Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What if I get acid stain on my vegetation?

Ask a Pro

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.