Friday, December 10, 2010

What's the difference between Artist grade, Standard grade, and acrylics?

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Q. - can u please tell me the difference between your artist and standard grades of acid stains? also what is the difference between your concrete stains and the acrylic / semi transparent / water base concrete stains that i have seen locally?
A. - The difference in our standard and artist grade concrete acid stains is that the Artist grade is a 1 coat acid stain as where the standard grade is a 2 coat acid stain. Therefore you will get double the coverage out of the artist grade. The standard grade is just that, the standard grade of acid stain that you'll find on the market today. The artist grade is pretty much the best that money can buy and actually ends up being a better value per square foot when all is said and done.
   Acrylic stains, semi transparent stains, water base stains, etc. or actually only disguised concrete paints that are using the name "concrete stain" to try and trick you into buying them. Make no mistake, acid stains are the only true concrete stains and are to concrete as wood stain is to wood.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How well and how long does the acid stain hold up?

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Q. -   hello, I love this alot. i have 400 square foot interior new added room, and 200 sft in garage, and i am going to have 500 sf for flat roof deck concrete soon.
before order i want to know = how long this product last for both interior and exterior? do I have to buff or smooth the concrete before apply stain? how good it can handle the heavy traffic or footing over the product? if there are scratches after all applied then how to fix this?

please reply, because we never done this before? alot of my friend want to do it but have the same question like me.
Hello Luong tran,
A. -  The artist grade stain by Concrete Camouflage is permanent and will last for the life of the concrete's surface, as it is a chemical reaction that actually changes the color of the surface of the concrete.
   You do not have to buff the concrete. However, extremely smooth finished concrete will take the stain better if you do use a floor buffing machine on it with the scrubby pads, when you clean it, to help open up the pores of the concrete.
   It handles heavy traffic just fine. When indoors you will Seal it with our Clear Shield Advanced concrete sealer and use our Top Shield floor wax which will last for several months before it starts to scuff or dull and when it does, you just apply a fresh coat and it's back to brand new. When outdoors you can seal it or not and it will be fine.
   If the scratches are in the sealer or wax then a fresh coat of sealer or wax will fix it. If the scratches go down into the concrete then you can apply more stain to the scratches.
I hope this helps.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Help! I'm not happy with the stain color and I sealed it! What should I do?

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Q. -  Please help if you can. I stained my floor and I'm not happy with the color. The thing is though, I went ahead and sealed it. What can I do to correct it?
Hello Joe,
A. -  You'll have to strip the sealer completely off, then re-stain it, re-seal it, and then wax it. Here's how:
Important: Be sure to read all labels on all products, including all warnings, instructions, and cautions before opening and/or using.
Ensure you have plenty of ventilation and turn off all heat sources and or pilot lights as well as any gas of course.
   Use a stiff straw scrub brush on a broom handle (you can purchase one at Concrete Camouflage if you can't find one local, as most places don't carry them) it is very important that you use a stiff straw scrub brush, they are hard to find, but an absolute necessity. I can't stress the importance of the brush enough. Stiff and Straw. Not a straw push broom, a brush. If you don't use a stiff straw brush it means much more work for you with not near as good of results.
   To strip the sealer you will use Xylene also known as Xylol or Toulene (this is very flammable and aromatic) or you can use a Good Citrus Type Stripper that would be less flammable and aromatic.
   Anyway, pour some Xylene or Stripper onto the concrete, whichever you prefer, and let it sit until the sealer is softened, keeping it wet and moving it around and redistributing the Xylene or Stripper as needed. Then pour some more Xylene or Stripper on and begin to scrub the sealer until it reliquifies completely, adding more if needed (don't walk in it). Then use a painters shield or wide scraper ( a painters shield works best) to scrape the sealer into a pile and use a square shovel to scoop it up and place it into a bucket to be carried out. Work in sections and work your way out. Allow to dry and repeat if needed. It's important to not only get all the sealer off the concrete, but also out of the concrete's pores. So you'll likely have to do it a couple times.
   You can lightly sand it if you don't get all the sealer up or if you would like to sand down the existing stain. Sanding the existing stain is not really needed because you want the stain to have variation in the colors, with darks and lights and highs and lows, that's the beauty of acid stain. So if you choose to sand it, it would be mainly to ensure you have all the sealer out of the pores of the concrete, or just that you want to sand down the color for your particular desired color effect and darkness. If you do sand it, you can use a rented floor sander or floor buffing machine with the fine grit sanding disks.
   Once you have completely stripped the sealer and sanded if needed, you can then re-apply a fresh coat of stain and allow it to completely dry and sit for 24 hours. Neutralize it using 8 oz ammonia to each mop bucket of water and then rinse it a couple more times with clean water only. Allow it to dry. If you want it darker than what one coat gives you then you can do a second coat.
   After you are happy with the color, then you can re-apply the sealer. As before, apply one very thin and even coat of sealer and allow to completely dry. Then apply the second very thin and even coat of sealer and allow to completely dry and cure. Try to apply each coat of sealer in opposite directions if possible. For instance, go east/west on one coat and north/south on the other.
   Finally, apply a thin coat of our Top Shield floor wax with a Lamb's wool applicator and a paint pan. Allow to completely dry, about an hour or so. Apply a second thin coat of Top Shield floor wax. Allow to dry overnight.
   The floor will now be more beautiful, more scuff resistant, and less slippery than before. When the floor does start to scuff or dull, simply clean, allow to dry, and apply a fresh coat of wax.
I hope this helps.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I ran short of stain. What should I do?

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Q. -    I ran short of stain on my patio project. I have ordered another gallon of stain, but what do I do in the mean time. Should I leave the concrete as it is, or should I neutralize the stain that has already been applied?  How should I care for the concrete while waiting for the additional stain to arrive? I need some quick answers.
A. -   Go ahead and neutralize the stain and rinse off the concrete.
   When you apply the rest of the stain, if you overlap the stain that is already applied, then it would be a second coat which would create a darker area or a line. So unless you stopped at a place where you can start again without overlapping, you'll need to feather it in and possibly lightly overspray a second highlight coat over the whole thing to ensure it's blended well.
   If you need to feather it, it's done by raising the sprayer wand from the foot or so above the concrete when applying it to the unstained concrete, to waist or shoulder height as you feather into the already stained area. Try to not go any farther past the edge of already stained concrete than you have to, and raise the wand quickly when feathering.
   To highlight a second coat, after you finish applying the remaining areas of the first coat, you will simply take what stain is left over and add water to it until you have enough to lightly mist a coat over the entire area. Then hold the wand at either waist level for a darker coat, or at shoulder height for a lighter coat. You can also raise and lower your arm from waist to shoulder height as you spray on the second coat to achieve a more mottled look with deeper highs and lows.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What if I get acid stain on my vegetation?

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Q. -  want to use a acid stain, but am concerned for the surrounding vegetation. I have some mature trees close to the patio/ sidewalk that we are staining.

Hello Keith,
A. -  Just be sure to not directly spray the vegetation when applying the stain. And to use plenty of water when rinsing the residue off later, and it should be fine.
   Vegetation does brown and die back when the stain gets on it, even the residue wash off can brown it out a little - which is why you flood rinse it when washing the residue, so as to dilute it with allot of water.
   NOTE: Of course, you could always mop the residue up, just as you would if you were doing an interior project.
   I remember several years back when my wife decided to acid stain some of our concrete statuary yard art. She got set up on the side of the yard and just as she began spraying the acid stain onto the statuary pieces, the wind started blowing. The wind blew stain all over this large shrub that was nearby. Though she wasn't amused by my laughing, in just seconds that bush went from a beautiful green to a dripping, dripping, dripping... dark brown. Anyway, the shrub did die back and being busy(lazy) I decided to leave it until next spring and then replace it. Next spring that bush began to come back and this day is one of the larger and more healthy bushes in our yard.
   So while you never want to directly spray vegetation with acid stain, life is resilient, and the acid in the stain is the same as used in swimming pools.
  IN CONCLUSION:  Just be careful to keep the stain off the vegetation as much as you can, including the residue wash off. Use plenty of water when rinsing and do the project on a non windy day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I used another companies products and now have a mess. Please Help!

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Q. - Ok, using another companies products, we acid stained our floor to the color we wanted. (neutralized, too.) First coat of water based sealer went on OK except for a few white bubbles which rollered out. Next coat of sealer had larger white areas. Told to use xylene, it worked. Disti said to apply a two part water based sealer now. First coat OK, final coat BAD!!! Huge areas of blisters. They supplied a steel wool pad for a rented machine and basically kissed off.
The pad has removed stain color as well as sealers (expected). What are our options? SHould we restain the places, and then try to seal the entire area? (Not all is blistered) We've read on your "ask" site that spraying is good, and we would like to avoid the sealer roller marks we had before.
SHould we just take it all down and start over? Are polyurethanes easier to deal with? This is an unairconditioned area, which I read makes for warmer concrete and issues. Any help you can give would be appreciated. THanks!
Hello Jacque,
A. - It has been a hot summer and too much heat can effect these types of products adversely. Anyway, on to the fix.
   You should finish removing all the sealer and as much of the stain as you can first (if there is any left), which means getting the sealer out of the pores of the concrete as well as the surface. You can use a rented floor buffing machine with scrub pads, and even a fine grit sanding pad if needed. You will need to clean it with Concrete Camouflage C.S.P. - Degreaser, once. Then a final clean with T.S.P(tri-sodium-phosphate), and two clean water rinsings. Then let it dry.(Not bone dry - just dry.)
   Once the floor is dry, you can apply the stain. Use the Concrete Camouflage Artist Grade concrete acid stain. We suggest that you spray it on rather than brushing it, especially since you're in a warm area, and it is important to work from wet edge to wet edge. Allow the stain to dry for several hours and even up to 24 hours.
   Then neutralize the stain with ammonia and water, and do two clean water rinsings. Remember to change your water often.
   Once the floor is dry, then you can apply two coats of Concrete Camouflage Clear Shield Advanced formula water base decorative concrete sealer. Roll on one coat as thin and as even as you can. It goes on white and dries clear. When it has dried completely, roll on the second coat as thin and as even as you can, and try to go in a different direction if possible, with the second coat.
   After the sealer has cured out dry and clear, which we suggest you give it a couple of days at least, then apply two coats of Concrete Camouflage Top Shield mop on style floor wax. Apply it in as thin and as even of coats as possible also, though you will use a lamb's wool applicator and a paint pan to apply the wax. The wax usually takes about an hour to dry between coats and needs to cure for at least two hours, though overnight is best.
Important Note: The heat will cause these types of products to be less user friendly than in a cooler environment. Therefore, you should schedule to do each phase of the project in the coolest part of the day, which is usually early morning as the air and the concrete both have had all night to cool down.
   To answer your last question, as polyurethanes are a two part/two phase product they would be even more difficult to work with in a warmer environment.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How do I prep the floor, after pulling up glue down carpet?

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Q. -  Hello, I have glue down carpet on my concrete floors. What is the best way to clean and smooth the concrete surface before applying the products.

----Continue Reading----

See our full blog post and answer on removing carpet glue

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why do I have blisters in my sealer?

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Q. -  We've used a solvent base sealer product two seasons now and both times were done in proper weather conditions and both times bubbled (blistered). Could this be because surface of patio is hotter then outside temp (although we applied it one year at 6am and the other time at 8pm) or is it because we're putting it on too thick? This condition is after first or second coat, didn't make a difference.
Hello Bill
A. -  When solvent base sealers blister during application, it's because the temperature of the surface it is being applied to and/or the air temperature is too hot.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Which tape is best for creating a pattern or border?

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Q. -  When doing a  complicated pattern, what type of masking tape do you use?
Hello Chris,
A. -  The best tape you can use to create a pattern and/or a border on concrete when concrete staining, is actually a packaging tape. The kind that is a clearish looking, with the strings that run through it. You can find the packaging tape that has the strings running through it (clearish - like a plastic type of tape or a heavy duty scotch tape sort of tape - just be sure that it is not a paper tape, and that it does have the strings running through it) at about any packaging store, ups, fedex, etc.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why do I see more red in some areas than others?

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Q. -  I stained with island sand applied using a garden sprayer in a circular motion.  Surface was scrubbed with TSP and rinsed thoroughly before applying.  There are noticeable redder marks in some areas.  I think the overall look is good still, but is there a reason for this?

Hello Sean,
A. - The stain works by chemically reacting with the lime, cement, and minerals in the concrete, to change the pores and surface of the concrete to the new and permanent color. When your concrete was originally poured into place, that lime and cement and all the other components were randomly dispersed throughout.
   The stain is simply reacting with what is there and where it is. Of course you can highlight with other colors if you like, but if you're happy with it you may want to just leave it alone.
   Another consideration is that if you seal it, then that will change the color's appearance as well. The solvent base sealer will make it look as it does when saturated wet with water, and the water base sealer will make it look as it does when it is damp with water.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do I wash the neutralized residue into my pool or on my plants?

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Q. - I'm an amateur who is doing concrete staining on a very old concrete deck around my pool.   

I will be finishing with your new water-based sealer.  Am ready to neutralize the acid stain, but am worried about using ammonia near my reed grasses. They grow nearby, separated from the concrete by a row of railroad ties that are sunk into the ground, so the neutralizing product will wash over the ties when I am rinsing.  If I rinse toward the pool what effect will that have on the chlorinated water in the pool?  Will I end up staining the poll lining with the rinsewater run-off? What do you suggest?
Hello Karen,
A. - It may be best if you just mop it, as you would an interior floor. That will keep any run off from causing a problem. Once you've neutralized it and mopped it with clean water only, then you could use the hose to flush rinse it once more and get any mop fuzzies off. Rinse towards the grass not the pool.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Will the sealer and wax smooth out a rough floor?

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Q. -  I have a fairly rough surface after using a diamond headed grinder to get surface ready. The floor is kind of rough.  Will the sealer and wax make the floor seem to feel smooth?

Hello Trent,

A. -  If you use enough sealer then it can fill in and smooth over the porosity. A solvent base sealer which is applied generously will fill in a
rough area quicker than a water base sealer as it is applied thinly. However, even though you are using allot of sealer in several coats, while
allowing it to dry between coats, and even though the most of the sealer is being soaked up into the pores of the concrete, you must still bare in mind that many sealers will turn yellow or cloudy when you use too much and it begins to get too thick. Concrete Camouflage brand of sealers are capable of being applied in very thick applications while not turning. So I believe that the answer to your question is yes, you should be able to considerably smooth out if not completely smooth out a rough concrete surface using the Concrete Camouflage brand of sealers and wax.
   The afore mentioned is in regard to cosmetics, the look if the concrete. The feel of it will be of a sealed and waxed surface even if you only do the standard two coats.
800 650 1157

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How do I fix an old, dull, and scuffed up stained floor?

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Q. -  I had my basement floor stamped concrete(acid stain) I've noticed that the floor is dull and my kids sneaker marks are all over the floor. Can you suggest any polish I can use to put the shine back like a wax and how to remove the scuff marks. I've tried various cleaners and nothing seems to work.
Hello Karen,
A. -  You can remove the sneaker marks with a citrus stripper or heavy duty glue remover from a local store, or you can order the Concrete Stain Prep stripper from Concrete Camouflage which should remove them quite easily as it is used to remove tire marks from driveways and garages. It wouldn't take much because you would spot strip the marks and then mix the stripper with water in a mop bucket and use it to mop and thoroughly clean the floor. Mix 1 quart of CSP to a mop bucket of clean water. Afterwards you would mop it a couple times with clean water only, ensuring you change the water often.
   Then you should apply two coats of Clear Shield Advanced decorative concrete sealer and then two coats of Top Shield mop on style floor wax, both by Concrete Camouflage.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Can I cover the stain while it dries?

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Q. -  During this time of year in my area storms are frequent and unpredictable. My question: once the stain has been applied and is (mostly) dry can it be covered with any kind of waterproof cover for the duration of the 24 hour curing period? Or, will it react and mess-up the final result?

Hello Lyn,
A. -  It should be left open if at all possible. If a covering was to sit down on the concrete it would print the concrete much like walking in it would leave footprints. Also, many waterproof coverings will have the effect of not allowing the concrete to dry. Therefore, if at all possible you should wait for a good weather window. Of course if rain was to wash it off and it didn't have enough reaction time to create a good color, then you could apply an additional coat of stain once it dries out, but again this is not the preferred method.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

To cover and protect the walls and baseboards or not?

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Q. -  I'm fixing to stain the floor of my garage and paint the walls.  Would it be OK if I stained the floor without protecting the molding and the wall since I plan to paint it?  I guess the real question is:  Will the stain harm wood or sheet rock?  Would covering it with a good paint be easy?

Hello William,
A. -  The concrete stain will stain the walls and wood a darker color and make it harder to paint as any darker surface would be. I would recommend you either cover it or at least use a painters shield on a handle to help protect the walls as much as you can. The stain will not have a destructive effect on the sheetrock or wood, but why make more work for yourself doing all those extra coats of paint to blend it in if you can easily prevent it.

How do I remove roller marks from acrylic stains?

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Q. -  I just applied another manufacturers semi-transparent concrete stain to my patio with a roller and now have some roller marks.  It has not been sealed yet what can I do to remove marks or make them less noticeable?  I saw another person had a simular problem and you said to neutralize and apply second coat of stain.  what do you use to neutralize it?

Hello Randy,
A. - Those tips only apply to acid stains. What you are using is an acrylic stain, which is actually not a concrete stain at all but is rather a disguised concrete paint. You will need to proceed as you would with a paint in order to correct and/or complete your project. Using concrete stain tips will not help. You should probably just roll on another coat, going in a different direction than the first. or spray on another coat. Allow to dry and then apply two coats of a good acrylic sealer. However, please note that we only work with concrete acid stains and so it may be a good idea to contact the manufacturer of the product you used in order to ensure correct application.

Do I neutralize it or just rinse it?

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Q. -  The only thing that I don't quite understand is the residue cleaning stage. I bought the artist grade stain and I thought I read that the "dryed" residue for this product only had to be rinsed with clean water. Or, does it first have to be neutralized with ammonia and water before a final rinsing like the other grade stains? Thanks!
Hello Lyn,
A. -  You need to allow the stain to dry until it is completely dry. And at least a few hours and up to 24 hours. The longer you let it react then the darker it will be. You then need to neutralize it, and then rinse it a couple of times with clean water. This should be done for any acid stain.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I stained my patio a week ago, can I still do another coat?

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Q. -  I already stained the concrete with your artist grade stain a week ago I think it needs another coat is it to late to give it another coat.
Hello Michael,
A. - So long as you have not sealed it then you can go ahead with another coat. Once it is sealed then any sealer would have to be stripped completely off in order to stain further.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Will the sealer hold water in a fountain?

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Q. -  I have a decorative statue the I want to stain. It is also a water fountain. I was wondering if the sealer that you sell would seal my fountain enough to hold water?
Hello Chad,
A. - The sealers at Concrete Camouflage are primarily for use as a means to seal off the surface of the concrete from sun, moisture, elements, and contaminants, but will in no way hold water or assist in holding water in a fountain or basin type application. It's value would lie in surface protection and cosmetic value.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How do I get my score lines up to the walls?

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Q. -  I have drawn out my pattern (diagonal tile 18"x18" and I am ready to score.  I have the diamond edge circular saw blade. My question is, How do I score next to walls and under a small fence where the saw will not reach? Does someone make a hand tool that I can rub/scrape a grove  1/16" into the areas I mentioned? Thank you in advance for you reply.

Hello Jeff,
A. -  The best thing to do when scoring up to walls, and it actually looks much better as it adds additional decoration, is to score a border along the walls and then take your score lines to the border. Borders typically look best at about 8" +/- out from the wall.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When should I score it? Before or after the concrete staining?

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Q. - How soon is too soon to clean m concrete patio before I stain. My order was shipped yesterday and I ma not be able to stain for about a week. However, I am not at work the next two days and would like to clean the surface now. Is that too soon? Must the surface be completly dry for a few days? 2nd question. If I were to etch a pattern in to the concrete, do I do that before the first coat, between the 1st and 2nd coat and how would I make the groves stand out and not look just like the rest of the patio. Does it naturally look different or do I NEED to trace it with different colors.

Hello Jeff,

A. - You can go ahead and clean it if you like. So long as it stays clean you'll be ok, even if you just rinse it off and allow it to dry before you stain it. It doesn't have to dry any long time before staining it, it just needs to be dry.
You would either score it before final clean and staining, or after it was stained and washed off, but before sealing it. If you score it before, then the stain will settle into the score marks and make them slightly darker than the rest of the concrete so they will still stand out. If you score after you have stained it then the score marks will be the color of natural concrete and of course stand out. It really just depends on your score mark color preference, whether you want the score marks to be colored (slightly darker than the concrete will be), or the color of natural concrete.
Most people score first and then stain and seal. However, the score lines will naturally stand out and have the 3D effect that you're looking for, regardless of which you select.
If you do score afterwards though, be sure and and neutralize and rinse off the residue and let it dry for a day or two before scoring so the stain will be locked in good, and also, be careful to not scratch it. Then rinse it off well, allow it to dry and seal it.

Also, if you get a few extra minutes and would like a smile and maybe a laugh or two, check out

Oh no! I rolled on the concrete stain and have roller marks! What to do?

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Q. - It's me again. As previously stated, I'm working on a standard, exterior slab of concrete that is approx. 4 yrs old. Yesterday, I used a paint brush and lightly coated leather brown on the smooth border w/amazing results - love it! However, today I used a roller (afraid to use the sprayer b/c of wind) with my island sand. Not only do I have horriblle roller and brush (edging) marks, my patio is very distinctly 2 colors - beigy brown and bright yellow. I'm very scared. Is this normal? Any suggestions? Would lightly spraying the leather brown over the top help at all?

Hello Valerie,

A. - Oops. Unfortunately you found out why you never use a roller when applying concrete stain, and why you always brush in a circular motion. Not to worry though, you can still make it much better, and maybe even better than it would have been otherwise. When you neutralize and wash it off, be sure to use a scrub brush to try and scrub down the bad areas, roller marks, and brush marks as best you can to lighten those up as much as possible, and give it a good scrub overall. Then you can rinse it well and allow it to dry and do a second coat. What would really be best is if you just spray it on. You can either do the second coat with Island Sand or the Leather Brown, but the Leather Brown will darken it up quite a bit.
I would do the second coat with Island Sand. Then you could highlight it with either a third coat of Island Sand or the Leather Brown. Highlighting it with Leather Brown would probably look really good. To highlight it you do this: when you spray on the overall coat of stain you will hold the sprayer nozzle about a foot or so above the concrete, but when you spray on the highlight coat, you will hold the nozzle at waist high to shoulder high so you just lightly mist the concrete. You can even fluctuate the sprayer from waist high to shoulder high and back and forth to have heavier and lighter areas of the highlighting if you like. Doing this, you can really camouflage quite allot.

Also, if you get an extra few minutes, and could use a smile and maybe a laugh or two, check out this website,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What if I have a curing agent on my concrete?

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Q. - Can I still stain my concrete even though it had a curing agent used?  If so what do I need to do and how? Thanks
Hello Noel,
A. - Many times, certain curing agents will wear off on their own, so first you need to determine if the curing agent is still present. You can do this by pouring water on it to see if it readily soaks in which means it is likely not a problem, or if it beads up and/or just kinda sits there a while which usually means the curing agent still needs removed. Another method is to get down on the concrete and use a pocket knife to scrape the surface of the concrete, a curing agent will scrape off and be like a waxy substance.
   If it does in fact still have the curing agent on it, you will need a citrus type stripper or our CSP stripper to remove the curing agent. If you do not get it all up with the stripping, then will need to lightly sand it using either a rented commercial floor sander or a floor buffing machine with the fine grit sanding disks. Then you can go forward with staining.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Can I use the new water based sealer over the traditional solvent based sealer?

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Q. - For the last two years, I have purchased the non-water based, "old fashioned" sealer for our outdoor patio.  I need to reseal again this year.  Can I use the new, water based product even though I've used the other stuff in year's past?  Your products are awesome!
Hello Danielle,
A. - Yes you can. You can put water based sealers on top of solvent based sealers, but you can never put solvent based sealers over water based. Thank You for Your comment, you'll really like the new advanced formula water based sealer. It is a satin finish which is more natural looking on exterior applications, along with being a better yet less expensive, and also a "green product" sealer.

Will the concrete stain wear away off my pool deck?

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Q. -  The area is around our pool.  Not sure if I want to seal it and have the shinier finish.  if I don't seal, will the stain wear away?
Hello Sandy,
   The stain will not wear away unless the surface of the concrete wears away. The acid stain soaks into the concrete and permanently changes the surface of the concrete to the new color. It does not sit on top like paint or acrylic/transparent stains do. If you decide to seal it, then the Clear Shield Advanced has a satin finish which looks more natural outdoors.
   You may want to do a test area using your pool equipment pad. You could test different colors to decide which you like best and also you could test sealing part of the color tests and leave part unsealed to see which you prefer in that regards also. Not only can you check the stain color and the cosmetics value of applying the sealer, you can then pour some water on the sealed parts and check for any potential slipperiness as well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A few questions about concrete staining and scoring my patio.

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Q. - Our home was new construction just under 4 yrs ago so my assumption is that the concrete is sealed. 

A. - Why do you believe your concrete is sealed? It is usually only sealed if it has been colored in some way. Here's a good test: pour some water on it. If the water beads up or just sits there a while then it is likely sealed. If it soaks right in then it is likely not sealed. 

Q. - If it is sealed, Our patio slab is 10'x10', can you please let me know how much of the product I need to buy to strip the sealer as well as the tsp? 

A. - If you do need to strip it then probably about 2 gallons of stripper is what you would need. Only 1 small box of TSP will be needed.

Q. - Everything else needed is in the Concrete Camouflage project kit, correct?  Also, how long is typical delivery?  Thank you, Val

A. - Yes. You will get the stain and sealer in the kit. If you want to purchase the tools that you will need then you will need to add a 1 gallon sprayer, an applicator brush if you want to also use the brush(just spraying only is what most people do), a paint roller, a roller cover and a paint pan.

   Delivery takes one business day to process the order and KS takes about 2 business days to ship. Which means you would have your order in just a few days(not including weekends or holidays)


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Q. - Thanks so much!  Looking forward to giving this a shot – although I'm a little nervous.  I also purchased the stain prep degreaser/cleaner.  I did contact our builder and you were right, the concrete was not sealed.  Everything seems pretty straightforward.  I'm surprised that more people don't do this.  And I was even more surprised that local home improvement stores don't carry "acid" concrete stain.  The reviews I read of acrylic concrete stain were not good. 

One last question.  We were going to use a diamond blade on a saw to cut a diagonal square pattern into our patio.  I read somewhere to do this very last that way the affect will be that of grout.  Any comments/suggestions? Thank you, Val

Hello Valerie
A. - No need to be nervous, concrete staining is straight forward and very simple. Just be sure to either read through the Concrete Staining guide at Concrete Camouflage, or listen to the audio book.
   The reviews about acrylic stains being no good is correct and you are wise to stay away from acrylic stains. Even if the locals did carry concrete acid stain it would be a watered down homeowner grade rather than an artist grade such as Concrete Camouflage, so it is actually a good thing that they don't carry it. You're much better off.
   If you score it first, then the stain will settle into the score lines and be a little bit darker so it will look like colored grout, that is darker than the concrete. If you score it afterward then it will be the color of natural concrete and look like uncolored grout. Either looks good. Most people score first, though many do score afterward. Just be sure to use a diamond blade as masonry blades get smaller as they cut and you would be constantly adjusting the saw to stay consistent. Also remember to only score about 1/16" to 1/8" deep. Any deeper and you are only creating a dirt trap.
Have a Good Day

Monday, April 12, 2010

Is concrete stain toxic to pets?

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Q. -  Is concrete stain toxic for small pets?  We are thinking of using it on our concrete in our backyard.
Hello Donna,
A. -  It does have a diluted acid in it, the same kind used in swimming pools though much more diluted down. So it is toxic while the stain is in the bottle, during use, and while the project is in process.
   However, once you have completed the project, and neutralized and rinsed off the residue, and allowed it to dry, and sealed it, and allowed that to completely dry, it is no longer toxic. So be sure to keep your pets away from the project until it is complete and completely dried.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Will the floor be slippery?

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Q. -  after the concrete staining process is complete, is the floor going to be slick or slippery?

Hello Christine,
A. -  If you stain it only then it will be the same as it is now. If you stain it and seal it only, then the sealer can make it more slippery, especially when wet. The solvent base sealer is definitely more slippery and the new advanced formula water base sealer is not near as slippery as the solvent base, but since it is still a coating on the surface it will usually be slightly more slippery than if left unsealed, when used on very smooth concrete such as a floor.
   However, It shouldn't be any more slippery than it is now, and possibly even less slippery than it is now, if you wax it with the Top Shield floor wax after staining and sealing it. Top Shield floor wax was designed for commercial applications originally and it has traction characteristics built in.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Can I use Top Shield floor wax over existing waxes?

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Q. -  Hi, we used another manufacturers concrete stain on our concrete floor, their sealer and then their wax - well the wax has worn off AND the finish is beginning to chip and peel in some very high traffic areas which we were told would NOT happen but anyway, we are looking for a wax to stop this from happening - what I want to know is is it okay to put Top Shield floor wax over our sealed floors that still have some of their wax on?  their wax had to be burnished on - big mess - and I don't know how much of it is left on the floor - obviously it isn't doing its job b/c of the chipping- what is your suggestion for our application - what do we need to clean with first and do we need to strip? I'm afraid if we strip whatever wax is left it will strip the sealer too - also we have a toddler - how much fumes/odor does your mop on wax have? Their wax claims to also be a sealer by the way -- don't know if that makes a difference but you could use the wax only to seal the floor - we used the wax on top of spray on sealer b/c it scratched so easy so they recommended waxing on top so it was "double sealed" Thanks for your help.
Hello Angel,
 A. -  Typically you should strip any existing waxes before applying Top Shield floor wax. You can do so with a commercial floor wax remover. If you would like to try using Top Shield floor wax over theirs, it may be worth a try, though it is not recommended. If you choose to do so, I highly recommend you test it first. In the event you still had to strip it then it would be no big deal and if you didn't then you could apply more.
   I know that Top Shield floor wax currently out sales all our other products because it is being used by just about everyone that knows about it, both residential and commercial, so I feel confident that you will like it too. You never need a buffing machine and it lasts for months before scuffing or dulling and when it does scuff or dull, you just apply a fresh coat and it's back to like it was when you initially did it.
   I'm just not sure about putting it over another wax. We are instructed to always tell our customers to strip any other manufacturers wax prior to applying Top Shield, but in all honesty, you never really know how it will react. It may work and it may not. That's why if you are really resistant to stripping your old wax, you should at least give it a test first.
   I understand your concerns about if you try to strip what's existing then you will have to reseal it. However, if you did completely strip the wax and sealer then you could use our new Clear Shield Advanced formula water base sealer to reseal it and then use Top Shield floor wax over that and you would definitely be happy with the performance from here on.
   The wax is a green product as is the new sealer. They both have the lowest VOC's available and so odor should not be a problem at all.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Is concrete stain compatible with radiant floor heat?

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Q. -  Is concrete camouflage application compatible with in floor radiant heat?  (water in tubes in concrete)  I'm concerned that the heat could impact or change the color after its applied. Also, want to make sure the heat doesn't cause the stain to emit an odor or affect the sealer finish.
Thanks. MJ

Hello MJ,

   Yes. Concrete Camouflage products are compatible with in floor radiant heat. There should be no issues at all. There are many floors with in floor radiant heat, all across America and beyond, that are stained, sealed and waxed with the Concrete Camouflage family of products.
   We do recommend that you not only use the artist grade of concrete stain and seal the floor, but also that you wax it with our Top Shield mop on floor wax.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Can I use a snow shovel on stained concrete outdoors?

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Q. - Hello, I live in Wisconsin and we get quite a bit of snow. I was wondering, is it ok to shovel snow if I have stain my concrete?
Thanks, Greg.
Hello Greg,
A. - Concrete will scratch just as easily as a wood floor will. Therefore, when you know you're going to need to shovel snow, there are two points to keep in mind and you should be ok.
You should purchase a hard plastic snow shovel. The metal shovels will scratch concrete much easier than a hard plastic shovel.
You may want to seal the concrete with at least a couple and maybe even three coats of a good concrete sealer. This will act as a barrier which will help protect the concrete's surface from scratching as easily. Remember though, sealed concrete is usually more slippery than unsealed concrete. When using Clear Shield solvent base sealer, or any solvent base sealer for that matter, you should use a traction additive such as Clear Grip by Concrete Camouflage. If you use Clear Shield Advanced water base sealer, you can forego the traction additive if you choose, as it is typically less slippery than solvent based sealers.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Which sealer is best?

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Q. - Patio approx 14 x 20. dogs paws leave hard to remove mud prints!!!! Need advice if sealer application will allow easier cleanup with hose? Type of sealer? Ease of application is important since I'm an elderly female. Confidence it will achieve my objective. Thank You.

Hello Joyce,

A. - Sealing the concrete with a quality concrete sealer will definitely help. The mud is hard to clean because it is getting into the pores of the concrete. If you seal it then it will be much easier to clean. Cleaning with a hose should work out fine then.
The solvent base sealer would be easier to use, however, your state has outlawed solvent base sealers, so you have to use a water base. Don't feel bad though as 1 most states have either outlawed solvent base sealers or are about to, and 2 fortunately Clear Shield Advanced by Concrete Camouflage has been released and will actually outperform solvents in many ways, while being less expensive as well. I don't know of any water base sealer that is worth using other than Clear Shield Advanced. Old technology water base sealers are just junk. The advanced formula in CSA makes it well worth your time and money, though it was designed for decorative concrete, it works on all types of concrete and cultured stone.
You will need 2 gallons. You will apply 2 coats. You will first thoroughly clean the concrete and allow it to dry. You can power wash it to clean it, or you can use a brush and bucket with TSP and water,( or at least a good strong soap/detergent and water.) Scrub it clean with the brush and then flood rinse it really well a couple of times to ensure you get all the TSP/soap out of the pores and completely rinsed down. Use plenty of water when rinsing. Allow it to dry (you can tell it is dry by looks) and apply the sealer. You will pour the Clear Shield Advanced into a paint pan and use a paint roller to just paint roll it on. Use a minimum 1/4" nap and a maximum 3/8" nap roller cover. Apply the concrete sealer as thin as possible. Spread it out as thin and as evenly as you can. Allow the first coat to dry a couple hours +/-, until it is dry and no longer sticky. Clear Shield Advanced goes on a milky white which lets you clearly see where you've sealed, and then dries clear. Anyway, after the first coat dries, roll on the second coat. Try to go opposite directions when applying the different coats. For instance, you could go North/South on the first coat and East/West on the second. That is if it's possible to do that and still work your way backwards so you're not walking in wet sealer. Be sure to let dry until completely clear and for at least 10 to 12 hours (24 hours is better), before allowing any foot or pet traffic on it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Should I remove old stain before applying new? How do I tell between acrylic and acid stains?

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Q. - I have a porch & two small pieces of sidewalk that have been stained. The stain is flaking off and I want to restain it. Do I have to completely remove all the old stain or can I prep the surface with something and go over the existing stain?
Hello Kerri,

A. - Acid stain would not flake off. Therefore the flaking must either be because the stain is an acrylic stain aka water base stain (aka concrete paint using the name "concrete stain" with the sole purpose of tricking you into painting your concrete while separating you from your cash), or it could be that you do have an acid stain and only the sealer is flaking.
So, if you know it's an acrylic stain, then yes, it must be completely removed in order to properly restain it with an acid stain which will not peel or flake. If you go over it with an acrylic stain it will only become an even worse issue down the road.
If you don't know if it's an acid stain or acrylic, then you can test it by pouring some water on it. If when it is wet, the areas that have flaked still have the color as the rest of it, then it is likely an acid stain and only the sealer is flaking, which means that you only need to remove the sealer and reapply some fresh sealer. If it remains the color of concrete when it is wet in the flaking areas then it is likely an acrylic stain and must be completely removed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How do I do a border? Should I sand the floor?

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Q. - I had glue down carpet and have stripped the glue off. Do you recommend a light sanding with a floor buffer and if so, what grit should I use.

Also, I wanted to do 1 foot border around the room that would be darker than the middle. What would be the best way to accomplish this? Would I tape off 1 section while the other is being sprayed and then seal it and then do the other section once ther sealer has cured? Or would I need to seal both sections at the same time?

Hello Juan,

Normally I would not suggest sanding if the floor is clean and contaminant free. However, since you had glue down carpet then I would suggest a light sanding using the finest grit they have available.
You should brush on the border first and then spray the entire floor after the border dries. When brushing on the border, set your brush down in the center of the border or near the wall and in a circular motion, work the brush towards the edge that meets the other color. Then you will be dragging the stain to the edge which will help prevent from coloring over the line.
Let it all dry. Neutralize and rinse it all together, and then seal it all together, then apply the floor wax.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is stain ok for pool decks? Should I seal it?

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Hello Gabriel,

Q.- I have concrete around my pool, will the stain hold up to the chemicals of the water?
Yes it will. Acid stain is perfect for pool decks and is used more and more everyday. If you were to visit an amusement park that had water rides or waterfalls, then odds are that the rocks and boulders and waterfalls are all made of concrete and stained with a concrete acid stain.

Q.- If yes, would it be better to seal it?
If you use the new Clear Shield Advanced Formula water base decorative concrete sealer by Concrete Camouflage, then you may want to seal it at least the first time, though you don't have to. The stain is permanent and will hold up fine without being sealed. The surface of the concrete would have to wear away before the color would.
Sealing it will effect the cosmetics, meaning that it will enhance the colors and usually make it look better, while also sealing off the pores of the concrete from both moisture and UV, thereby increasing the lifespan of the concrete. However, If you seal it then it may be more slippery, depending on your concrete finish, so be sure to do a test first.

Q.- If yes, will it be slippery?
Solvent base sealers will definitely be more slippery. The new advanced formula water base concrete sealer by Concrete Camouflage is not near as slippery and on some concrete finishes is not slippery at all. So be sure to do a test first.
Added Advice: You could do both the color tests and the sealer tests on the pool equipment pad.

Friday, January 15, 2010

How do I remove paint from my floor before staining?

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Q. - Hey, thanks for the help. One more question! Can you give any suggestions on stripping the paint and prepping the floor, about 1300 sq.' Thanks again,

Hello Greg,

Important:  Be sure to read all labels on all products, including warnings, before opening and/or using.

 A. - If you can use a power washer it would likely take it off easily since it is peeling already. Otherwise...
   Ensure you have plenty of ventilation and turn off all heat sources and or pilot lights as well as any gas of course. Then use a stiff straw scrub brush on a broom handle (you can purchase one at Concrete Camouflage if you can't find one local, as most places don't carry them) it is very important that you use a stiff straw scrub brush, they are hard to find, but an absolute necessity. I can't stress the importance of the brush enough. Stiff and Straw. Not a straw push broom, a brush.
   Work in sections, working your backwards and out the door.
   Anyway,  pour some Xylene (this is very flammable) or a Good Citrus Type Stripper or even a heavy duty glue remover, onto the concrete and let it sit until the paint is softened, keeping it wet and moving around and redistributing the Xylene or Stripper as needed. Then pour some more Xylene or Stripper on and begin to scrub the paint until it reliquifies completely, adding more if needed (don't walk in it). Then use a painters shield or wide scraper ( a painters shield works best) to scrape the paint into a pile and use a square shovel to scoop it up and place it into a bucket to be carried out. You need to get all the paint up, so after it has dried you can repeat if needed. Again, don't walk in it while it is still wet.
   After you have stripped as much paint as you can, you may still need to lightly sand the floor to complete, depending on how well it came off during stripping. If you do need to sand it, then you can go to a tool/equipment rental store and rent a commercial floor sander, like used on wood floors, or you can use a floor buffing machine with the sanding disks. Then just give a final clean with T.S.P. and water and a final couple rinsings with clean water only. Allow to dry and you should be good to go.
   Pay attention when your mopping it, to see if the water soaks right into the concrete, or if just kinda sits there a while. If it soaks right in, then the stain should also. If the water doesn't soak in and just stands, then you're not through prepping.
I hope this helps.

Monday, January 4, 2010

How to use multiple colors for highlighting

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Q. -  Ask Your Question Here:: Can multiple stains be applied to the same surface to create a unique look? If so, would it be applied at the same time or one after another when dry? Perhaps a Leather stain over a Sand stain to add deeper colors in some areas etc? If I score or cut kerf marks in the floor and want to apply different colored stains should I tape off the adjacent area before staining? Also if long scores are done replicating wood flooring is there a way to make the stain have streaks or veins looking like grain or at least a pattern running parallel with the saw marks?

Hello Robert,
A. -  Yes they can. You would apply the lighter color first and allow to dry completely. Then lightly apply the darker color and allow to dry. Wash it all together.
   You should not tape off the adjecent areas, rather you should use a brush and small bucket. Dip the brush, shake off the excess, set it down away from the edge and brush in a circular motion so that when you reach the edge, the brush is running dry and you are dragging the stain to the edge.
   The Island Sand, or the Rosewood may allow you to apply it and then run a brush down it, leaving brush marks in the finish, replicating wood grain.
    Remeber to do some tests first to be sure of technique and color.