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  • Translucent variegated or marbled finish
  • Interior/exterior concrete stains
  • Reactive stain creates unique results with every slab
Due to hazmat regulations, this product cannot be shipped via air

    How much do I need to stain my concrete?

    It will depend on the square footage of your application.

    The coverage rate is 200 square feet per gallon (2 coats) depending on concrete porosity. Two or more coats are required.

    Your answer will appear here.

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    Product Tabs

    Product Details

    EverStain™ Acid Stain offers a lasting way to color concrete surfaces, ensuring durability, longevity, and a natural appearance. Its unique formula interacts with concrete minerals to yield a distinctive marbled finish tailored to your specific slab.

    Quick Facts

    Application Tools: Best applied using an all-plastic pump sprayer, brush, sponge or foam applicator.
    Location: Suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces.
    Reaction Time: Requires 5 - 12 hours.
    Cleanup: Use ProClean Neutralizer™ 
    Coverage: Approximately 200 sq. ft. per gallon, variable with surface conditions.
    Recommended Sealers: Compatible with AcquaSeal™ Water-based Acrylic Sealer or EasySeal™ Solvent-based Acrylic Sealer.
    Application Temperature: Best between 40°F-95°F (4°C-35°C).
    Recommended Uses: Ideal for concrete floors,  wallscountertops, and various architectural elements.

    Special Offers

    EverStain™ Stain & Seal Bundle

    A package including one gallon of EverStain™ Stain, one 4-ounce ProClean Neutralizer™ Concentrate, and one gallon of sealer, ideal for small to medium projects.

    EverStain™ Complete DIY Kit

    This comprehensive kit is perfect for DIY enthusiasts, containing protective gear, cleaning supplies, a gallon of stain, 4-ounce ProClean Neutralizer™, application tools, and a gallon of sealer.

    EverStain™ Mega Bundle

    A bulk deal offering five gallons of EverStain™ Stain, one 4-ounce ProClean Neutralizer™ Concentrate, and five gallons of sealer, suitable for large-scale projects or professional use.

    EverStain™ Stain Trial Kit

    A sampler kit that includes three 4-ounce color choices, a 4-ounce satin or gloss sealer, and foam applicators, perfect for testing colors and finishes.

    FAQ

    Click/Tap each question to hide/show the answers.

    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?

    An acid stain trial kit is a great way to see if EverStain™ is right for your particular 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.

    How-To Guide

    Preliminary Testing

    Before using the product for your entire project, try it out on a small, hidden area of the surface you'll be working on. This will let you see how it looks and if it's the right fit for your project.

    Pre-Application

    • Clean: EverStain™ Acid Stain should be applied only on clean surfaces devoid of dust, dirt, oil, grease, paint, adhesive, sealers, curing compounds, efflorescence, chemical pollutants, rust, algae, and mildew, which could interfere with the chemical reaction. Acid washing is discouraged as it may alter the surface's reactivity. Clean the surface with an eco-friendly degreaser and ensure thorough rinsing with clean water to remove any residues.
    • Cured: The concrete or overlay must be fully cured prior to application. For optimal results, it is advised that cement-based products undergo a curing period of at least 28 days. In instances where a curing compound is necessary for freshly placed concrete destined for staining, the use of an impregnating internal cure is recommended. Distinct from traditional curing agents, internal curing compounds do not create a film or membrane on the surface. Primarily formulated for uncolored concrete, these internal cures do not disrupt the chemical staining reaction, unlike typical sodium silicate-based products. This eliminates the need for membrane removal during the preparatory phase, facilitating a smoother application process.
    • Temperature: For optimal results, apply EverStain™ Acid Stain when temperatures are between 40°F (4°C) and 95°F (35°C).
    • Sound: Apply only to cement-based products that are not flaking or spalling. The substrate must be structurally sound. For surfaces showing signs of delamination, employ diamond grinding, shot blasting, or similar mechanical methods for removal. For concrete, ensure the surface has a minimum strength of 2500 psi.
    • Profiled: Perform an absorption test to check if the concrete is ready for staining. Pour water onto the concrete surface and wait for 3-5 minutes. If the water is not absorbed, the surface will need to be cleaned and etched with CitrusEtch™ to open the pores of the concrete. Detailed instructions can be found in the CitrusEtch™ Technical Data Sheet. Image showing two concrete surfaces: on the left, a surface that passes the water absorption test with water penetrating the concrete, and on the right, a surface failing the test with water pooling on top

    Preparation

    • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment as recommended in the Safety Data Sheet.
    • Protect surfaces not intended for staining by covering surrounding areas to prevent accidental application.
    • Avoid using tape on concrete surfaces before or after staining, as adhesives and plasticizers can interfere with the stain's effectiveness.

    Tools for Application

    • For Large Projects: Use a garden-type pump sprayer with both the spray tip and sprayer made of plastic (with the filter removed).
      Hand showing filter removal from a pump-up sprayer
      Removing the filter from a pump-up sprayer to prevent clogging.
    • For Small Projects: Utilize a brush, small foam applicator, or spray bottle and plastic tub or dishpan, ensuring it's large enough for easy brush dipping.

    Tools for Residue Removal

    • For Large and/or Exterior Projects: Use a hose and long-handled deck brush, complemented by a wet vacuum for residue removal. When employing a pressure cleaner, exercise caution with high PSI settings as they may chip the concrete surface. Opt for a green or white nozzle and maintain a distance of 15 to 18 inches from the surface.
    • For Small and/or Interior Projects: Use a medium nylon brush and a wet vacuum with squeegee attachment.

    Application Process

    Please Note: The color of the stain in the bottle will not reflect the final color after reacting with the concrete.

    For Large Projects

    • Using the all-plastic pump sprayer, liberally and continuously apply the stain in a circular motion over the surface. Avoid uniform patterns by spraying in random circles, which helps prevent visual lines in the stain.
    • Consistently maintain a wet edge if you desire a more uniform application.
    • Avoid excessive puddling by controlling the application rate, aiming for 200-400 sq ft per gallon.
    • Monitor for acidic reactions such as fizzing and foaming, which indicate the stain is reacting as expected. Some stain colors may not show immediate reactions; this is normal.
    • Use spiked shoes if walking on the stained area is necessary. Avoid walking on wet stain to maintain a smooth, even application.
    • Gradually extend the application to the outer edges during the reaction phase.
    • After the reaction has stopped, use fresh material for any areas that have not been colored, blending into previously completed sections to avoid lap marks.
    • Allow the stain to sit for a minimum of 5 hours to ensure adequate reaction time before any rinsing.
    • Test for depth of color by wetting the surface in several places with a cloth dampened with water.
    • The wet surface's appearance will closely resemble the final color if sealed with a high-gloss solvent-based sealer. Choosing a water-based sealer or a solvent-based sealer with a satin finish will result in a less intense color. The depth of color decreases in the following order: solvent-based gloss > solvent-based satin > water-based gloss > water-based satin.
    • For a deeper color, apply additional coats after the first has fully reacted, ensuring a minimum wait time of five hours between applications.
    • The final coat should dry for at least 5 hours, with dense or burnished surfaces requiring a minimum of 18 hours dry time.

    For Small Projects

    • Utilize an all-plastic brush, small foam applicator, or spray bottle for detailed work on small areas and stencil designs. These tools offer precision for intricate patterns and controlled stain application.
    • Saturate the selected tool with stain, applying it in random, overlapping strokes or with controlled spraying to achieve uniform coverage and avoid undesired patterning.
    • After application, allow the stain to dwell on the surface for at least 5 hours before proceeding with stencil removal, rinsing, or cleaning. This dwell time is essential for the chemical reaction to fully develop.
    • Test for uniformity and depth of color by wetting the surface with a cloth dampened with water.
    • After the reaction has stopped, use fresh material for any areas that have not been colored, blending into previously completed sections to avoid lap marks.
    • Allow the stain to sit for a minimum of 5 hours to ensure adequate reaction time before any rinsing.
    • Test for depth of color by wetting the surface in several places with a cloth dampened with water.
    • For enhanced color depth within stencil designs or on treated surfaces, apply additional coats once the initial reaction has concluded. Maintain a minimum interval of five hours between each application to ensure proper reaction and absorption.

    Neutralization

    • After drying, EverStain™ Acid Stain leaves a powdery residue. Remove this by neutralizing the surface with a commercial pH neutralizer like ProClean Neutralizer™, ammonia, or baking soda, followed by thorough water flushing and stiff brush scrubbing. Keep in mind, using ammonia will result in strong fumes, and baking soda requires additional cleanup time to remove extra residue.
    • Rinse the surface with clean water to remove all neutralizer and residue. If you opt not to use our ProClean Neutralizer™ and choose ammonia or baking soda instead, be mindful that the rinse water could be slightly corrosive and capable of staining. This requires extra caution to protect unstained areas, those with different colors, and plant-life zones.
    • Ensure complete removal of salty colored residue and achieve proper surface neutralization and cleanup.
    • Test for uniformity and depth of color by wetting the surface with a cloth dampened with water.
    • When using ammonia or baking soda as your neutralizer, apply an alkaline solution (1 cup of commercial cleaner/degreaser per 1 gallon of water) to aid in cleaning. Agitate with stiff bristle nylon brushes, or for larger areas, use a rotary floor machine with a soft pad, proceeding with caution.
    • Utilize a wet/dry vacuum to collect colored wastewater.
    • Final rinsing should continue until the runoff is clear. A white rag test, coming away clean, indicates a properly cleaned surface.
    • Collect and properly dispose of all residue water and rinse water, adhering to environmental regulations.

    Sealing

    Acid stained concrete must be sealed to preserve the color and finish.

    • Ensure the surface is clean and dry prior to sealing. Fans and blowers can be used to speed up the drying process.
    • Choose between EasySeal™ or AcquaSeal™ acrylic sealer. For detailed information on sealers, refer to AcquaSeal™ TDS and EasySeal™ TDS.
    • Keep in mind that EasySeal™, being solvent-based, generally enriches and darkens the stain color more than the water-based AcquaSeal™.
    • Gloss Finish Consideration: If using gloss finish sealers, which can make surfaces more slippery, consider adding OxiGrip™ slip-resistant additive to the second coat for enhanced safety.

    Limitations

    • Inconsistencies in job site conditions, base color, concrete mix design and slump, curing methods, finishing practices, stain application, surface permeability, and the age and condition of concrete may lead to variations in the finished product's color.
    • Acid stain will not conceal imperfections or existing stains in the concrete; it will reveal a mottled appearance, with colors and effects varying based on the concrete's texture and composition.
    • Older concrete surfaces may not accept the stain as readily as newer surfaces, affecting the uniformity and intensity of the color.
    • The EverStain™ Color Chart shows standard colors applied to uncolored gray concrete. However, each concrete substrate is unique, and acid stains may produce different effects than those shown on the color chart. The use and final appearance of acid stains can be uncertain and unpredictable.
    • While product literature, photos, and sample color chips aim to accurately represent colors, the actual colors achieved on concrete may significantly differ.
    • Black and Coffee Brown are high-solids acid stains best applied in very thin layers. For these colors, two thin applications are recommended, with the longest possible drying times between coats. The optimal dry time after each coat is 18 hours, with a minimum of 4 hours.
    • Avocado, Azure Blue, and Seagrass stains are sensitive to moisture and can produce a black, spotty effect. These colors are not recommended for use on slag concrete or in areas prone to excessive water exposure or slag concrete influences. Ideally suited for interior applications, these stains require a well-drained sub-grade, free from hydrostatic pressure. Additionally, UV exposure may darken these colors over time, reinforcing the recommendation for interior use only. To ensure proper application, a minimum drying time of 24 hours is necessary to allow any rinse moisture to fully evaporate before sealing. Adhering strictly to the application instructions is essential for achieving the desired outcome with these specific stains.
    • Hard-troweled concrete surfaces may present difficulties in staining. It's particularly important to allow extra drying time between application coats on hard-troweled surfaces.
    • Over time, acid stain colors may fade, especially with prolonged exposure to sunlight. This fading can be minimized or prevented with proper maintenance and care of the stained surface.
    • Prevent contact with metal objects, particularly galvanized ones, as this can lead to the production of explosive hydrogen gas during the acid staining process.

    Slip Resistance

    EverStain™ Acid Stain does not affect slip resistance, which is determined by the chosen sealer. For enhanced slip-resistance on exterior surfaces, add OxiGrip™ to the sealer.

    Coverage

    Estimated coverage is around 200 square feet per gallon, varying with surface conditions and application methods.

    Clean-Up

    Product Clean-Up
    EverStain™ Acid Stain ProClean Neutralizer™
    AcquaSeal™ Water-based Sealer ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water
    EasySeal™ Solvent-based Sealer Xylene

    Disposal

    Dispose of unused product according to local environmental or hazardous waste regulations.

    Shelf Life and Storage

    Use EverStain™ Acid Stain within one year of purchase and store it in a cool, indoor location away from sunlight and heat.

    Maintenance

    • Regularly inspect exterior sealed surfaces for wear and reapply sealer as needed.
    • For interior surfaces, monitor and maintain wax coatings or polish, especially in high-traffic areas.

    Complementary Products

    ProClean Degreaser™ Concrete cleaner & degreaser
    CitrusEtch™ Pre-stain concrete pore etcher
    ProClean Neutralizer™ Concrete cleaner & neutralizer
    EasySeal™ Solvent-based acrylic sealer
    AcquaSeal™ Water-based acrylic sealer
    OxiGrip™ Slip-resistant sealer additive
    PatchRx™ Concrete repair
    Resurface-It™ Concrete overlay/micro-topping

    Safety & Precautions

    Read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for detailed health and safety information on each EverStain™ Acid Stain color.

    Warranty

    EverStain™ Acid Stain is guaranteed for uniform quality within manufacturing tolerances. No warranty is provided for its application effects. Liability for defects is limited to refunding the purchase price. Users bear all other risks and liabilities. For inquiries, contact Direct Colors customer service.

    How-To Videos

    Let's Talk About EverStain™
    Stain Absorption Test
    How to Apply Acid Stain
    How to Stain Old Concrete
    Acid Stain Veining Technique
    Concrete Stain Calculator Help

    Color Chart

    EverStain Acid Stain Color Chart

    PDF Downloads

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