Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Questions about doing a floor that had carpet before.

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   Q. -  We are planning on staining a basement bedroom floor, using Concrete Camouflage products, and have a few questions.
Hello Kimberly,

   Answers follow the questions.
1) Is the only difference in the Artist grade and the standard (1 coat needed vs. 2)? How many coats do you recommend?
    A. - Yes, that is the only difference, The Artist grade is a one coat stain (although you can do additional coats for a darker look) and the Standard grade requires two coats minimum. Other than that, the only other difference is the color choices.

2) The concrete was poured in 1968, will there be enough lime left to stain nicely?
    A. - There should be, though you never know for sure without doing a test area first, like in a closet or an out of the way place. You could purchase some sample sizes first to test not only the chemical reaction, but also the colors. Due to the age of the concrete I would suggest only using the Artist grade concrete stain by Concrete Camouflage for sure. 
    When you do your tests, do one test with one coat and also one test with two coats, of each color that you're testing, to see if one coat will be adequate or if it will require two coats due to the age of the concrete.

3) What is the best way to remove some paint spots from the concrete?
    A. - You can use a citrus stripper, paint stripper, paint thinner, or Xylene(though it's very flammable and requires adequate ventilation), or you can use a heavy duty glue remover which also works well. You may still need to lightly sand the floor and if so, you can use a small belt sander, a rented floor sander like they use on wood floors, or even a floor buffing machine with the sanding disks.
   NOTE: If the paint spots are small and only a few, then you may want to just strip them as well as you can with a citrus or paint stripper, and then if you do still see the paint spots after staining, then you can use a children's water paint set (like you get at the dollar store for the water paint coloring books) so that you can mix the colors to blend with the stain and then lightly paint over the spots and feather it in to camouflage the spots. Then seal over it to lock it in and complete the camouflaging technique. Once the sealer and wax is on, then the colors will blend underneath and look natural. Simple and inexpensive camouflaging that works well.

4) Do you recommend the C5p32 degreaser instead of a local hardware store brand?
    A. - I would only use degreaser if the floor has oil or grease on it and/or in the pores of the concrete. Otherwise just cleaning it well with T.S.P. (tri-sodium-phosphate) will be enough. If there's no oil or grease, which you can usually tell by wetting the floor down to see if the water soaks right in or beads up or just kinda sits there awhile before soaking in, and also looking for discoloration. If you do decide to use a degreaser then I would suggest that you use Concrete Stain Prep (C.S.P.) by Concrete Camouflage, as it was designed to be used specifically when using concrete stain. It not only degreases but also cleans, strips, and removes dirt, light duty glues, water base paints, and more, that other degreasers can't touch. It can even be used to remove tire marks from rubber tires. It will outperform all other degreaser products, and it's inexpensive as well. Regardless of which degreaser that you use, you will still need to final clean with T.S.P. and then final rinse a couple times with clean water.

5) What is the best way to hide tack strip holes from carpet? We will be using concrete filler to fix the divets. We were thinking we would need to use a darker stain. Any suggestions would be great. We are debating between Canon or Maya stone for the main part of the floor but not sure what to do around the edges for the tack strips. We are also going to use the cc3mt tape to make lines.
    A. - Using a darker stain color is a great idea, and a common practice, as the concrete patching material will most likely stain a different color. You should use some of the patching material on a piece of cardboard to make some sample boards of the material. Then when you do the color tests on your concrete, you can also do color tests on the patching material sample boards. Then you will see how much, if any difference, the patches will be from the floor. It may be that doing a second coat on the patches helps it to blend, or vice versa, or it could be that a different patch material works out better, or you may see that you need to really darken out the border area. Also, you can always use the water color paint trick, mentioned above, on the divots if needed too.
   Just a personal opinion, but when using Canyon or Island Sand, the Honey Oak or Leather Brown looks great with it. The Coffee also works well for a much darker color and camouflaging or darkening out.
   If you do use tape to make lines for the border, then it's important to try and keep the stain from getting under the edge of the tape, which it will try to do. So, brush on the border color using a brush and bucket. Dip the brush, tap out the excess stain in the bucket, and then place the brush in the center of the border area or near the wall. Brush in a circular motion towards the tape so that once you reach the tape, the stain is out of the brush and you are dragging the stain to the tape. Additionally, if you spray over tape, then be sure to not spray at an angle, but rather spray directly down over the tape. Also, it's better to do a couple light misting coats than one heavy coat. Remember that the stain is liquid like water and will want to get under the tape if possible.
   Finally, you can do the border first in a darker or even the same color, and then spray the entire floor, including the border, with the lighter color.

6) If we seal the concrete after the stain, will we need the wax?
    A. - You should certainly still wax it. The wax is the best part. It's the sacrificial coat. Top Shield by Concrete Camouflage lasts for quite a long time in high traffic areas and when it does start to scuff or dull you just apply a fresh coat and it's back to new. It makes the cleaning a breeze and maintenance easy and inexpensive, while ensuring that your new stained floor stays looking new, and when maintained properly will ensure that your stained floor lasts indefinitely. Also, the Top Shield floor wax comes in gloss or matte finish.
   Also, by sealing and waxing both, you are layering in clear coats that will add to the depth, luster, and appearance of an expensive floor.

Thanks in advance for your help. We are excited to get started but we need to get our questions answered first so we know what to order. Kimberly
I hope this helps,
800 650 1157
Earl Choate, Ph.D.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Will the stain penetrate a thin layer of paint on the floor?

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   Q. -  Hello- I am wondering if the stain will penetrate a very thin layer of paint...I have pulled up the carpeting from my lower level and it appears that the developer let some paint hit the floor when he was spaying the walls. It is very random and I don't mind it. I was thinking of just sealing and waxing the floor but I think I want it to be a bit darker. Please let me know when you have a chance. Thank you.
Hello Mark,
   A. -  The concrete stain will not stain nor penetrate paint. You need to strip and/or lightly sand the paint to remove it first. You can use paint strippers, or citrus strippers, or even heavy duty glue removers which work very well. For sanding you can use a belt sander for small areas, or you can rent a floor sander like they use on wood floors, or you could even use a floor buffing machine with the sanding disks which keeps it inexpensive and easy to do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My older and painted floor is peeling. What should I do?

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   Q. -  It seems that most over your tips are about new concrete. I wanted to know how and what products to paint an older floor that is painted but the paint has pealed.
Hello Harriet,
   A. -  You should completely remove all the existing paint, and then use the concrete acid stain, sealer, and wax, using Concrete Camouflage products, and the directions and tips online at ConcreteCamouflage.com 
   The paint can be stripped off using a citrus stripper or a heavy duty glue remover, and then, if there is still any paint left, including in the pores of the concrete, you can sand it with a rented floor sander or a floor buffing machine using the sanding disks. Then you should be ready to go forward with the concrete acid stain, sealer, and wax.
   IMPORTANT: You should not use paints or acrylic stains(which are just disguised paints) because it will just peel again. Only concrete acid stain is real concrete stain, like what wood stain is to wood, so don't let anyone fool you.
I hope this helps

Can I use your sealer on a kitchen concrete countertop where I prepare food?

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   Q. -  I am looking to use a sealer for concrete counter tops.  Is your sealer safe for kitchen counter top use, food handling, etc.?
Hello Kim,
    A. -  Clear Shield Advanced concrete sealer by Concrete Camouflage is a pure acrylic water based sealer made for all types of concrete. It is approved for use in FDA inspected facilities. Many people have used it on their concrete countertops for years now, and we have had no complaints at all.
   However, with that being said, we do not condone or recommend it's use on surfaces where food will be prepared directly on the sealed surface. Therefore, if you choose to use it on your countertop(s), we suggest that you prepare any foods on cutting boards or other such countertop coverings. Both to protect the sealer from any damage when preparing foods and of course to ensure that you do not take any chances when it comes to protecting yourself and your families health.
   We make this suggestion not only in regards to our sealer but with any sealer, and with all concrete countertops, regardless of what any particular manufacturer or sales person might say.
I hope this helps

I don't want a glossy finish on my floor. Do I have to seal it and wax it?

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   Q. -  My concrete floor has been done really badly.
Now I want to give it a colour to make it more equal,
but I don't want this shining sealer layer on top of it.
Is it necessary to use the sealer or can I can skipp that part.

Hello Marleen,
   A. -  While you don't absolutely have to, it's a really good idea to seal it and then wax it. This will protect and thereby greatly extend the life of the floor and make cleaning and maintenance much easier, and less expensive in the long term. Fortunately for you, Concrete Camouflage has a satin finish sealer and also a matte finish mop on style wax available. So you can have the best of both worlds. A protected and easy to clean floor along with not having to have the glossy finish that you want to avoid.
I hope this helps

I have milky white areas after applying the mop on wax. Why and how can I fix it?

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   Q. -  I recently purchased some no buff wax (matte) and applied it this past weekend. I applied two coats, with it being over 24 hrs. I know have a milky film on 60% of the floor. The question I have is how can I fix this?
Hello Eric,
   A. -  It's most likely caused by moisture which is either trapped under the wax or trapped in the sealer.
   If you applied it to a floor that has been sealed with a solvent base sealer, and the sealer hadn't cured well enough, then the water in the wax can penetrate into the solvent base sealer and cause it to turn milky as the water becomes trapped in the sealer. If this is the case then that would mean having to strip the wax and sealer, and then start over with new sealer and new wax, allowing the solvent base sealer to completely cure before applying the wax. Solvents take several days to cure out, and that is just one of several reasons why solvents are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of decorative concrete.
   If you applied it to a cured floor, then the floor must have not been completely dry when you applied the wax, or you didn't allow it to dry completely enough between coats. If this is the case, then you should allow it to sit for a couple more days to see if the moisture will escape and thereby correct itself. If not, then you will have to strip the wax and re-apply it, ensuring that the floor is completely dry before re-applying it and ensuring that wax dries completely between coats. You can easily strip the wax off with Simple Green.
   While rare, it could also be that moisture is wicking up through the concrete. This can be the case on certain exterior applications and also on certain basement floors, though it can also happen on house slabs too, if the concrete company didn't use a vapor barrier (plastic on the ground) when pouring the concrete.
   Finally, if you stained the floor and did not seal it prior to applying the wax, then that would mean that it is either one of the above situations, or the stain was not properly neutralized and is having a reaction with the wax. Which would mean stripping the wax, further neutralizing the stain, applying sealer, and rewaxing. Of course ensuring that the floor completely dries between each step and coat of product.
I hope this helps

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do you have teaching seminars? How long does your products last? Good for high traffic?

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Hello Jessey,
   A. - Concrete Camouflage products are great for high traffic. The stain is permanent, the wax last for months, and if you properly maintain your Concrete Camouflage stained, sealed, and/or waxed surface, then they'll last indefinately.
   We don't take advantage of people with expensive training seminars. We simply sell an audio guide cd that has more info than dozens of dvd's and/or several seminars combined. We follow that up with both email and toll free telephone assistance as needed.
I hope this helps.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Can I Wax my Driveway?

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  Q. -  I have  a driveway that was overlay , acid stained, a two coats of oil base clear. I mop it but still doesnt look like new 3 months ago. Can i wax it to keep it looking like new? or what do I do to make it look great all the time
Hello Vernon,
  A. -  The wax would help to keep it nice, just as a floor. And when it does start to scuff or dull, you just apply a fresh coat. However, while our wax has been used extensively in garages and on exterior porches and patios, to put it on a driveway would be the first time I've ever heard of it being done, and I'm not sure how it would hold up to the vehicular traffic.
   It sounds like the sealer is not holding up well. Perhaps you should consider applying our sealer over your existing sealer first to see if that would do it. Our sealer is quite good and holds up quite well. It's a water base acrylic and should be fine to apply right over your existing sealer.
   Regardless of whether you decide to apply our sealer, or go ahead with the wax, I would suggest that you first purchase a small sample size bottle and just do a small test area first to be sure that you'll be happy with the results. Of course the wax can be stripped off easily if doesn't work, but there's no sense in spending that much to do the entire project before you are sure that you'll get the results that you're after.
   The only cautions that I can think of in regards to the wax on the driveway are these. The wax will strip off with Simple Green, which means that oil drips, gas drips, harsh chemicals, etc will also strip it. Also, when there is standing water on the wax it will turn a milky white, though once it dries it will dry back to clear as it was before. Finally, I don't know about hot tire pickup. While we haven't seen any in the garages, a driveway is an entirely different thing as it has the direct sun and more traffic. So again, you should do a test area where you'll be driving over it before applying it to the entire area.
I hope this helps.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How many square feet does the project kits cover?

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   Q. -  I am interesting in purchasing a concrete stain kit, however, i would like to know the surface coverage to determine how much i would need for my project.
Hello Damion,
   A. -  The project kits are customizable to fit your square footage needs. When you click on the kit of your choice, then you will select your color, and then you will select how many square feet that you need to cover. Then the amount of products your ordering along with the price will adjust accordingly.
   Also, once you click on the project kit of your choice, whether it be interior or exterior, standard grade or artist grade, it will explain how much product you will be receiving, per each square foot increment.
I hope this helps