Staining New Concrete

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Old 09-09-11, 06:14 PM
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Staining New Concrete

We just had concrete poured and stamped a week ago. We're not happy with the color (that's another issue) but the short story is we were hoping it will be a lot darker.

I've been looking into concrete stains. The process involves cleaning and using a surface acid to "open" it up to staining. I have two questions:

1) Our concrete is less than a week old. Is it necessary to use the acid stuff?
2) What would happen if we just applied the stain WITHOUT the acid stuff?

The stamp used was a brick pattern, so slight variations in uniformity probably won't be as noticeable than if it was a pure slap. If it's, say, 80-90% effective WITHOUT the stain, I might just try doing that.
 
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Old 09-09-11, 06:18 PM
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Sorry, meant to say "WITHOUT the acid" in that last sentence.
 
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Old 09-10-11, 05:31 AM
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Has the slab been sealed yet? If not, it will get a LOT darker when it is sealed (with a solvent based clear acrylic sealer. Water based sealer will not darken it much). If it HAS been sealed already, the sealer needs to be COMPLETELY removed before you can stain it.
In any case, the concrete needs to cure before any stain can be applied. That means waiting a MINIMUM of 28 days before staining. Dry doesn't mean cured.
A lot depends on the type of stain you choose as well. A pigmented concrete stain like you'd find in a big box store is basically paint. Your concrete will not exhibit the variegated colors typical of stamped concrete. It willl all be the same color; both in the joints and on top of the "stones". In short, it will look painted. If this is the kind of stain you mean, then yes it does need to be acid etched first.
If you're talking about acid stain, DO NOT ACID ETCH IT FIRST! The acid will destroy the very chemicals the stain needs to react with.
Do some research to find out about the different types of concrete stains and the timing and method of application for each. They are all completely different, look different, and have different application procedures.
 
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