So you have finally repaired your cracked, leaky concrete floor. And, now you are wondering what to do with it. Carpet, vinyl flooring, hardwood, tile?
How about cement staining? It is easy enough for any home owner to do, lasts forever, and is beautiful.
What Exactly is Cement Staining?
Cement staining is not actually a staining or dying of the cement. Rather, it is using an acid that chemically reacts with the cement to create a variegated appearance that is unique on each floor that it is done.
How to Stain your Cement
Though cement staining is easy, please understand that this posting is not a full tutorial. This is just a guide to whet your appetite.
Once you have selected the colors you want your cement floor to be, and you have purchased the stains and tools:
1. Clean the cement surface and repair any unwanted damage it contains. You may decide not to cover the cracks and repairs your floor contains since they can add character once they have been stained. The stain will not cover them, it will color them.
2. Test the stain on a small section of the floor. All concretes react differently to acid stains, so the timing guides you got with your stains are just that: guides. By timing how long you need to stain your cement to achieve the specific staining you want on your test section, you can be better assured that your entire floor will meet your expectations.
3. Once you have determined how long you will stain your floor apply it either by brush or by spray. Make sure the stain covers the entire floor and does not pool anywhere. This will give you an even result wall from wall.
4. Once the proper amount of time has passed, neutralize the acid following the instructions the maker of the acid provided. Normally, this will be done through the use of baking soda or ammonia.
5. After the floor has dried, clean it with water and a clean mop. When the mop water runs clear vacuum up the water with a wet vac.
6. The final step is to seal the floor with the cement sealer of your choice.