Acid Staining Painted Concrete

Old 10-07-07, 01:00 PM
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Acid Staining Painted Concrete

My two-bedroom bungalow, built in 1948 has polished concrete floors, dyed? stained? an oxblood red. Six years ago I ripped out the carpets and painted the floors a faux mahogany with watered-down porch paint and sealed with saltillo tile sealer (as recommended by HD "expert"). Floors turned out great, but sealer was not adequate and floors are scraped in a variety of places throughout the house.

I'm looking at different flooring methods. Laminate won't work because I have pets who have occasional accidents. I understand the paint will need to be removed, if I choose to tile.

I have about 600 sq feet to cover. House is in Arizona. When the carpet was removed there were islands of a white substance (salt? water?) that cleaned up with concrete cleaner and have not returned in six years. Took a knife to the paint this morning and the paint scrapes off down to original oxblood-colored concrete very easily. This oxblood color is impossible to scrape or mar. Even divots in the floor from the carpet tacks show the oxblood color.


Does the paint need to be removed with solvent or sanded off?

What was the original concrete stained/dyed with, that the oxblood color is so deep in the concrete?

I'm looking for a low-maintenance durable flooring option. If I remove all the paint, can the floor be re-stained? acid-stained? dyed?

If I decide to repaint or stain, what should I use to seal it?

What parts of the process can I do myself?

Whew! Thanks for any help you can give.
Old 10-07-07, 05:26 PM
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The original colorant was probably an iron oxide pigment added to the concrete when it was mixed. It is colored throughout. The paint will be easiest removed with a chemical stripper, or if it is thin enough, possibly with a floor sander. You could acid stain the concrete once the paint and sealer are removed, but acid stain DOES NOT cover what is there. The oxblood color will still be the primary color, but it will be tinted with whatever acid stain color you use. Acid stain is not a coating like paint is. It contains no pigment, but gets all its color through chemical reaction with the concrete. It would be like trying to use a diluted watercolor paint to paint over a black canvas: The black would still be the dominant color, although you may see a hint of the watercolor paint on top.

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