Monday, June 27, 2011

Will the stain rub off?

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Q. -  Most products that I've looked at state that they need a smooth surface.  The last "stain" we tried rubbed off and we were told it was because the concrete is rough.  Will this product rub off?  Will the sealer "smooth" the look of the concrete after the stain?  Thanks for your help!

Hello Jill,
A. -  When you use concrete acid stain then a powdery residue usually forms on the surface during drying and reaction time, but once neutralized and rinsed down, the concrete is seen to be the new stained color. It stain should not however, rub off and go back down to bare uncolored concrete.
   When you neutralize and rinse it, you can scrub it too hard and you can take it down too far. So be careful and easy on it, but be sure to scrub down any dark areas that you want to lighten up then, because after it dries it will lock down. Other than that, the concrete should be a new chemically changed color on the surface.
   In all actuality, a rougher concrete surface will take stain better because it soaks into the pores better, though it does require more stain as it drinks it up.
   The only way that Concrete Camouflage concrete acid stain would rub off, is if there was a curing agent, sealer, wax, grease, oil, or some other contaminant that would prevent the stain from soaking into the concrete. Or if the concrete is extremely smooth, then the stain has a hard time getting into the pores. But you can go over the concrete with a floor buffing machine, using the aggressive scrubbing pads, to open up the pores so the concrete stain can penetrate the surface and work.
   The sealer is made to go on very thin and has a satin finish. That helps to keep the concrete texture coming through for traction, while giving it a natural yet enhanced look for outdoors. Then when you use it indoors, you put our mop on style floor wax over it, which gives it more depth, luster, and a high gloss. The wax has traction additives built in, is easy to maintain, and very long lived. The sealer and/or wax does smooth out the look.
I hope this helps.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How do I open the pores of really smooth interior concrete?

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Q. -  For indoor staining on smooth concrete, does anything besides the cleaning need to be done? some instructions I have read say it is necessary to use an etching agent or floor buffer with sandpaper to roughen the concrete before it will take stain
Hello Rachel,
 A. -  The concrete needs to be clean, and the pores need to be open, so it can accept the stain. So if it the concrete is slick like a mirror then you need to open the pores. If it is smooth but not super slick and/or has been around for a while, then the pores may be open enough already.
   Here's how to tell: Pour some water on it. If the water soaks right in, then the stain will too. If the water just kinda sits there and has a hard time penetrating the concrete's surface, then the stain will too.
   If you see that you do need to open the pores, then you should not use, never ever use or do, any acid washing or acid etching if you can anyway keep from it, prior to staining. When you acid wash/etch concrete then it burns up the lime and other minerals that are present in the concrete, and needed by the concrete acid stain in order to react and work properly. Most acid stains are rendered useless once concrete has been acid washed/etched. In fact, the Artist Grade line of Concrete Acid Stain by Concrete Camouflage is the only acid stain proven to still be effective on an acid washed/etched concrete slab. But even then, it can be not quite as rich as it would have otherwise been.
   Anyway, to open the pores: Yes, you can use a rented floor buffing machine as you had read elsewhere. However, do not use the sanding disks unless you're trying to get up glues, paints, etc. Only then would you need to use them. Of course the sanding disks will certainly open up the pores, but they will also take out some of the marbleization found in the final effect of stained - smooth concrete. 
   Therefore, if you're concrete just needs cleaned well and the pores opened up, you're better off to use the good scrubby pads instead. They will still clean the concrete well and open the pores up adequately, without over opening them, and thereby causing the loss of marbleization.
I hope this helps.
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