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cccc '24205'

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  • Deco Gel is the only gelled acid stain in the market, offering unmatched quality.
  • Uniquely designed to adhere without drips or runs to concrete, ensuring a flawless application every time.
  • Ideal for a variety of projects including concrete walls, borders, columns, or other decorative endeavors.
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.

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Product Details

DecoGel™ Acid Stain is a versatile and easy-to-use solution for adding a unique and eye-catching finish to your concrete projects. This acid-based gel is specially formulated for vertical applications, allowing you to easily apply it to walls, columns, and other similar surfaces without worrying about drips or runs. The end result is a bright and variegated surface that is unlike any other

Quick Facts

Application Tools: Best applied using a foam roller, foam brush, sponge or artist brush.
Location: Suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces.
Reaction Time: Requires 5 - 12 hours.
Cleanup: Use ProClean Neutralizer™ 
Coverage: Approximately 150 - 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

DecoGel™ Acid 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.

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: DecoGel™ 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 DecoGel™ 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

  • Utilize a foam roller, all plastic brush, foam applicator, or artist brush 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.
  • Utilize a foam roller, all-plastic brush, foam applicator, or artist brush 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, DecoGel™ 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 DecoGel™ 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

DecoGel™ 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 150 - 200 square feet per gallon, varying with surface conditions and application methods.

Clean-Up

Product Clean-Up
DecoGel™ 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 DecoGel™ 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 DecoGel™ Acid Stain color.

Warranty

DecoGel™ 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 DecoGel™ Concrete Acid Stain
Concrete Stain Calculator Help

Color Chart

DecoGel Acid Stain Color Chart

PDF Downloads

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