Acid stained concrete floors: equipment, surface preparation, performance of work
Acid-stained Concrete is a method that allows you to give concrete an original color pattern, which is done using an acid dye. The main material used is a solution based on water with metal salts, as well as acids. It impregnates the concrete surface, reactions occur between it and concrete, which lead to its staining. After painting, the color does not change its properties for a long time. After these works, ordinary concrete acquires an original special, long-time indelible pattern.
Technology application goals:
- Painting of floors and walls made of concrete;
- Giving decorativeness to an old surface;
- Painting of various concrete parts, for example, countertops;
- Staining, restoration of brightness, color saturation of concrete tiles;
- Giving a beautiful appearance to concrete walkways, sidewalks.
Factors Affecting Acid-stained Concrete
Factors that can affect color saturation:
- Surface age – when concrete was laid;
- Which cement mortar was chosen;
- In what condition is the surface;
- Features of the material that is selected for painting;
- How much moisture is present when painting;
- In what weather is the work performed.
Why should you keep in mind all of these factors?
It is important to know when the concrete was laid. Over time, the cement coating is exposed to the effects of external conditions, which, especially with regard to precipitation, adversely affect its properties. If this point is not taken into account, acid etching can give the most unexpected result. Features of the cement can also affect how the reaction will occur when using the dye. There are cements with certain properties that can weaken or strengthen the process of chemical interaction.
What condition the surface is in is very important. It depends on what the result of the painting will be, especially if the task is to achieve a certain effect. Determine whether it will be possible to carry out etching without making a change in the state of the surface, specialists can, conducting a visual inspection.
Today a wide variety of dyes are used for etching concrete. It is important to take into account the recommendations of their manufacturers, carefully analyze the composition, follow the instructions, and apply your experience in working with specific materials and surfaces in a certain condition. Our masters had to work with products from different manufacturers. And in all cases, they managed to use dyes so that they gave the desired effect.
As for the amount of moisture during etching, it becomes very small in dry working conditions. This is directly related to the weather when you have to work outdoors. Exposure to the sun contributes to the evaporation of water, as a result of which it is not possible to achieve the desired effect. Rainy or snowy weather are also not the best conditions for quality etching. Therefore, if you want to make concrete beautiful, you will have to take into account weather conditions.
Equipment and tools
- Special brush, which is made of materials that can withstand the effects of the acid component of the base material. Her bristles should have medium hardness. The brush should not have parts made of metal;
- A spray device equipped with a manual pump, which is used to work on large areas;
- Tanks made of plastic, which have different volumes. They will be required at different stages of the work;
- A device that is capable of delivering water under high pressure. It will be required for the preparation of concrete, and will also be necessary for water treatment at the final working stage.
Mandatory masters use:
- A mask respirator, as well as special safety glasses;
- Shoes or overlays for regular shoes, on which there are spikes, which allows you to move around on painted concrete.
Concrete surface preparation
Before painting concrete, our craftsmen prepare the surface, ensuring compliance with several rules.
- All garbage is removed, concrete is cleaned from paint and other finishing materials. Otherwise, it will not work to achieve a high-quality work result.
- It is not used when cleaning water repellent, hydrochloric acid or a substance that contains a lot of TSP.
- Concrete cannot be etched if it has been recently laid. This can only be done after 2 weeks.
- Check that the old surface is crack free. If there are cracks, they are fixed.
- Polished concrete is mechanically processed or pre-chemically etched to ensure excellent acid staining.
- It is taken into account which cement was chosen during installation, how much water was present in the cement mortar.
Our masters always conduct a test in a small area to finally understand what will happen when acid is stained.
Performance of work
With acid-stained concrete, a coloring material that is sold in concentrated form may be selected. It requires dilution with water, and this is done in a different ratio, which allows to achieve a variety of colors, shades. If there is a lot of water, the reaction during staining will be weak. Get the right color will not succeed. This is especially true for old surfaces.
The result of painting depends on the application method. It is better to use pump spray equipment that can come into contact with acids without compromising its integrity and performance. If you want to get a very dark shade, uniform in color, a brush is used, with which circular movements are performed. When using such a tool, a second layer is sprayed. This will remove smears that will spoil the appearance of the treated concrete. Or you can leave it as it is, if the design idea provides for the presence of such strokes.
One layer is not always enough. If it is an old surface, then up to three layers can be made. In addition, several layers are needed if it is necessary to combine dyes of various shades, or in the case of using solutions of various degrees of concentration.
At high ambient temperatures, water from the solution evaporates quickly. This is bad. The reaction will be weak. To exclude such a development of events, we wet the treated surface with water before applying the dye. If you have to carry out work in the hot season, it is better to do the work in the evening or in the morning.
To achieve color enhancement, our craftsmen apply the second layer after the first layer has dried. However, if you want to mix colors in different areas so that the edges are blurred, then the coloring solution is applied in a consistent manner until it dries completely.
Our experts accurately carry out all the work and know what needs to be done so as not to harm the result of the work in the process of their implementation. They wait until the reaction is complete, provide the conditions under which no one should move on the painted surface without studded shoes or special overlays on the shoes.
- When diluting a coloring matter, it must be poured into water, and not vice versa.
- It is not allowed that undiluted solution gets on any parts, the surface of which may change due to the reaction with acid.
Many people want concrete to have a marble effect. To do this, ensure the natural spreading of the dye during spraying. This is best done when the concrete is painted indoors. On the street there are often slopes along which the dye can freely flow in different directions. Indoors, you can use a device spraying dye under pressure. If you keep its nozzle close to the surface, you can achieve a spreading effect.
Often customers want a streaky surface. In this case, we use a method that involves the initial use of a dark dye. It helps create streaks. Then we apply a light dye. Both dyes spread, the process is carefully controlled, which ultimately gives the desired result.
Is it possible to achieve a multi-colored effect, but with a clear distribution of colors? Yes. To do this, you must adhere to a different scheme of work. First, the lightest dye is applied in a thick layer, then a solution of a different color is applied, and before 1 layer is not absorbed. Drawing layers alternates.
Acid-stained Concrete is a process that requires an artistic approach. No less important is experience. The result of professional work is a surface unique in its color. Our specialists always manage to paint concrete in an original way and in accordance with the wishes of the client. If the client has not decided on the final color, we help him in this by offering options in the form of samples.
When the applied solution dries, a precipitate appears. This is a normal occurrence. It is eliminated by applying a brush, as well as by carrying out a washing procedure. We know that a certain dye, depending on what type it belongs to, how it will be diluted, requires different drying times. Often this time is 4-8 hours.
After complete drying, by-products are removed. Remains are subject to the remains of the dye itself, which has not reacted. In order to remove, a special solution is prepared, it is applied with a brush, and then carefully collected. There are situations when you need to conduct a cleansing procedure again. Our experts often carry out this procedure 2 times to guarantee a 100% surface cleaning.
Concrete is washed thoroughly with plain water, after which it is left to dry. Provides complete drying of the surface so that you can perform the finish coating using special varnish, wax. It is important to impregnate the treated area with impregnation, which is used for concrete. This substance will allow sealing, as well as improve the strength properties of concrete. Suitable impregnants are impregnations made from inorganic materials or made from polymers.
A beautiful topcoat, as well as a protective coating, is the stage that allows you to extend the life of the painted surface. As a rule, its application occurs after 48 hours from the date of all of the above work. As the means for the finishing stage, varnishes based on polymers or liquid materials based on wax are used. You need to know that varnish or wax is not an impregnation to seal and increase strength. Impregnation impregnates concrete, preserving its color scheme, and varnish or wax is just a surface coating that serves the achievement of protective goals in the process of constant operation. At the same time, it is important to choose the right type of product for the finishing stage of processing, which depends on the features of the use of the treated area – whether it is private operation or, for example, is the floor in the office.
This is a method that has the following advantages:
- With it, you can give a surface made of cement, even an old or just gray, a very beautiful look. This process not only allows you to paint concrete, it makes it possible to make it unique, special in design. Using this method, it is possible to implement almost any design ideas;
- The method is suitable for painting concrete surfaces of various purposes, not only indoors, but also outdoors;
- The dye lasts a long time. Acid-stained concrete pleases with its brightness and color saturation for a long time.
Price and what it depends on
The cost of painting concrete with an acid substance varies from $2 to $25 per square foot. The cost of work depends on the volume of work:
- What area needs to be treated;
- How many layers will be performed;
- What is the final effect the client wants to receive;
- Will it need to perform some work manually;
- What concrete quality you have to work with.
The final cost is affected by the price of the acid dye used, its amount, as well as the price of additional materials, including impregnation and finish coatings.
Acid-stained concrete makes it possible to give a unpresentable gray coating a beautiful appearance. To perform high-quality painting, it is better if specialists will do such work. We are professionals in the field of work in this direction. We know the intricacies of the technological, difficult to apply method, and the direct work process, we have many years of experience. Therefore, we can guarantee that the quality of our work will be the best and will be exactly as the client desires.