Concrete Acid Stain, How To Info and Concrete Acid Stain Suppliers


Unusual application for Concrete Acid Stain

Most people think of floors or driveways when they speak of concrete acid stain color, but there are all sorts of other opporetunities to use this great product to give color and personality to our enviroments. In one instance, I used concrete acid stain to hand paint an Italian frieze design on concrete blocks that forms the top exterior walls of a house, just under the cornice...which I also colored with concrete stain.

Concrete acid stain hand painted frieze concrete acid stain color row of blocks
Construction photos from

Lintels painted with concrete acid stain Italian scroll flourish designs  Polychrome design on cornice and frieze of coastal homeOn the ground, the concrete clocks and lintels looked like this. To see the complete how-to instructions and photos, click here.

Color Maker Floors.... For a look at some VERY artistic concrete floors do not miss Colormaker's site. You can buy products from them, or have them do your floors, or go take a two day intensive workshop. Over the years Colormaker has focused in on cementitious toppings and its coloration for the decorative concrete industry. Colormaker is on a constant search, experimenting and testing, always on the lookout for different methods for formulated concrete overlays. One of the company's feature products, called Pentimento, is a topping based on old Italian ingredients and methods, using the latest in modern chemical technology... producing a polished marbleized concrete look with depth and color. Colormaker carries and manufactures a wide range of products that focus in on cementitious topping and coloration for the decorative concrete industry. Patinaetch is a concrete acid stain producing natural variegated earth tones when applied to concrete, similar to the oxidation of a copper roof, or the patina of a bronzed sculpture. These acid stains react with the free lime in the cement matrix, highlighting irregularities on the surface rather than covering them up, as in the case of paint. Colormaker Decographic Concrete Dyes are solvent based translucent penetrating color solutions. Applied with a pump up sprayer, and ready for use on existing concrete and cementitious toppings. Perfect for shifting color from subtle earth tones to vibrant hues. Can be used to increase depth and color range of Patina acid stained concrete. The translucent water-based Someru Concrete Dye creates a pastel watercolor look. Adds visual texture and depth to a concrete surface or cementitious topping. Easily applied with a pump up garden sprayer. Perfect coloration system when layers of color are required. Colormaker Decorative Concrete Floors sells various products to give a new finish to an older concrete floor. Pentimento
A cement based compound when combined with Cp1000 acrylic activator produces a unique high strength cementitious floor topping. Designed to resurface existing concrete and restore it back to original condition. At 1/8" in thickness, this product can be re-trowelled and burnished numerous times to take on the appearance of newly steel trowelled polished concrete. This durable product surface has been designed for resurfacing high traffic commercial interior floors, as well as residential concrete surfaces for renovation and new construction. Colormaker wants you to stretch, explore and experiment with your concrete floors at their workshops. The 2-day course will throw new light on what is possible and increase your knowledge of materials and techniques. You will be energized and to try new things. With a diversity of personalities, styles and techniques their instructors are artist Gary Jones and other guest artists like Bjorn Ollner, Mike Miller, and Brenda Cardiff. They stretch the medium of visual concrete and explore the infinite possibilities using color and form to transform cementitious floor toppings into art. 

Kemiko Concrete Products is a popular choice for interior/exterior concrete floor stain. I used this brand for a recent exterior color frieze on an all concrete house. It turned out great and ads a very distinctive touch to the plain facade. Affordable, virtually maintenance free it is available in eight colors for luxurious & elegant, permanent flooring. Kemiko Stone Tone Stain, Wax, and Sealer transform concrete into a floor that resembles a natural stone appearance with an old-world marble look. They also offer Rembrandt Polymer Stain. When concrete is stained and scored Kemiko creates the appearance of expensive flooring at a fraction of the cost. Unlike paint, Kemiko Stone Tone Stain reacts with the minerals present in the concrete giving it the look and feel of natural stone. Each concrete slab accepts the stain in varying degrees of intensity creating stunning, multi-hued color variations and an uneven surface that looks aged. Kemiko Stone Tone Stain is a great choice for both interior and exterior surfaces. It can be used for commercial purposes and concrete staining lends a clean, attractive look to driveways, patios, walkways and entrances. It is perfect for high-traffic areas and is very affordable. If the finish wears away, then new fresh concrete is exposed and can be stained again in the wear areas. 

Fabcrete offers a Do-it-Yourself concrete color system. There are so many ways to convert your pool deck, patio, driveway, walk, or commercial showroom into a show piece that is durable, beautiful, and maintenance free. Through the use of patterns and colors, there are no limits to what can be done to your concrete surface, the only limit is your imagination. They offer clear instructions for using their products, Fab-Stain. Fabcrete has contractor pricing and a nice photo gallery. Fab-Stain is a deep penetrating stain that creates beautiful color tone in existing concrete. This innovative product will enhance any decor, whether interior, exterior, residential, or commercial. FAB-STAIN creates an "Old World" look of natural stone and will not peel, crack, chip, or fade. Concrete acid stain floors can be a great do-it-yourself project with little effort and great results. 

Bob Harris’ Guide to Stained Concrete Interior Floors ...Today it seems that everywhere you turn—whether in a restaurant, retail store, airport, casino, or home—there is a good chance you will see decorative stained concrete flooring underfoot. Bob Harris decided to write Bob Harris’ Guide to Stained Concrete Interior Floors. Harris, who has personally placed and/or supervised the placement of over three million square feet of decorative concrete, including work for some of the major Disney theme parks in Orlando, Florida. He has spent the last 12 years as product trainer in addition to being responsible for technical support and research and development at a large decorative concrete manufacturer. He is now founder and president of the Decorative Concrete Institute in Temple, Georgia. He has conducted hands-on training seminars in architectural concrete in locations around the world. Harris spoke at four seminars at the 2004 World of Concrete Trade Show on topics including Acid Etch Staining and Sandblast Stencil Techniques, How to Get Started in Decorative Flatwork and Advanced Decorative Overlays.
This $35, 100 page, full-color guide says it will provide the knowledge to take your floor building skills to the highest level. 

Gaye Goodman is the owner of the New Mexico-based staining company Faux Real and author of the Acid Staining Secrets of the Pros series. She sells several books and videos on her website. Her 'Introduction to Concrete Acid Staining Book' This introduction to the art of acid staining concrete covers the history of the industry, its most common applications, and some of its more creative uses. She also sells the 'How to Stain Concrete Floors Video' which she says is a step-by-step walkthrough of the process from the 'guru' of artistically stained concrete floors. Packed with helpful tips and potential pitfalls, this video contains everything you need to know to create a beautiful acid stained floor. With explanations anyone can understand and information even the pros find essential, this product is a 'must-have' for any serious stainer. As an added Bonus, with the video comes a twelve-page Companion Guide with even more essential tips, technical information and specific product recommendations on each step of the process. There is even a chart (page 9) of common contaminants on floors from the construction process (such as framer's chalk, paint, tar, and mastic among others) and step-by-step processes to remove them successfully. Gaye thinks this chart alone can easily be worth much more to you than the cost of the video.
'Tips & Tricks Book'
Gaye thinks once you are comfortable with the staining process, you'll want to learn all of the sophisticated tips and tricks of an expert. In this fifty-page book with over forty full-color photographs, Gaye shares all of her professional secrets she says. Some of her books are available as ebooks. She sells various combinations of books and videos. 

floorshellclose.jpg (7633 bytes)Read the account of our experiences with SuperStone concrete acid stain products on our small Italian style waterfront home's floors and porches.

PermaCrete makes many concrete resurfacing products. PermaCrete's product line is available in hundreds of colors, making it easy to use with existing colors and designs on your project. Primarily a supplier of concrete surface re-finish products, PermaCrete has twice the strength of standard concrete. Applications can be hand-troweled, squeegeed or sprayed over many types of surfaces such as concrete, steel, foam, aggregate and masonry. PermaCrete is applied to patios, pool decks, pool interiors, driveways, sidewalks, bridges and airport runways... as well as most types of vertical surfaces. 

The Concrete Network has a comprehensive site with info and ads for most all concrete techniques including, concrete countertops , concrete patios, acid-etch staining of concrete , concrete dyes, interior concrete floors, concrete pool decks, decorative concrete , concrete polishing , stamped concrete floors and driveways, concrete resurfacing , stenciling concrete, concrete driveways , colored concrete, and all types of concrete floors. 

Olde World Concrete Stain transforms bare concrete into luxurious surfaces which mimic natural stone or marble or hard tile. The stain process reacts chemically with the concrete to form a permanent, decorative surface which is easy to maintain and which yields the natural appearance of aged stone. The system is hugely more affordable than stone or marble and tremendously easier to maintain. And unlike faux stained systems or similar treatments, Olde World Stain will not chip, fade or peel: it is as permanent as your concrete! Create your own custom designs without being inhibited by cost constraints. Patterns can be cut into the concrete, colors may be alternated and varied, and with 10 colors to chose from, the design possibilities are endless and a marvelous complement to any decorating scheme. As the process works equally well out-of-doors as well, patios, garages, driveways can be coordinated with interiors as well. Anne Kennedy Decorative Art specializes in custom decorative painting of interiors to customize your home or business. The art of Anne Kennedy has embellished the surfaces and furnishings of countless homes, stores and places of business, each one customized to the taste and wishes of the client -- Their studio has mastered the techniques and products necessary to render exceptional and very personalized art. Anne lives in the South Carolina Low Country, and has been doing decorative finishes for the last fifteen years. Anne Kennedy Decorative Arts is active in the Beaufort / Hilton Head area of South Carolina, and maintains a continuing presence in the Atlanta Metro area. Her decorative finishes can be seen in any number of local and national publications. 

Specialty Concrete Products, Inc. is the leading full line manufacturer of stamped concrete products, acid stains, concrete countertop products, concrete sealer and concrete resurfacing materials. SCP has a product to fit any decorative concrete application for new concrete construction or existing concrete renovation. Want to learn the art of Decorative Concrete from industry professionals? Come to SCP’s Architectural Concrete School of Research & Design for the best Decorative Concrete training class in the industry. They keep the class size small so you get real “hands on” experience. When you leave this class you will have the confidence to install stamped concrete, Stencil-Crete, acid stain, stamp overlays, vertical wall stamping, counter tops and spray decks in your home market. This four day class is a very comprehensive training class. Concrete Countertops are changing the way people design their kitchens and bathrooms. Concrete Countertops combine the beauty, value and versatility that only concrete can offer. SCP provides professionals and homeowners alike with high quality mixes, stains, sealers and urethanes for building the perfect countertop. SCP’s DURA-TOP Countertop Mix is available in 28 standard colors to match any decor, design or theme. Specialty Concrete Product’s CHROME-ETCH Acid Stains create realistic marbled color shades on cured countertops. SCP offers several sealers and polishes to seal and protect your investment. See some great examples of their work on the website. 

Cheng Concrete Exchange is an online resource and marketplace providing designers and homeowners, builders, concrete professionals, and Do-it-Yourselfers with design ideas, business opportunities, and a full line of build-your-own concrete countertop products. You can order from them "Concrete Countertops" book by Fu-Tung Cheng and the NeoMix Video, 70 minutes on forming, mixing, pouring, and finishing a concrete countertop-inspirational tools. Cheng Concrete Exchange offers workshops and programs for participants to gain hands-on experience in the techniques and design principles underlying Fu-Tung Cheng’s award-winning residential projects. Essentials Workshops offer an introduction to the design approach, tools and techniques for building a concrete countertop. Advanced Training programs allow participants to work directly with Fu-Tung in designing and crafting complex concrete projects. The website has online shopping for many concrete related products. 

Acid Stain Solutions Video was created for the homeowner, builder or contractor trying to decide if they want to take on acid staining as a "DIY" project or if they wanted to add this service to their company. It is a 22 minute video that shows you all the steps of a remodel project . Acid Stain Solutions video will show you pulling up the carpet, repairing holes, cleaning paint and glue, scoring, staining, and sealing the beautiful acid stained floor. Now with the new video #2 you will have detailed cleaning instructions as well as advanced staining & engraving techniques. You can also order the actual Chem Tome Acid Stain concrete acid stain products online as well as the How-To videos at 

Elite Crete Systems--From interior floor surfaces to exterior overlays, the Elite Crete Systems company offers a complete list of finishes. They are the leading manufacturer of concrete overlay systems, selling to more than 13 countries worldwide while dominating the U.S. market. Widely regarded as the "Architectural Concrete Overlay" industry's leading innovator, their products are specified and successfully installed on thousands of projects every year. The website can lead you to local dealers and installers plus show you many custom concrete floors with fabulous looks and finishes. Based in Northern Indiana, they manufacture virtually all of their products at two factories in Valparaiso, Indiana with offices in Valparaiso and Merrillville, Indiana. In addition, Elite Crete Systems has distributors located throughout the continental United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and a few other countries. They offer convenient regional training seminars located throughout the continental United States, Canada and Europe as well as Training Head Quarters at our facility in Merrillville, Indiana (30 minutes from Chicago). Elite Crete Systems training seminars are two days of extensive hands-on instruction and honest discussion. The goal for each seminar is to get you started by teaching all of the basic aspects of the various finishes, systems & products, effective marketing techniques & business development. In addition, they will discuss product chemical composition and product specification history to ensure your companies understanding, success and longevity. Their product: CHEM-STONE™ Reactive Stain is a permanent stain that reacts chemically with concrete and polymer concrete overlays to add an antique coloring effect. User must dilute the stain before use. Sold in 8 standard colors. Antique Red, Antique Gold, Antique Brown, Antique Tan, Antique Umber, Antique Blue, Antique Black and Antique Green. Must be diluted prior to use. 

Concrete Sealers--Nanoseal--an interesting

Acid Stained Concrete...
is neither a paint nor coating agent. It is a coloring process that involves a chemical reaction on a cementitious material. A solution that is made using water, acid and inorganic salts reacts with minerals already present in the concrete. The result of this reaction is color that you see. This process works very well on new or old concrete provided certain conditions are present. Acid stain is made more durable if protected with a sealer or wax, and it can be applied to both interior and exterior situations.

Acid staining gives concrete a mottled, variegated, marble-like look. The process creates soft, beautiful colors on concrete, Most of the available colors are earth tones like browns, reddish browns and greens. You can also create your own shades by mixing and matching your available colors, or applying them at different rates. Acid staining will not be uniform or have a solid color. You will get different reactions from slab to slab, and even on the same job you may see different variations of the color produced.

Concrete acid stain can be applied to walkways, entrance halls, driveways, restaurants, living rooms, bathrooms, patios, high traffic areas and even on walls if they are made from a product made using portland cement.

A less worn concrete surface will usually result in a more attractive end result than a worn one. If the concrete is spalled, the aggregate is exposed by wear or weather or if it has previously been acid etched, the stain may not be able to react with the chemicals in the floor. Aggregate (the filler rocks or gravel) does not react with the acid stain, only materials in the concrete paste do. 

In some sutuations where the surface has been textured, like stamped concrete concrete acid staining gives you a more realistic look to the surface.

Preparations for Acid Staining will depend on the condition of the slab, on new concrete the only thing needed is to allow time for curing, (some say at least three weeks after poured) and a prewash. For old concrete clean away any dirt, grease, paint, sealer chewing gum or curing agent might prevent the stain from penetrating into the concrete surface and reacting. It is always a good idea to do a small test area first. 

Acid Stain application involves very few tools, all you need is a sprayer or brushes. A saw with a diamond blade in it can scoring the surface if you want a tile or decorative look. After the concrete acid staining is done and the surface is cleaned of residue, the floor should be sealed and or waxed. This will protect the colored surface from excessive wear and add sheen and depth.

The decorative concrete business has been growing very rapidly for the last few years, and acid stain has been a big part of this growth. More homeowners, architects and interior designers are asking for it. 

Some products that we have not tried:
Brickform Rafco Products, Colormaker Floors LTD., QC Construction Products

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