Acid Staining a Concrete Porch Floor
Jim in Minnesota is listening on KARL. And what can we do for you and your money pit?
JIM: OK, I was wondering about acid stain for cured cement.
JIM: I put a wrap-around porch around three sides of my house. I’ve got an older 1890 house. And cement company here, they make forms – 8×12, 8×16, whatever – but – and then they put a cobblestone finish in.
TOM: OK, yeah. Mm-hmm.
JIM: And they said that you can spray an acid stain on those. And I can’t find those anywhere around here that – they say that you can just take a sprayer and spray it on and get the earth-tone finishes.
TOM: Well, first of all, you’re talking about stamped concrete, which is gorgeous.
TOM: And the finishing, there’s a number of options on there. Acid staining is one of them but, Leslie, doesn’t that have some risks?
LESLIE: Yeah, well acid staining, there’s a – there’s a series of different chemicals that they use to create the staining process and each one produces a different coloration and you can do, you know, multiple different types of chemicals and different tones to create different areas of coloration. You can even, you know, do one cobblestone one color and another the other. But it’s a very exact science and from everybody I know who’ve done it, they don’t recommend it sort of as a do-it-yourself project. And I know that there are plenty of folks who, you know, across the country, will come out there and do it for you. I’ve never attempted it myself because it always seemed so caustic and, you know, a little bit frightening.
JIM: Yeah. I’m a maintenance man so that doesn’t bother me at all. (chuckling) What I did, I did the back section that I have open.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Oh, I thought you were going to say you’re caustic and frightening.
JIM: And a friend of ours had some acid stain and it’s the yellows, the browns and whatever. And I put it on just those back two sections of the open porch and it turned out really well. It turned out the browns, the golds, the yellows. It’s got about 12 different colors in it. It really looks rich. But now, he didn’t know where he got the stain from and I don’t know where to find it from.
LESLIE: What was the brand on it?
JIM: It was just a can that he had. (chuckling)
TOM: Ah, it was some magic mix. (chuckling)
JIM: He moved – he actually moved up here from Des Moines, Iowa.
TOM: Well, I’ll tell you, what’s probably worth doing is if you can find a brand of acid stain that you’re happy with and some colors that you think you can live with, you could try it and perhaps start it in one area and just do it very, very slowly and kind of see how it sort of evolves for you. Because I think it can be a very attractive system. But the problem is that you can’t always depend on what the color’s going to be until it actually happens because, as Leslie said, it reacts with the chemicals in the concrete. There may be other types of concrete stains that are more dependable than acid stain, but acid stain, you know, is something that you can’t always depend on until you actually see it come off.
LESLIE: There’s also a good website online. It’s ConcreteSolutions.com and they pretty much sell everything that you would need for stamped concrete and they might be a good source to check out for the spray; or at least be a good lead to help you track down your exact kind.
JIM: Hey, great. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Jim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, Jim listening in Minnesota on KARL.