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  • Used to add texture to smooth concrete floors 
  • Helps smooth concrete bond with stains, dyes and other colorants
  • Etcher solution removes need for sanding and grinding
  • Improves colored concrete sealer adhesion
  • Hard troweled floor pre-treatment

How much do I need to etch my concrete?

It will depend on the square footage of your application.

The coverage rate is 200 square feet per gallon.

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Product Details

Direct Colors’ Hard Troweled Floor Pre-Treatment  is an etcher used to add texture to smooth concrete floors and ultra-smooth pre-cast countertops.

This product treats concrete by etching it to ensure that stains, dyes, and other colorants can be accepted by the concrete surface.  Hard Troweled Floor Prep is easily prepared by mixing with water into a pump sprayer.

Dirty floors with paint overspray or light drywall mud contamination can be cleaned using Hard Trowel Floor Prep in addition to etching the concrete for acid stain or concrete sealer application.

Quick Facts

Application Tool: Pump sprayer, Foam Brush
Dry Time: Allow solution to remain active for 20 minutes before washing off
Cleanup: Neutralize with clean water after 20 minutes
Coverage: 200 sq. ft. per gallon 
Recommended Uses: Machine troweled concrete, smooth concrete surfaces and pre-cast concrete countertops


For a full strength concentration, mix each packet with the appropriate amount of water (1-quart bag per quart of water, 1-gallon bag per gallon of water and 5-gallon bag per gallons of water) in a 5-gallon plastic bucket until the material is completely dissolved.
The product should only be used full strength for heavily soiled or burnished concrete floors. Always conduct a test area prior to the actual project application.

  • For very smooth concrete floors, add one part full strength Hard Trowel Floor Prep to two parts water (2:1). Mix thoroughly.
  • Use a more concentrated 1:1 solution for intense etching action on excessively smooth floors with black spots and/or obvious surface fractures. 
  • Each gallon, diluted or full strength, will cover approximately 200 sq. ft. per gallon. Hard Troweled Floor Pre-Treatment can cause a slight darkening of the concrete after application. This in no way inhibits acid stain reactivity or sealer adhesion.
  • Apply 2:1 for cleaning floors and as a pre-treatment for staining concrete countertops and sealer application.


  • Clean the concrete surface with Direct Colors Concrete Cleaner and Degreaser
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Using a foam brush, apply to small test areas with different concentrations to determine which dilution produces the best results
  • The product should be sprayed from a pump-up sprayer in a consistent manner over the entire surface for uniform etching and/or cleaning.
  • The Hard Troweled Floor Pre-Treatment should not be poured directly onto the floor or countertop and swept over the surface
  • Tip: Wear Spiked Shoes to prevent etching shoe prints on your floor.  Removing etched shoe prints from your concrete floor will be VERY difficult
  • Important: Rinse thoroughly
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum or sweep off the surface to remove etching solution completely and allow to dry
  • Important: Rinse thoroughly (this extra line is not a mistake. Seriously, rinse throughly)

How-To Guide

Printable CitrusEtch™ How-To Guide

Step 1: Preparation

  • Cover areas at risk of over-spray with plastic drop cloth.
  • Newly poured concrete must cure for 30 days before application.
  • For existing concrete:
    • Remove paint or previously applied sealer using Soy Gel Stripper.
    • Remove carpet glue or other adhesives using Bean-E-Doo® Mastic Remover.
    • Remove any oils, dirt, debris, Soy Gel Stripper, or Bean-E-Doo® Mastic Remover using scrub brush and ProClean Degreaser™.
  • Allow the concrete to thoroughly dry before application.

Step 2: Application

Coverage rate is approximately 200 square feet per gallon. Coverage rates may vary based on concrete texture, surface porosity, and application method.

NOTE: Only apply CitrusEtch™ when surface temperature is between 40°F (4°C) and 95°F (35°C).

Caution: May be harmful if swallowed or ingested. Contact with skin can cause mild irritation. Avoid contact with eyes.


  • Mix Ratio: 10 ounces of CitrusEtch™ with one gallon of water = one gallon of CitrusEtch™
  • Remove all filters from sprayer.
  • Pour CitrusEtch™ into sprayer.
  • Pour water into sprayer.
  • Tightly seal the lid and shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
  • Allow the CitrusEtch™ to sit for one minute before applying.


  • Wear spiked shoes.
  • Spray CitrusEtch™ on entire surface (let soak for 15 minutes).
    • Do not allow the surface to dry before rinsing.
  • Spray ProClean Neutralizer™ over the CitrusEtch™ until saturated.
  • Remove any remaining residual liquid with a wet-dry vac or a cotton mop.
  • Immediately rinse surface with water until surface is clear of residue.
  • Dry for at least eight hours before applying a stain or sealer.

Pro Tips:

  • Break larger areas down into manageable zones (200-400 square feet) to allow enough time to finish etching the surface before CitrusEtch™ dries.


  • Clean tools and supplies with ProClean™ Neutralizer and warm water.

Tools & Supplies:

  • Pump-up sprayer
  • Spiked shoes
  • Wet-dry vac or cotton mop and bucket
  • Plastic drop cloth

Disclaimer: Direct Colors does not warranty or guarantee results (outcomes). Concrete variations or improper application may cause unintended results. Test product on an inconspicuous or small area and allow to fully cure to ensure compatibility and desired result.

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