How to Acid Stain Concrete Countertops
Acid stained concrete countertops offers a one-of-a-kind finish unique to this process. Because countertops are generally smaller projects, acid stain may represent one of several color techniques used to create beautiful kitchen, bathroom, table and outdoor countertops.
STEP 1. Clean the concrete countertop with an organic concrete cleaner and degreaser. Remove excess water. You do not need to completely dry the surface as the acid stains react better if the concrete is slightly wet.
STEP 2. Make sure you wear protective gear and carefully pour the acid stain into an all-plastic pump sprayer
STEP 3. Spray the acid stain onto the surface of the concrete countertop. If you have diluted the acid stain color for a lighter color; make sure the acid stain fizzes when in contact with the surface. If you don’t see any fizzing, try adding more acid stain into the diluted solution.
STEP 4. If you would like a darker tone, brush the acid stain into the surface using consistent circular strokes. If you want a more diffuse look, spray the stain onto the surface without brushing.
STEP 5. Let acid stain react with the concrete surface. You can leave the acid stain on the surface for longer but not less than the activation time.
STEP 6. When the residue has dried and after the stain has been on the concrete for at least the recommended minimum time to react; neutralize the acid stain and clean.
STEP 7. Finally, seal your concrete countertops (Yvonne used a water-based polyurethane concrete sealer)
TIP: If you are working on a multiple concrete countertop project, use a timer to insure equivalent activation times for each countertop section.
Acid Staining Tips from Ivonne
This was my first time staining concrete and I hired a professional to help me build the poured concrete countertops. Here are the things I learned:
- Always apply lightest/base colors first, then move to the dark colors.
- Applying several layers of one color and letting it stain for different times periods will give it a different look.
- Use different application techniques and tools to create depth and modeling. We used spray bottles, brushes, sponges.
- Don’t be afraid to try something out. You can always hose it off and undue it.
- You will use more stain than you think.
- Don’t be set on colors. Let the piece guide you once you work it. I hadn’t planned on using blue at all, now it is the prominent feature.
Expert Tips about Poured Concrete Countertops
What Is The Best Concrete To Use For Countertops?
Finding the right mix can be more challenging than you might think. If you’re planning to acid stain a countertop, choose a countertop mix with less than 10% fly ash.
Fly ash affects reactivity and color development when acid staining and causes color variability in integrally colored countertops.
Are All Concrete Countertop Release Form Agents the Same?
Some release agents like oils or solvents will leave a film on the surface that makes acid staining impossible. Don’t use them as you will create an extra unnecessary step of sanding on your acid staining project.
Direct Colors Countertop Form Release is colorless and leaves no trace of residue on the countertop surface.
Can I Acid Stain a Pre-Cast Concrete Countertop?
Pre-cast countertops are often poured on melamine and can be too smooth to successfully acid stain. Prior to staining, sand the surface with a 200-grit sanding pad to open the pores of the concrete.
Project Size: 1488 sq. ft
- Azure Blue, English Red, Malayan Buff, Coffee Brown and Cola Acid Stains
- Water Based Matte Polyurethane Concrete Sealer.
Total Time to Complete Project: 9 weeks
- 1 week for building molds and pouring the concrete
- 6 weeks curing outside under cover
- 2 weeks of applying acid staining and sealer. All work was done outside so we had to wait for temperatures to be over 60 F.
Acid Stained Countertops: Before & After Photos
Each project features photos of the finished countertops, as well as explanations from the customers about their design choices and the process of working with us. We hope that these projects will serve as inspiration for your own home renovation project and demonstrate the wide range of design possibilities that are possible with acid stained countertops.
Kitchen Renovation with Rustic Concrete Countertops
The goal for this renovation was to move the kitchen to a new location and give it a rustic, cabin-like feel. I knew I wanted concrete countertops, so I did a lot of research until I found the perfect product from Direct Colors. I used a white concrete overlay with Beachfront Buff pigment added, and allowed it to dry and cure for 24 hours before applying Cola and Malayan Buff acid stains. To finish it off, I used Direct Colors’ EasySeal satin sealer.
My personal tip for anyone undertaking a renovation project like this is to take your time and follow the instructions carefully, especially when it comes to drying times. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can achieve beautiful results
Hunting Camp Kitchen Makeover with Acid Stained Countertops
This customer used our acid stain products to create their own concrete countertops for their seasonal home. They completed the project in 180 days, covering an estimated 40 sq. ft. of surface area. They used Coffee Brown, Desert Amber, and Seagrass acid stains to achieve the final look, and they found that it was important to test out different combinations and techniques before starting the main project. They also learned to be patient and let the acid stain do its work without overdoing it. Overall, they were very satisfied with the final result and praised our excellent customer service. They recommend doing small test pieces before tackling a larger project and being open to the unpredictable nature of acid staining.