"If an acid stain project goes wrong, consider concrete acrylic stain as a solution."
Anyone who’s ever done a few acid stain jobs knows that they don’t always turn out the way it was envisioned. There is a way to fix it or make it better if it hasn’t been sealed. That’s why it’s so important to wet the entire surface to see how it will look with sealer before you actually apply any sealcoat.
Sealer is what brings acid stained concrete to life and makes it pop. Wetting the surface gives it a similar appearance and allows you to examine it before applying sealer. Once it’s sealed it’s too late to change it without becoming a huge ordeal.
Ok, so what if you wet it and you don’t like it? What can be done? This depends on why you don’t like it. If the problem is that the color is simply too light then you can just stain it again. Each time you stain a surface with acid stain it gets darker and richer in color, to a certain point. That’s an easy solution.
But what if there are just too many imperfections or “eye sores” and the slab just doesn’t look good at all? What if there’s visible brush strokes, overlap marks, or accidental drips. Staining again with acid stain probably won’t get rid of these problems. This is when concrete acrylic stain comes to the rescue.
We’ve used acrylic stains many times to fix unattractive acid stain projects. It’s easy, fast, and many times the end result is better looking than our original vision. We like to call it faux finish staining instead of what it really should be called (fix finish staining).
Start with some acrylic (water based) stain of a color similar to that of the acid stain but usually a little darker. The stain is poured into a bucket and then diluted with about 50% water. With a rag (for small slabs) or a mop (for larger slabs), dip it into the bucket and dab it on the concrete surface in a random fashion. It’s kind of like faux finish painting but not nearly as tedious. This creates new and different mottled look that is natural and attractive. It will darken the overall appearance of the concrete somewhat but it’s still much better than before. You can do this with different colors to add hues. Our favorite color to use is purple. The important part is to dilute the stain and not put too much on so that the color doesn’t overwhelm the slab.
We stumbled upon this idea doing an acid stain job on a sidewalk. We stained the concrete brown. It didn't look bad but the customer asked if we could add some purple hues to compliment the surrounding flower beds. We splashed a little purple stain on it, let it dry, and Wow! It turned out better than any normal acid stain job would. Nowadays we sometimes do this without even telling the customer. They have no idea concrete acrylic stain was used. They just believe it's an exceptional acid stain job.
If you have an acid stain job that has gone wrong, don't think that a sealcoat will fix it. Try this easy technique and you’ll see what a job-saving difference it makes. Like all staining, it’s recommended that you test it in an inconspicuous area first.
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