Friday, November 15, 2013

How do I get a gloss look on my overlayed floor?

Ask a Pro

Q. -  We had our concrete floor family room textured with an overlayment about 3 weeks ago. The floor polish which was put on is a water-based acrylic polish which is mopped on. I am not happy with the satin finish. I think now that I would like it more glossy.
Can I put one of your products over the floor to make it more glossy? The contractor is not giving me straight answers about what I can do because he says there are too many variables.
Thank you for any assistance you can give.
Hello Charmagne
A. -  You can apply Top Shield Floor Wax by Concrete Camouflage which will give it the gloss. Be sure and do a small test area first before doing the entire floor just to be sure.
Earl Choate Ph.D.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Do I need to wax my stained concrete?

Ask a Pro

Q. -  Hi , do i need to wax it after i sealed it ? or can i just seal it without waxing ? thank you
Hello tam

A. –  If it's inside then yes, you need to wax it after sealer. If it's outside, then its optional.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Is acid stained floors slippery?

Ask a Pro
Q. -  How slippery is the floor after you have done all the steps? I want to do this over my whole house but I am afraid it may be too slick - especially in the bathroom. Could you add any grit to the sealer?
Hello Alex

A. -  It isn't very slippery at all when using Concrete Camouflage products. The acid stain doesn't sit on top. It changes the surface color. The sealer goes on very thin. The Top Shield floor wax has traction additives built in. You can add the traction additive to the sealer if you like but it's really not necessary. Of course any concrete can be slippery when wet but with the floor wax, which was designed for commercial application and has traction qualities built right in, is much less slippery than most other waxes.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

How do I get the more smooth and marbelized look?

Ask a Pro
Q -   I have looked at all your pictures and some concrete shows more of a textured look and other looks marbled. I would like to know how, if possible, to make mine look marbled and smooth.

Hello Carly

A -  The more marblized look comes from smooth interior concrete naturally. The more stone like look comes from rough or broom finished exterior concrete. Also, adding enough coats of sealer to ensure a good even look and then applying the wax smooths it out too.

I hope this helps,


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why does my sealer blush out when it rains on it and then dry back clear?

Ask a Pro
Hi Earl,
Hope you are well. I watched all the videos, asked you a ton of questions and ordered the artist grade interior stain kit. My project involved smooth concrete on a porch covered by an awning. On the website I did not see a specific difference between the products for interior and exterior projects. I have stained the porch with Riverstone, neutralized thoroughly and put on my first coat of sealer. We have had tons of rain so I am waiting for the opportunity to put down the second coat of sealer. The first coat of sealer is more shiny than expected but not bad-the Riverstone color is perfect! I was very careful to put down a thin coat of the sealer.
The sealer dried for a couple of days before the next rainstorm. The awning is not up now (but will be soon) and when it rained the porch got very wet. I noticed some small pooling and where the rain pooled, it looked like fresh sealer, kind of blue and milky white. I left the areas alone and the rain dried and everything looks fine. Is this normal? Does this mean the sealer is not completely dry yet? It provided a great surface, not slick and it isn't sticky-maybe the humidity could be affecting it? It will be at least a week before I am able to put on the second coat of sealer...
Along with the interior kit I received the wax which I ordered in a matte finish. In an earlier response you suggested waxing the porch since it is covered. How long should I wait to wax after applying the second coat of sealer?
I am very pleased with the Concrete Camouflage product line and my porch looks great! Just want to make sure I am doing everything correctly.
Thanks for your time (again!),
What you're seeing is the moisture wicking through the sealer and exiting. The Clear Shield Advanced sealer is designed to let the concrete breathe and allows moisture in the concrete to come through so it can exit and doesn't keep the moisture trapped underneath, like other sealers do. If the moisture that wicks up through the concrete can't escape then the sealer looses it's bond and eventually begins to peel. So this is a good thing.
Anyway, when you apply Clear Shield Advanced sealer, any areas of the concrete that has excess moisture in it still, or if the sealer gets wet before it cures out completely, will cause a blushing effect when the sealer gets saturated wet but then dries back clear once it dries completely out, as you're seeing. The good news is that this will only happen for three or four wet/dry times and then it won't do it any longer. So it's nothing to worry about.
You should allow the sealer to cure out for a couple of days before applying the wax.
I hope this helps,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How do I protect a design in my concrete when I stain the concrete around it?

Ask a Pro

  Q. -  I have scored and stained a pattern in my broomed concrete. We love it so much we have decided we want to also stain the area outside of the pattern. The problem is with broomed roughness, masking tape does not stick well. I have thought of covering pattern with rubber while I stain outside area. The pattern has been sealed but have read stain can discolor sealer. Any suggestions how I can stain outside area without ruining pattern? Note we really want to spray, not brush, to get the natural look. Thanks!
Hello Sean
  A. -  Stop by your local hobby store. Pick up some poster board, 3M spray glue, a can of spray gloss and a roll of packaging tape. Cut the poster board to fit/cover the design, then remove it and spray the poster board with the gloss and allow to completely dry. Then spray the 3M glue along the edges on the bottom. Stick the poster board down about a 1/16" to 1/8" back from the edge. Tape the edges with the packaging tape and rub it down really well with your thumb. Tape any seams/overlaps where the sections of posterboard meets itself to seal it.
When you spray on the stain, spray straight down rather than at an angle. Instead of spraying one heavy saturating coat, spray a light coat - allow to dry and then another light coat, then another if needed. After the stain has sit for the appropriate drying/reaction time, use some rags to wipe any wet stain off the poster board if there is any. Then neutralize and rinse off the stain from the entire area. Remove the poster board. Rinse everything down again if needed. Allow to dry and then apply your sealer.
I hope this helps,
800 650 1157
Earl Choate, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Concrete Prep

Ask a Pro

Q. -  I am wanting to stain newly poured concrete. What to I need to know and is there anything I need to tell the contractor finishing concrete?
How long does it need to cure? Can I just hose off with water hose? etc. etc.
Hello Cindy
A. -  Tell him to finish it smooth but not too tight. Let it cure for 28 days before staining. Go over it with a floor buffing machine with the aggressive scrubber pads during clean and prep to help open up the pores.
Here's some links to help you out. Free Videos to watch, Full Audio CD & Downloadable Segments Complete Blog with Searchable Archives. Color chart page which shows all the colors and their approximate color outcome.
I hope this helps,
Earl Choate Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Can I stain concrete that has Fibermesh in it?

Ask a Pro
  Q. -  The concrete floor has fiberglass reinforcement will there be any issues with using your staining product? Since it is a new floor do I still have to use TSP to clean it or just was with clean water and apply stain? Thank you.
Hello Michael
  A. -  It should be fine. People stain concrete with Fibermesh all the time. T.S.P. is a really strong soap that deep cleans into the pores of the concrete. It is advised because the stain has to get into the pores to work well. Also, if your floor is really tight(slick) you should use a floor buffing machine with an aggressive scrubber pad to help open the pores. You'll know if you need it by doing the water test. Pour some water on it and observe whether it soaks right in, or just sits there a while or beads up.
I hope this helps

Monday, May 13, 2013

When is the best time to stain my concrete floor during new construction?

Ask a Pro
   Q. -  I've got a large unfinished basement (almost 3,000sqf) that I'm going to be finishing off this summer. I just received my samples of your stain and will be experimenting with it this weekend to decide what color(s) we want to use. I had intially planned to stain and seal the entire basement before putting up the walls, hanging sheetrock, etc. Just one big open space to work with and I wouldn't have to worry about splashing it on the walls, etc. But now I'm wondering if that's the best idea. Am I going to damage the floor by doing that? Would I be better off waiting to do the stain and sealing until after the main construction is done?
Thanks for your time.
Hello Shalom
  A. - Many people cover and protect the floors during construction and wait until last to do the floors. However, most people and all the contractors prefer to stain, seal, and wax it after the walls are framed, but before sheetrock goes up. Then cover it and protect it during construction. Then afterwards, uncover and rewax it to bring back the shine. That way the concrete is protected from anything that might get on the concrete and get into the pores of the concrete accidentally. It's easier to strip the wax and reapply it if something gets on it, as anything minor that gets on it should come up with the wax, rather than to have to be stripping, scrubbing, and possibly sanding the concrete to remove things like paint, glues, oils etc., that would then be a potential blemish on the floor.
   Regardless of when you do it, the concrete floor must be covered well and diligently protected during construction. A sheathing type material or heavy cardboard is best. Make sure any printing on it is facing up. Cut it back from the framing about 1/2 an inch to an inch to allow room for sheetrock and baseboards, and easier removal later. Tape the seams well with a good tape, but use painters tape along the edges. Have the painters to still put down plastic. Make sure the plumbers and HVAC guys cut and thread any metal pipe outside on the dirt or grass, to prevent the oil that they use from getting on the floor and/or through the floor covering.
I hope this helps

How can I get stubborn carpet glue removed?

Ask a Pro

I was tryng to post this inquiry on your blog but could not figure out how to do so. My exterior concrete porch was covered with a carpet which I removed. I rented a carbide sander which removed most of the glue but there are still stubborn spots throughout. How can I best remove those spots? If they remain, what effect will it have on the stain? Thank you for your assistance.

----Continue Reading----

See our full blog post and answer on carpet adhesive removal

Friday, May 3, 2013

Will concrete patching stain a different color from the concrete floor?

Ask a Pro
  Q. -  I have an older home and the concrete is most likely the original making it over 30 years old. Over the years there has been some hairline cracks that have developed as well as small holes which I intend to patch. Also I am removing some planters and adding concrete, my question is this: Will your acid stain product be able to blend the new concrete with the old concrete and patch work so that it all looks uniform?
Hello Yousef
   A. -  The patching will likely stain a different color from the existing concrete which is why most people do not patch hairline cracks or small imperfections. If you are going to patch, then first make a small test board of the patch material, say, on a piece of cardboard. Then you can do a color test on the concrete in an out of the way place such as a closet. Also stain the patching test board and compare the two tests. It may be that a second coat of stain on the patches will blend it. Or you may decide to use a different patching material, or you may decide to use a highlighting technique or multiple colors, etc. to blend it all in. Or you could score in patterns or designs and use different colors and/or techniques to make the differences look intentional and creative.
I hope this helps

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Can I Buff the Top Shield Floor Wax?

Ask a Pro
  Q. -   I used the your Top Shield floor wax product over my sealed concrete floors and would like to buff them, is that ok and can i do it a week or more after they have been waxed. Will it improve the preformance of the wax?
Hello Tammy
  A. -  Yes you can buff it. Whenever you feel it could use it. Of course you don't have to and can simply reapply a fresh coat when it starts to scuff or dull, but you certainly can buff it. It will bring out the gloss more and extend the life. Commercial clients do buff their's to prolong it and lengthen the time between reapplication.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Did I use Enough Sealer on My Floor?

Ask a Pro

   Q. -   Ask Your Question Here:: I stained and sealed a 400 square foot room, hallway, and closet. Did I do something wrong if I didn't even use a whole gallon of sealer after two coats? The directions say that I should have used two gallons. I made sure I did thin coats but now I'm worried I made
them too thin? Should I do more coats?
Thanks, Donna

Hello Donna,

  A. -   Depending on the porosity of the concrete, some will soak up more sealer as where some will require less. As you have 2 coats down, now look at it overall from a cosmetics viewpoint. Is it smoothed out overall or does some areas look more dry than others? If you have a good even smoothness everywhere then you should be fine with what you have down and can go forward with the final step of waxing. If it's not smooth and even
everywhere and overall, then go ahead with another coat of sealer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I have cloudy areas on my floor. How do I fix it?

Ask a Pro

  Q. -  Ask Your Question Here:: We did the acid stain, and sealer and wax. There were some areas that had a cloudy patchy look. Should we strip with simple green and reseal the whole floor and then rewax?

Hello Angela,

  A. -  Cloudiness is usually caused by moisture trapped in either the sealer or the wax. First, let it cure out for a few days and see if the cloudiness goes away on it's own. Many times it will dissapear with a few days of curing time.

   If not, then do a small test area. Warm your house up to around 80 degrees F, and apply a thin coat of wax and let dry. If the moisture is trapped in
the wax, the fresh coat of wax will open the wax up and the dry warmth will draw the moisture out.

   If doesn't work, then do a small test area again. Strip the wax with Simple Green and see if that does it. If so, remove all the wax, allow to
completely dry and reapply the wax in 2 coats as thin as possible, allowing it to completely dry between coats.

   If removing the wax doesn't remove the cloudiness, then the moisture is trapped in the sealer which means removing the sealer, allowing to
completely dry, and then reapply the sealer in 2 coats as thin as possible, allowing it to completely dry between coats. Allow to cure for a few days,
and then reapply the wax in 2 coats as thin as possible, allowing it to completely dry between coats.

   If you do end up needing to strip the sealer, then you can find instructions and tips on how to do so in several posts located at the blog archives. See
link below. Once there, you can enter: ' sealer ' in the search bar to bring up the posts. I suggest reading the older ones first. Complete Blog with Searchable Archives.

I hope this helps

Monday, March 11, 2013

Will the concrete mix of my countertops effect the stain color outcome?

Ask a Pro

I'm a contractor and I'm about to start doing concrete countertops. I'm considering using your products by recommendation. Will the cement mix change the colors of the concrete stain as I've heard?
Hello David
   It is true that acid stain is different colors on different slabs of concrete. Applying 1 color to 10 different slabs means 10 different versions of that color. That's the beauty of acid stain, but also why a test must be done for every piece of concrete every time. Especially when it comes to countertops, because the colors are formulated for standard grey concrete that's made from a batch plant and poured from a truck, for foundation slabs, flatwork like driveways, etc. When you do a countertop, the concrete and the mix it is, completely changes the entire ballgame. The stain is reacting chemically with what is present in the concrete mix. Which is why different mixes and batches of concrete create different versions of the stain colors. Changing the concrete mix changes the color reaction and final outcome. A major player especially in countertops and overlays is the portland cement used. As the colors are formulated for a natural grey then using grey does help to an extent, however using a white portland would lighten the colors considerably. Darker browns would be lighter, blacks almost impossible as they would be turned into greys and/or browns.
   The best advice I can give for countertops, is to make some sample boards of some different mixes to do some color tests and see how the different portlands and mixes and stains react together. Then you'll find some amazing combinations. You'll also learn which colors to use with which portlands/mixes to achieve the desired result. Regardless though, I would still make a sample board with every project pour to do color samples on, for the customer to approve, before staining the actual countertops. Because again, every batch you pour will still have different mineral content and random dispersion when you pour it.
I hope this helps

Thursday, February 28, 2013

How should I finish new concrete to be stained?

Ask a Pro
   Q. -   We are building a new house with a finished basement and plan on using your Artist grade stain. The slab will have foam insulation underneath with a vapor barrier.
How should we specify the finish of the slab to the concrete contractor? How long does the concrete need to cure before we stain it?
Hello Mike,
   A. -   You should have the contractor to finish it with a nice smooth finish, but not too tight. You want it smooth and even but not so tight it's like a mirror. Also, don't let him use a curing agent. Finally, you will want to likely run a floor buffing machine with the scrubber pad, over the floor during clean and prep to ensure the pores of the concrete are opened up well to accept the stain.
   The concrete needs to cure for 28 days, or until it cures to one uniform color, whichever comes first. The 28 day rule is best.
I hope this helps,

Monday, January 28, 2013

I have cloudy patches, how can I fix it?

Ask a Pro

love your product. love it love it love it.
screwed up too. after we stained it wife put on sealer when it was too cold and waxed right away. now have whitish marks and cloudy patches that are not going away. how do I remove them without screwing up the floor? sealed using ****** **
Hello Tom,
   I'm not familiar with the sealer you used. It sounds like a solvent base. If so, then it likely didn't cure long enough before applying the wax. The water in the wax may have penetrated the sealers surface which would result in cloudiness. You would be wise to speak with the sealer manufacturer on how to fix it. They'll likely have you to strip it down and reapply the sealer and let it cure out before applying the wax. Fyi: Solvent base sealers require a minimum 72 hours cure time in warm weather. Longer in cold and/or humid weather. Also, the concrete has to be bone dry when applying solvents. Most sealers require it to be 40 degrees F and above, which includes both the air temp and the concrete surface temp, for application. 
Note: You can also find instructions on stripping sealers by searching the blog archives.
I hope this helps

Monday, January 21, 2013

Should I Acid Etch the Concrete before Staining it?

Ask a Pro
  Q. -  I have looked at other brands of concrete stains and most have an etching chemical that has to be applied first and depending on brand depends on the brand of etching chemical, if I buy this product do I need the etching stuff, and what brand if so???
Hello Blair,
  A. -  Concrete Camouflage stains are true concrete acid stains, which means they have the acid in them, and so you don't use any etching products during clean and prep or before applying the stain. Products that call themselves concrete stains, yet require the concrete to be acid etched and/or acid washed prior to application are disguised paints and should be avoided if at all possible. Some examples would be acrylic stains and semi transparent or solid color stains. But the one that really cracks me up is any product that pitches themselves as eco friendly or a safer alternative to acid stains, bragging that they have no acids in them. Then they tell you that in order to use their safer, better, eco friendly stain, that you need to acid etch the concrete first. Of course using a far stronger solution of acid than the diluted muriatic/hydrochloric acid (swimming pool acid) that is used in the actual acid stains. Not to mention a another step added to the process.