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Marbleizing Effect with Acid Stains on Concrete Floors

Turquoise Blue Concrete Floor
Azure Blue Basement Floor sealed with Water-Based Acrylic Sealer

How Do I Make Concrete Acid Stains Look Marbleized?

Acid stains have the unique property of creating marble like effect on concrete without any additional staining techniques.

Older concrete slabs tend to develop into more intricate designs due to the variable porosity and long exposure to elements that affect the way the acid stain interacts with the concrete.

However, different techniques such as wet-on-wet application, veining techniques and layering diluted acid stain colors will give additional texture and depth to the stained concrete.

1. Select Acid Stain Colors

Whether you are inspired to replicate the natural color of marble, or matching concrete color with your existing home decor, it is essential to test your intended slab before committing to a fully-scaled project. Concrete stains are highly versatile but depend upon consistent surface conditions to fully mimic the look of natural marble. It is a good idea to use an Acid Stain Trial Kit to test different techniques and colors in order to achieve the exact look and finish you have in mind. Remember to follow all steps for surface preparation prior to testing.

The  “marbling” effects achieved through acid staining are easier to create and more pronounced on clean, smooth concrete.

Azure Blue Acid Stain Living Floor
Azure Blue Acid Stain Living Floor
Diluted Coffee Brown Acid Stain on Concrete Overlay
Diluted Coffee Brown Acid Stain on Concrete Overlay
Black acid stained concrete floor
Black Acid Stained Basement Floor

2. Surface Preparation

Surface preparation is the most important step in any acid staining project. Dilute Concrete Cleaner & Degreaser with water to a medium concentration and scrub the surface with a soft nylon bristle brush (or power wash using a low setting). Thoroughly rinse the surface with clear water to remove any remaining cleanser. Use a shop vacuum, mop and/or squeegee to contain the water and aid in drying.

Sometimes a simple scrub is all you need to reveal a fresh canvas, however, fully removing surface adhesives can be more problematic. That’s why we rely on Mastic Remover for a clean removal of any lingering industrial glues. Similarly, if you are working with excessively smooth concrete, such as a garage floor, we recommend Hard Troweled Floor Pre-Treatment to enhance concrete porosity and penetration of the acid stain. In extreme circumstances, when concrete that does not otherwise respond to basic surface preparation, a quick Concrete Overlay will provide you with a ready-to-stain layer of concrete.

Read Concrete Surface Preparation: How-to Guide

3. Stain Application

The process of acid staining will always yield one-of-a-kind permanent coloring and variation that is greatly influenced by the composition of the concrete and how the stain is applied. 

WET ON WET LAYERING

For subtle marbling effects the most common approach is to cover the entire floor with one color and spot staining with a diluted version of the same color or introducing a second color.

Applying your acid stain with a pump-up applicator is the most popular option, although mixing and pouring it from a bucket is also a popular and effective approach.

Combining various techniques allows users more control and creativity. As in the case of a “washed” surface look, pooling in various areas allows the strength of the stain to be intentionally enhanced or diluted, resulting in a water-swept look.

In the image below, the pitch of the concrete was used to create beautiful, natural looking veining areas on the patio. Water was introduced using a spray bottle to “spray out” the acid stain after application, giving it a more interesting shape across the concrete.

Read How to Acid Stain Concrete Floor Complete Guide

Concrete Stained Like Marble. Azure Blue and Dessert Amber Acid Stains as Base. Black and Cola Acid Stain Accent.. Sealed with High Gloss Acrylic Sealer
Concrete Stained Like Marble. Azure Blue and Dessert Amber Acid Stains as Base. Black and Cola Acid Stain Accent. Sealed with High Gloss Acrylic Sealer
Marbled Acid Stain Floor
Marbled Acid Stained Concrete Floor with Cola, Coffee Brown and Shifting Sand Acid Stains Sealed with a Solvent-Based, Satin Finish Acrylic Concrete Sealer

4. Concrete Sealer

When choosing a sealer, the most important consideration is whether or not the concrete will present a slip hazard when wet. Interior surfaces that do not see heavy foot traffic may be sealed with our Water Based Acrylic Sealer in either a “High Gloss” or “Satin Finish.” All outdoor concrete will eventually get wet and should therefore be sealed with a Satin Finish Solvent Based Acrylic Sealer, which is not as slippery when wet. If a high-gloss finish is essential to your intended look, consider using Non-Slip Additive in the second coat to prevent dangerous surface conditions in the presence of water.

More Acid Stained Concrete Floor Project Images:

Scope of Project — Acid Stained Concrete Floor

Acid stained concrete floors are a popular and low maintenance solution for homes and businesses. This was a new construction project of approximately 1000 sq. ft . The home builder wanted to create a sophisticated marbled acid stain flooring look for the customer. After properly preparing the floor for staining and putting on acid stain resistant shoes, apply the darkest stain elements (black or coffee brown acid stain) to the floor as you’d like them to appear. You will apply the color sparingly leaving most of the concrete untouched. Immediately load the sprayer with a slightly diluted Coffee Brown (1 part water to 1 part stain) and apply the stain around the darker areas spraying natural looking accents but leaving gray areas. Repeat with a slightly more diluted stain (2 or 3 parts water to 1 part stain). Finally, apply a heavily diluted stain (6-8 parts water to 1 part stain) over the entire floor to “float in the color” with a light brown/tan color and create a more integrated look on the floor. Leave the acid stain to process on the floor a minimum of 6 hours and neutralize.

Budget/Timing: 3 gallons of Coffee Brown, 1 gallon of Black Acid Stain, 5 gallons of AC 1315 High Gloss Sealer, and 1 gallon of Commercial Floor Wax

Faux Marble Concrete Countertop

How to Make Concrete Countertops Look Like Marble

Transforms any countertops into showstopping decor. Learn how to make your countertop look like marble with Direct Colors

Blue Acid Stain Color Floor

Stylish Blue Concrete Floors with Acid Stain

Acid Stain easily transforms your concrete floor into a stunning faux-marble masterpiece that costs thousands less than real marble or stone. This affordable flooring option is low-maintenance and more durable than normal flooring options, like vinyl, but with Direct Colors Azure Blue coloring, the results will be anything but “normal!”