Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will patches show? How do I camouflage/hide patches?

Ask a Pro

   Q. -  I have some concerns about the steps I'm taking to fill in holes and cracks before I begin staining.
The concrete filler I'm using is grey in color and stands out compared to the actual concrete. I have to fill so many holes from the nails used to lay the tack strips, that I'm now concerned the stain will not take, or will show major discoloration than the rest of the floor. My room is approx 450 sq.ft and there are holes all around it at least 1/2 inch apart and several long cracks that need filling in the center of the room. It's starting to look worse than before I filled them.
What's the best way to handle this problem?

Hello Terri,
   A. -  If the cracks are only hairline cracks, meaning you cannot place a coin into them, then I wouldn't try to patch them. Hairline cracks will add character to the concrete and is actually a desirable when acid staining. If you must patch them and as for the holes you're patching, the patching material will likely stain a different color than the rest of the concrete, as you suspected. You should take some of the patching material and put it on a piece of cardboard or the such to make a small test board(s). Then when you do a color test on the concrete, in an out of the place such as a closet, then you can also stain the patching test board and compare the two together. It may be that you can do a second coat on the patching to bring them closer or vice versa. Or it may be that you need to use a darker color altogether to get them to blend, either by doing a darker border or the entire floor darker. Also it may be that you simply need to highlight your floor. You could stain the entire floor a lighter color, and then highlight the floor with a darker color, using the highlighting techniques found in the blog, or in the audio book segment named highlighting found at the website, to blend in and camouflage the patches.
   You can purchase the highlighting audio segment for .99 cents, and there is also a patching segment for only .59 cents that would have some great tips too, and then there is the using multiple colors segment for borders. However, when you purchase products from Concrete Camouflage, then you will get two free audio book segments in your receipt email. So I recommend that you order yourself some sample bottles of a few different colors that you may like to try. Be sure to get some light and some dark and then take the time to do some testing on the concrete in an out of the way place as mentioned and also on the test board(s). Try the different colors and also try the highlighting as suggested, and you should find that you can camouflage the patches and also create a unique and cool looking effect that you may have not even considered.
I hope this helps.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Can I seal only inside, and not use the floor wax?

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   Q. -  How long will my floor look nice if i acid stain it and put your sealer?  I really want a low maintenance floor and don't want to have to keep reapplying wax.

Hello Greg,
   A. -  The wax is the best part, and the least maintenance overall. It is less slippery and much less expensive to maintain than any sealer is. How long sealer alone will last depends on how much and how rough of traffic it gets, but usually about as long +/- as Top Shield floor wax does. When the sealer does scuff or dull it will have to be stripped and resealed. When Top Shield floor wax by Concrete Camouflage scuffs or dulls, which is typically 6 months or more in a high traffic area, and potentially years in very low traffic areas, you just apply a fresh coat and it's back to brand new. If you have to strip sealer it takes harsh chemicals and allot of elbow grease as to where if you ever do have to strip our wax you just use Simple Green.
   The bottom line is that the sealer is designed to protect and enhance the cosmetics of the acid stained floor. The wax is the intended sacrificial coating that protects the sealer and ensures that you never have to strip and/or seal ever again.
   I know that pretty much all waxes on the market, especially those found at local big box stores, or either difficult to apply and maintain and/or they have a very short life span and do in fact require massive amounts of maintenance. However, I strongly suggest that you do not overlook or ignore the incredible benefits of Top Shield floor wax by Concrete Camouflage.
I hope this helps.