Acid staining is one of the most popular ways of adding color to concrete. It can be used on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. Using it on a concrete patio guarantees a more appealing outdoor living space and a higher property resale value. If this decorative application is new to you, here is a step-by-the-step guide on the acid staining process:
- Step 1: Clean the Concrete Patio
It is important to remove any dirt, oil, or grease on the concrete patio as these could keep the stain from adhering to the concrete slab. Pressure washing is highly recommended as it is quite effective in removing tough and stubborn dirt.
- Step 2: Apply the Stain
Use a brush to apply the stain along edges, walls, corners, and hard-to-reach areas. Once those areas have been covered, use a spray to apply the stain to larger areas. If there are spots missed, use a brush to fill in those spots. Leave the stain to dry for at least 4 hours. Commonly, an acid stain requires another two coats to fully acquire the desired color effect. If you do decide to add more coats, make sure to let the stain dry in between.
- Step 3: Rinse the Stained Surface
Test one small area to check if the stain has adhered as it should. If the color stays, use a pressure washer to rinse the stain off of the patio. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. If you must, use a broom to scrub lightly across the surface to make sure that all stain residue is removed.
- Step 4: Neutralize the Surface
Neutralizing aims to normalize the pH of the patio as it has recently been treated with an acid-based material. To do this, mix two cups of ammonia with five gallons of water. For added cleaning effect, add a few drops of dishwashing soap. Apply this on the surface and use a broom to lightly scrub the solution on the surface. Use the pressure washer again to rinse it off until the water is clear of color and soap.
- Step 5: Apply a Concrete Sealer
Using a brush or roller brush, apply about 2 to 3 coats of concrete sealer on the thoroughly dried concrete patio. The sealer will serve as a protective layer while enhancing the color of the stain and adding a bit of shine for a more appealing look.
Although the process seems simple and easy, it is highly recommended to hire a professional contractor to acid stain concrete patio. This would ensure that the process is done properly, the right material is used, the necessary tools and safety gear are worn, and the results, long-lasting.