How to Stain Concrete: Adding Color to Cement Surfaces

 When deciding on flooring the homeowner now has several choices, you can use a more traditional flooring such as hardwood or tile or you can use concrete for a unique flooring. The advice below may seem straightforward, but it is following the directions and being diligent that provide the best results.

  1. Make sure the surface on which the stain will be applied is clean, free from unwanted defects, stains and markings and ready for coloration. When adding any translucent color to anything, the pattern and colors of the substrate will show through. It’s similar to applying a wood stain to a piece of wood with knots and wood grain. Concrete stain can actually highlight and intensify the variations found in the concrete — natural as well as man-made blemishes and markings.
  2. Use manufacturers’ color charts as a guide only. Because acid stains react differently to each type of surface, it is imperative to do a sample on the actual concrete or surface that is going to receive the treatment. The methods and timing for the sample installed should be the same as how the rest of the surface will be stained. Even though you may encounter variables during the onsite sample, it’s still the best way of predetermining how the stain will react with a specific substrate.
  3. If all concrete were the same, an exact application procedure could be developed. But that simply isn’t the case. Acid staining is as much art as function. You must understand the application technique as well as how much stain to apply. The installer’s experience and the skill level play an important role when choosing an acid-stain finish.

Potentially great jobs can turn into disasters because of improper application methods. Too little product won’t give complete coverage, nor will it etch the surface sufficiently to deeply deposit the color. Too much product can cause unwanted puddling and pooling, causing those areas to have too much color.

If you use the scrubbing method, remember to scrub with a natural flow and pattern. Otherwise, mop lines and obvious swirls may appear.

  1. Removing residue and neutralizing the surface is key to the success of an acid-stained concrete finish. Residue from the acid etching must be removed, and the surface should be neutralized to ensure proper adhesion of the sealant or coating system. Before it’s sealed, the surface is still subject to staining and damage at this point. Take care to thoroughly wet and neutralize the entire area to avoid boot prints, splashed residue marks and other man-made unnatural blemishes.
  2. Once the concrete is sufficiently dry, apply a sealant coating. Although the sealant is usually the last stage of installation, it must be done right; an improperly applied sealer system can show roller lines, leave lint and debris in the finish, or delaminate or flake off the surface. Experienced professionals can choose and apply the right sealer for the job, using techniques such as spraying, cross-hatch rolling, back rolling and buffing (in the case of a wax finish).

A lot of work goes into a stained concrete finish, and practice makes perfect. If you hire a professional, choose someone who has the skills that match the level of difficulty of the job at hand. Visit past work and talk to some of the former customers.

Even if you hire the best acid-stain concrete contractor in your area, his abilities will depend on the surface he’ll work with. It may not be possible to completely hide and blend in color on a badly stained and damaged concrete slab. The concrete slab is the decorative concrete artist’s canvas, so it must be kept clean and free from stains, spills, paint and other flaws. That will ensure that the finish will be everything you hoped for when you chose to use acid stain as a finish.

How to Clean a Rug in the Snow

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The snow is falling, a fire crackling in the fireplace, and that beautiful rug covering your tiled or hardwood flooring is now dirty. The perfect time to work on that rug and clean in the snow! If the fibers of your favorite rug aren’t vacuum-friendly, or the material is just too delicate to clean conventionally, take it outdoors this winter. This is a tutorial you’ll want to consider for your wool rugs, vintage rugs, and high pile rugs that require a little extra care when cleaning. You know the kind; the rug that hoards dust and crumbs into each crevice, or the one that sheds almost all of its fibers every time you torture it with a vacuum cleaner.

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How to Install a Chandelier

3f4ba329e3c54f45d70b4c9ecabfa8efA chandelier helps bring your entire kitchen and dining room together. It becomes the main source of light for the dining room. Many family dinners, laughs, and memories will be had under this fixture. Choosing a chandelier is, of course, a hard choice. However, installing that chandelier does not have to be as hard as choosing it. Follow these handy steps to install the chandelier of your dreams to complete the dining room you’ve always wanted.

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Easy Ways to Clean Your Grout

 

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Your home looks absolutely stunning. You just had new tiles installed in your kitchen and bathroom. But now people are coming in and they are starting to look a little dingy. And over time the grout lines become darker and dirty. It can become quite a chore to clean the grout and hiring a professional can cost a fortune especially if you have a larger area. So, what do you do about cleaning the grout and getting those tiles sparkling. Continue reading →

Stencil Instead of Wallpaper: Step by Step Instructions Part 1

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Stencils are becoming the new wallpaper; more and more people are thinking about using a stencil for more than just the inspirational quote. But like wall paper the most daunting part of using stencils is getting the pattern to match. We have outlined step by step instructions that will make you want to stencil all your walls. Continue reading →