Concrete Staining 101 : Acid Stain VS Water-based Stain

Hi, my name is Lisa O’Hern. I am one of the owners of Decorative Concrete Resurfacing and I’m going to talk a little bit about staining concrete today.
There are quite a few different types of stain on the market, so we are going to start with a solid colored water based stain.

One might want to use that type of stain if you are really eco-friendly because it is a water based system, so it is extremely green, and that system when it’s installed will kind of look like a painted surface.

The next option is a solvent based stain. Now a solvent based stain is one that will impregnate into the pours of the concrete and then it’s followed up with a clear sealer to protect the finish. Most of you would have heard about acid staining, it has been so popular on the eastern west coast and it has not migrated into St Louis area, we are doing more and more acid stain jobs.

There are some pros and cons to acid stain and you have to think about these before you know if this is going to be the right installation for your house.

Acid stain is a very finicky product. It I best used on brand new concrete but if you have an existing floor that is in pretty good shape, its free of cracks or spud or chips then that also can be a good candidate. When we acid stain what we do is we wash the surface and then we spray the acid stain down and then we agitate it with either a broom or a types of a brush and then once that’s dry we come back and we put a second coat of acid stain on it. After that’s dry the next day we come and we will wash and neutralize the floor, we allow the floor to dry for a couple of days to make sure all the moisture is out of the slab. It’s very important to give it a couple days to dry, it you trap moisture you are going to get a whitish cast in your clear sealer because the clear sealer is the final coat that will go down that will seal the surface and give you that nice shiny look.

For more information about acid stain and water-based stain, see our huge photo gallery below.

The cost you can generally see will be from about $2.00 a square ft on solid color stains to about $6.00 a square foot for acid stain and we also have the freedom to put designs in acid stain, we can put color borders, we do some really fabulous things.


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