Staining old concrete is a creative solution for transforming boring traditional concrete into an artistic, imaginative and completely unique appearance. This process is also commonly called “colored concrete” and can be used in both interior and exterior concrete surfaces. These acid staining techniques are now being utilized in everything from new construction projects to current exterior and interior remodels.
The Beginning Procedure
The process begins when the professional concrete resurfacing provider cleans the floors or concrete slabs. Pressure washing is the normal method for exterior surfaces while interior floors are scrubbed with a highly abrasive buffering pad after the adjacent walls have been thoroughly protected from potential damage by the soon-to-be-applied acid stain.
The Concrete Staining Process
These acid stains are typically a mixture of tint, hydrochloric acid and metallic salts that leave the newly finished surface with a very unique translucent, uneven appearance. This mottled effect comes as a result of the acids reacting with the line deposits within the concrete. Since every concrete mixture has a different combination of ingredients and ratios, no two stained concrete surfaces will look exactly alike. This is one of it’s advantages, every surface looks slightly distinctive.
The “Ugly” Stage
Until the applied mixture of acid and color are neutralized with an alkaline-based chemical agent, usually a mixture of water and ammonia, the newly acid stained surface goes through an “ugly stage” as the lime within the concrete reacts with the hydrochloric acid. The longer that the chemical remains on the concrete floor or exterior slab before it is neutralized will be a contributing factor in determining the final resulting appearance.
The Resulting Effect
When the hydrochloric acid reacts with the old concrete, the finished product will have transformed into something that looks similar to weather marble, stone or slate. Because this is a chemically reactive stain and not a paint-like substance, the effects are permanent. Staining old concrete does not provide the potential for flaking, cracking or peeling as paint would do. With the translucent properties, the existing cracks and imperfections only add to the weathered and worn appearance provided by the process.
Staining old concrete is more cost effective than laying stone or hardwoods. It is even less expensive than carpeting or tiling your old floors. This technique lasts for the life of the concrete, provides a distinctive style all its own, and helps conceal blemishes and imperfections over the long term.