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.

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