Concrete Stain FAQ
Acid stain promises to give beautiful results while being very simple to use. The cost savings as compared to other flooring products is substantial, and the extremely low maintenance of concrete acid stain is being enjoyed by all who have it along with the allergy friendliness. It tends to marbleize the concrete when used on smooth concrete and gives it more of a stone appearance when used on rougher concrete. The mottleing and multicolor hues seen in acid stained concrete tends to form naturally as the stain reacts with the randomly dispersed minerals and cements in the concrete's surface.
It takes 2 coats of Standard Grade stains to do what 1 coat of Artist Grade stain does, meaning that you should get about double the coverage from the Artist grade stain. For instance, on an interior smooth finished concrete floor, the standard grade would cover up to 200 square foot per gallon and the artist grade would cover up to 400 square foot per gallon. On exterior broom finished concrete, you would get about 150 sq.ft. per gallon with the standard grade, and up to 300 sq.ft. per gallon with the artist grade.
- The Artist Grade stain is available in 23 colors as well as custom colors. Fiesta Stain comes in 10 colors.
No. Concrete Camouflage never adds Dyes to achieve more colors. All 23 concrete acid stain colors are uniquely different colors that are true concrete acid stains. That's more than Double the color choices offered elsewhere.
- A dedicated team which includes several Chemists, PhD's, Contractors, and Do It Yourselfers, a very aggressive R & D dept., tons of tests, and the drive and determination to achieve more and better. Which we hope you'll find apparent in all Concrete Camouflage products.
- No. Concrete acid stain is not a topical coat like concrete paint or acrylic stains. It penetrates the surface and chemically stains the concrete surface. Acid Stain is to concrete, as wood stain is to wood.
I've seen an acrylic concrete stain at my local home improvement store. Is this the same as yours? If not, how do they differ?
- Absolutely not the same.
- An acrylic stain is basically a tinted sealer. An acrylic clear sealer with paint pigments added. When using acrylic stains, you are being tricked into painting your concrete. Acrylic stains are only disguised paints designed with the sole purpose of seperating you from your cash.
An acid stain penetrates the surface and reacts with the cement and minerals within the concrete to chemically change the color of the concrete's surface.
I've seen a concrete acid stain at my local home improvement store. How does it compare to yours?
- The big box stores carry homeowner grade products. Their primary concern is focused more towards profit than quality. As they continually encourage their vendors to keep their pricing as low as possible they are in fact encouraging lower quality products. These "watered down" products cannot even begin to compare with Concrete Camouflage.
- We've had opportunities to stock our products in big box home improvement stores to be sure, but what they wanted from us would keep us up at night and work against everything we've strived to accomplish. We refuse to put profits ahead of quality. Our business has grown because of our customers trust in us and our products. Trust is both earned and easily lost.
Concrete Camouflage was green when green wasn't cool. That's why our logo has always been green and blue.
As a matter of fact, Concrete Camouflage artist grade stains and companion products were used in one of the more prominent Green Home Projects to date, The Nutter Green Home Project, completed by a University of Ohio Professor. Check out their ongoing blog here: NutterResidence.Blogspot.com
Basically speaking, our stains are made with iron oxides, a diluted amount of the same acid as used in swimming pools, salts, and water. All derived from the planet Earth.
Of course "Green" was originally an attempt to reduce utility costs, and promote eco-friendly products, and that's where Concrete Camouflage products really shine. Not only are they green in regards to installation, but most especially in post installation.
Can I do this myself, or do I need to hire a contractor?
- You can definately do it yourself. Of course a professional contractor would have experience and advanced techniques, but with a safe and professional attitude, paying attention to detail, not getting in a hurry, and using common sense, anyone can stain concrete.
- Be sure to read all safety precautions and warnings on all labels.
Is it difficult to stain concrete?
- Staining concrete is basically cleaning, brushing and/or spraying, paint rolling, and mopping. There is nothing difficult about it. Those who say it is difficult are very likely either contractors or they have a video or training seminar to sell.
Yes. Though the stain tends to marbleize naturally on it's own without using a second color.
- Yes you can, though it may take two coats. You should first do a test of one coat and a test of two coats. Then you'll know how much it will take and if you like the color.
Click here to visit the Concrete Staining Guide
What if my concrete has been painted, sealed, covered with an acrylic stain, or some other glue down product?
- You must strip, remove, and/or sand all paints, sealers, waxes, glues, etc. The stain has to penetrate the concrete surface to work.
Test. Pour water on the concrete. If it beads up, the stain can't penetrate. If it soaks right in then you should be ok.
If you need to remove contaminants, we can help with that. It's easier than it sounds and the rewards are immense.
Can I use the stain on a cinder block or concrete retaining wall?
- Absolutely. Spray it on and use a brush in a circular motion to take out any runs as you go. The same as staining statuary. Leave it unsealed if you like for a natural flat look.
Can I use the acid stain on my Concrete Counter tops?
- Sure thing. Our stains grace concrete countertops all across the U.S. and beyond.
- Absolutely, what a great idea!
Why do I have to wash off the residue before sealing?
- The ammonia and water will neutralize the stain which is very important. Rinsing will wash away the amonia.
- Active acid will prevent the sealer from bonding. That is why you must neutralize it. Though you don't have to completely remove all the residue. Unless your not going to seal it and then you need to wash it all off so you don't track it into undesired areas.
Is it expensive to do?
- When doing it yourself, the costs are figured in cents, not dollars, with the average project costing less than 50 cents per square foot. You can't even get the 12" stick down tiles that inexpensively.
- When using a contractor, the costs vary but still should be less than nice carpet or linoleum. And definately less than slate or an outside decorative surface.
- Very well. With no sealer it should last years. Forever if you seal it & maintain the sealer.
It may brown out and die back along the edges and/or wherever you get the stain. However, most grasses and greenery will come back.
The color is permanent. You can stain it a darker color, or you can sand it and then re stain it.
- No. We do not offer contracting. Although we do have many Contractors who use our materials and who would be happy to do your work.
What if my question is not answered here?
- Check the Concrete Staining Guide.
- Use our Ask a Pro Series.
- Email Customer Service Department
- Call us at 1 800 650 1157, Mon - Fri / 9a to 4p C.S.T.