What are the basic steps when staining concrete driveways and patios and how can problems be avoided?
After applying an acid stain, it’s necessary to scrub the concrete with an alkaline soap to neutralise the concrete and remove any unreacted stain and residue. Follow the following steps:
1. Surface preparation – A simple water test (spraying water over the surface and observing what happens) is always recommended and tells quite a bit about the porosity of the concrete and the ability of the stain to wet out and react.
2. Stain application – Avoid over-application, which can create surface tension or buildup, especially on less porous concrete surfaces and when using darker stain colours.
3. Washing & neutralising – This step involves a good old-fashioned cleaning and scrubbing with an alkaline soap that can break down stain residue and neutralise the surface. Using water by itself is not enough.
4. Sealing & maintenance – The final step is to apply a sealer to the stained floor to keep it looking and performing its best. However, sealing by itself is not enough. It’s important to use a sealer system, which includes a base-coat sealer and a sacrificial topcoat sealer, or wax.