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I’ve just applied acid stain to my concrete and after it dried, it barely has any color. What happened?
This is one of the most common questions we receive, and we totally understand where you’re coming from! Not only have you put in the work to prepare for concrete stain, but you’ve also applied the acid stain, neutralized, and scrubbed the remaining residue. It looked great initially, but then you watched the color fade as the concrete dried. Not to worry; the color is still there, and you’ll see it return when you begin the sealing process.
Concrete sealer causes the color to pop more intensely. Be mindful of a decision you'll need to make between solvent-based or water-based sealers. While both are great options, the difference is that solvent-based sealers will “pop” color much more intensely than water-based sealers. Water-based sealers will tend to soften in color as they cure.
Why didn’t EverStain™ work on my concrete?
This can sometimes happen. Please take a look at the FAQ "How does EverStain™ work?". It’s an important part of understanding why it maybe didn't go as planned. Most concrete ready-mix plants use varied mix designs while "batching" concrete. Many have adopted the use of fly ash as a replacement for a percentage of Portland cement. Fly ash will not react with acid stain, and since it's lighter than Portland when the surface is being finished or troweled, a higher percentage of the fly ash floats to the surface, diminishing the effects of EverStain™. This is not representative of the quality of acid stain but rather the proper quality of concrete for acid staining.
If the fly ash dosage exceeds 10%, you may be having difficulty getting EverStain™ to work as intended. Consider aggressively sanding the surface to remove a micro-layer made of predominantly fly ash. This will help expose the richer mineral content and may potentially react more robustly with EverStain™.
How much surface preparation is required before applying EverStain™ Acid Stain?
Surface preparation is often the most critical factor in any successful decorative concrete project. The concrete surface MUST be free of cure and seal, sealer, paint, dirt, grime, and grease. Once the surface is nice and clean, make sure it has enough porosity for the stain to penetrate the surface. If the concrete is too smooth (slick) and the acid stain isn't able to penetrate, you'll get a diminished color return. Trust us - it's totally worth it to put in the extra time to set yourself up for a successful and long-lasting project!
I purchased the amount of product your concrete stain calculator recommended based on my square footage, and still needed more. What happened?
Depending on your concrete surface and chosen application methods, coverage rates can vary. We follow industry standards of approximately 200 square feet per gallon, which commonly applies to lower viscosity products like colorants and concrete sealers.
First, it's always good to double-check your calculation of square footage. From there, a few variables come into play. How porous, weathered, or worn is your concrete? How heavily are you applying the product? On smoother, less porous concrete, you may find you're getting a bit more coverage than anticipated. For stamped, textured, or more weathered, porous concrete, you may get a bit less coverage. These variables aren't calculation errors, but more of a common indefinite. When in doubt, follow the general construction rule of rounding up for your supply needs.
What happens if you stain concrete before it cures?
Any stain applied to concrete before it has fully cured for at least 28 days is likely to experience unintended color effects.
Think about it - acid stain is a water-based liquid containing reactive minerals. When it seeps into the pores of the concrete, a chemical reaction occurs between the acid stain and the available lime on the surface. If the concrete hasn’t fully cured, the concrete will evaporate more water into the stain while it reacts - so the color will either look watered down or not take hold at all!
Do I have to let my concrete surface dry after cleaning, prior to applying acid stain?
There's no need to let it dry, as concrete can be damp before applying stain. However, you should not have any puddles of water present before staining, as the water will dilute the acid stain.
I have a new concrete/new pavers. I want to change the gray to match some existing concrete/pavers I have nearby. Can I use EverStain™ Acid Stain for this project?
Can you put acid stain over concrete sealer?
No, the acid stain needs to be in direct contact with concrete without any sealers to prevent a reaction.
Can I put tinted sealer over acid stain to darken the color?
Yes, tinted sealer provides a translucent color of your choice that allows the undertones and variations to show through while subtly influencing the color in your desired direction.
Do I wait for my first coat of acid stain to dry before applying the second coat/color?
It is not necessary to wait for the first coat to dry. However, if you are looking for a stark separation in color, particularly when using two colors, you might consider applying the second color after the initial color application has dried. Keep in mind as you plan your stain work, darker colors will override lighter colors.
Can I dilute the acid stain with water?
Yes, EverStain™ may be diluted with water to achieve a lighter shade in color. We don't recommend diluting our acid stain more than four-parts water to one-part stain without performing an initial dilution test.