Concrete stains contain minerals that oxidise upon contact with air and produce colour when applied to concrete. Iron sulphate oxidises into a rust colour and copper sulphate oxidises into a green-blue colour. Premixed stains often contain acid as well, to dissolve sealants on the concrete, providing deeper pores and helping the stain adhere to the floor. According to the website Stained Floor, you don't need to mix acid with the mineral compounds when staining unsealed, clean floors.
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Things you need
- Concrete cleaner
- Shop vacuum
- Iron sulphate or copper sulphate
- 5-gallon bucket
- Long wooden spoon
- Commercial backpack sprayer
- Concrete sealer
Apply concrete cleaner to the entire area to be stained as directed by the manufacturer's label. Scrub the concrete with a push broom.
Rinse the floor with water and remove the water with a wet/dry vac. Soak up excess water with towels. Allow the floor to dry overnight.
Mix iron or copper sulphate in a 5-gallon bucket. For iron, mix 1/4 cup for every 2/3 cup of water. For copper, mix 1/4 cup for every full cup of hot water. Stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved.
Pour the stain solution into a backpack sprayer and spray the floor evenly from side to side. Allow the stain to penetrate the concrete for three hours.
Mop the floor with clean water to remove excess stain. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.
Empty and clean the sprayer, then fill it with concrete sealer. Apply two coats to entire floor area. Allow drying time between coats.
Tips and warnings
- Find iron sulphate or copper sulphate at home improvement or garden stores. In the garden, iron sulphate treats iron deficiency in plants and copper sulphate kills plant roots.
- Do not attempt to stain a sealed concrete floor. If you wish to stain a floor with sealer, first purchase a seal remover and use it as directed.
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