Staining concrete can be done using dyes, epoxies or acids, and the color is layered on using a sprayer over the surface of the area. Find out how to acid stain an area of concrete to look like terracotta with tips from a construction specialist in this free video on decorative concrete.
Okay, today I'm going to show you how to do an acid stain and just use a regular water based stain. You can add color into your actual concrete before it's poured. You can use epoxies. There's just a lot of different ways to stain. But today I'm going to show you how to acid stain. With the acid, it's a light acid that reacts with the limes of the concrete, so you're not painting the concrete, you're actually staining it. And, because it's actually reacting with the limes of the concrete you actually only have a few colors to choose from. Today we're going to do a terra cotta clay. So, I usually, if I'm doing a big slab I'll use a garden sprayer to spray the acid. But, just today I'm going to just put it in this little bottle and spray it onto my little sample board, here. And so, after your concrete's all cleaned up..... And you get a nice, even coverage. You don't wanna....you want to keep it wet. You don't want to start and stop, because then it's going to dry up, then you're going to have that dried line where you can actually see where you stopped. So you just want to keep going with it. Now you can go what they call "wet on wet" if you want to use another color. Then you would just have another person or yourself with the second color kind of putting little highlights where you want 'em. But, we're just going to do one color, here. Got the nice, full coverage. You can puddle it up if you want in a couple spots, and it's going to put more...it's going to be darker in that area. And so, just adds a little variety and that's how you can kind of antique it. It's going to do some antiquing regardless, especially if there's variations in the concrete. But it just helps mottle it out. You know, you could get away with just letting it sit on there for five, ten minutes, but I think they recommend probably a couple hours. And you can even leave it on overnight. Everybody's going to tell you different. But regardless, it starts reacting with the concrete right away, and after you're done staining it and you're ready to move on to the next stage, you're going to want to neutralize that acid. I use ammonia, so you'll do a full...same deal. Spray on the ammonia, full coverage, to neutralize it. Let it dry, and then I seal everything I do. So you can use a concrete sealer, epoxy, urethane, all different kinds of sealers out there. Depends on what kind of look you're going for, and durability, you know, is what your choice is going to be. Okay, now we're ready to neutralize this acid stain I just did. We're going to use ammonia, like I was saying. You can use a fifty percent water, fifty percent ammonia. And you can do the same thing with the acid. If you want to cut your acid you can cut it up to fifty percent with water, as well. It won't be as dark. And, acids usually tend to go on the dark side, so sometimes people want it a little lighter. So you'll want to cut that acid. Now, when you first put your acid on, that is not the color it's going to be. Some people get all freaked out because it turns yellow or some weird color. It takes a while after drying before the true color comes out. Okay, once you get full coverage with the ammonia, you'll let it neutralize it for a couple minutes and then either spray it off with a hose or pressure wash it off. And then you want it to dry up, so give it some hours to get to the color it's going to be. Right now...usually when you put ammonia on, it turns it black, so don't get scared by that. And then once it's all dried up, it will turn to the color it's supposed to be, and then you'll want to seal it up. I usually use a solvenated acrylic sealer, unless you're going to be driving on it, then use a urethane. And you can only use a urethane, most urethanes only want to go over an overlay, so be careful. If you're just staining your driveway, say, and then you're going to have to really research what sealer you're using. So I'm going to spray this off, and we'll be about done there. Okay.