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How to Acid Stain Concrete Basement Floor

Concrete Basement Floor Turned Laundry Room

By Kimberly Raley

August 2021 – $150 Winner

This is our second DIY acid stained concrete floor project and we are very pleased with the results!

We took what felt like shortcuts but only by NOT making the same mistakes as the first time around, like not wearing spikes when etching.😉 It took about a week to finish in between going to work, drying processes, etc.

Concrete Basement Floor
Basement floor before acid stain
Concrete Basement Floor Stained Coffee Brown and Azure Blue
After
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
Azure Blue EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Azure Blue
Coffee Brown EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Coffee Brown
Acrylic Concrete Sealer Water Satin 1 gal
Satin Sealer
Residential Floor Wax
Concrete Floor Wax - Satin
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
Azure Blue EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Azure Blue
Coffee Brown EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Coffee Brown
Acrylic Concrete Sealer Water Satin 1 gal
Satin Sealer
Residential Floor Wax
Concrete Floor Wax - Satin

We already had some materials left over from the first project– a gallon of sealer, a half gallon of wax, and spiked shoes so we only ordered the acid stain, etching solution, new sprayers, and the degreaser/cleaner.

1. Prepare Concrete Before Staining

Step 1: Clean the Surface

Use a shop vac or sweep and mop floors with a concrete cleaner and degreaser.

Cleaning Concrete Floor Surface

Step 2:  Etch Concrete Floor

Apply an etching solution and rinse thoroughly.  Read How to Etch Concrete Floors.

Applying etching solution

“We cleaned the surface thoroughly, using the cleaner and degreaser.

Next, we applied the etching solution followed by a clean-up after about an hour. The directions say 20 minutes but our floors were machine troweled so we left it on a little longer.”

2. Apply Acid Stain Colors

Apply acid stain using a pump up sprayer. Safety while applying colorant is important. Remember to use long sleeves, pants, goggles, and gloves while working with the acid stain.

Step 1: Spray Base Color

“Then the fun began. We applied the Azure Blue first and let it dry for about five hours.”

Applying Azure Blue EverStain on Concrete Basement Floor
Azure Blue EverStain Drying

Step 2: Spray Accent Color

“We decided to go sparingly on the brown and only used half of what we ordered. “

Coffee Brown EverStain over Azure Blue Color Layering
Coffee Brown Over Azure Blue Color Layering as it Dryes

“The coffee brown is a very rich color and definitely dominant. Perhaps we will use up our leftovers by staining the storage section of the basement.🤔”

For more detailed information and techniques, read How to Layer Two Acid Stain Colors.

Step 3: Neutralize

Ready to Neutralize

“Our basement is sectioned off into 3 spaces; the 400 square foot rec room, 300 square foot laundry/workout area, and a large 638 square foot storage area which could be converted into a garage.”

“Back to explaining the project … We neutralized with a 2-gallon bucket of water and baking soda, pushing it with a sponge mop. We cleaned up with more cleaner and degreaser, first doing a couple rinses with a water hose before scrubbing it down.”

“Total cleaning/rinsing took about 6 times as opposed to over 20+ the last time.”

For more details, read How to Neutralize Acid Stain.

3. Apply Concrete Sealer

For staining basement projects where smell and ventilation are going to be your biggest concerns, we generally recommend water based sealers. They’re nearly odorless and will be safe to apply if your family or animals are in the home.

“After the floors were thoroughly dry, the first coat of sealant was applied. We used a sprayer and squeegee to spread it… pushing it mostly forward to limit marks or lines.”

Step 1: Apply First Coat

Concrete Floor After First Coat of Sealer

Step 2: Apply Second Coat

After Second Coat of Sealer

DCPro Tip: A fully cured water-based sealer will be clear and non-milky. The sealer should be completely dry to the touch without leaving any fingerprints.

5. Apply Liquid Wax

Step 1: Apply First Coat

  • Soak the trim pad applicator in warm water.
  • Wring out excess water from the applicator.
  • Pour Residential Concrete Floor Wax into a paint tray.
  • Saturate the trim pad with the concrete wax solution.
  • Press out excess wax.
  • Apply a thin milky coat across the floor surface. The product will appear milky in application but clear as it dries.
  • Smooth out any foaming from the concrete surface.

Step 2: Allow to Dry for 12 Hours

Concrete Floor Wax

Step 3: Apply Second Coat

Applying Second Coat of Concrete Floor Wax

Step 4: Allow to Dry (24 Hours)

Sealed and Waxed Acid Stained Concrete Basement Floor
Azure Blue and Coffee Brown Stained Concrete Basement Floors

Stunning Acid Stain Projects