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.