concrete staining can now commence. The process is very difficult and needs to be done professionally. The various steps are listed below

a) Make sure to cover the walls using masking paper to avoid the walls from getting stains.

b) Mix the stain mixture using hydrochloric acid. Add acid to water as opposed to the other way around. The best way to apply the solution to the floor is by using a 2 gallon plastic spray as metal will react with the solution

c) Spray the floor from about 18inches above the floor. The stain will react with the floor giving it multiple hues. Let it dry and then apply a second coat.

d) The individual applying the spray can repeat until the desired color is reached

e) Seal the floor using a paint roller. Apply the sealer using multiple thin coats.

f) Allow the floor to dry

Concrete staining will add character to the floor. The stains will permeate the concrete and infuse it with a rich translucent tone. It can be used on a variety of surfaces such as garages, kitchens, indoor surfaces, driveways etc. amongst others. Over time, the concrete will have bonded and not chip away. The color that was needed will blend into the cement. It is a smart investment for the smart homeowner.