DECORATIVE CONCRETE MADE EASY.
Browse our Kemiko FAQs for answers to common questions about how to stain concrete:
I washed my concrete with muriatic acid and didn’t get a color reaction when I applied Stone Tone™ Concrete Acid Stain. What happened?
NEVER wash the concrete surface with muriatic acid if you plan on applying acid stain. Muriatic acid roughens the concrete surface and depletes the lime in the concrete. Because the stain works by reacting with lime, cleaning with muriatic acid will prevent the stain from working.
Can I adjust the Stone Tone™ Concrete Acid Stain dilution rate, or do I have to dilute 1:1?
Kemiko stain is concentrated and will usually achieve colors close to our acid stain color chart when mixed at 1:1 (water: stain). However, all concrete surfaces are different, and yours may react differently. To achieve a lighter color, you may add more water to dilute the stain, and to achieve a darker color, add less water to the stain. Always color test stain in an inconspicuous area, especially if you plan to alter the dilution ratio.
Why isn’t the Stone Tone™ Concrete Acid Stain reacting with my concrete?
If your stain color isn’t taking, it’s either because it can’t penetrate your concrete, or it can’t react once it penetrates. Here’s how to diagnose and fix the problem:
You can determine if there’s a penetration problem by spraying water on your concrete. If the water beads, instead of soaking in, there is a penetration problem. To fix this, sand the surface of your concrete with a sanding screen, black pad, or 100 to 120 grit sandpaper and re-apply stain. We recommend sanding a small section by hand to see if the pores open up and accept the stain before you sand the entire floor. Do this in an inconspicuous area, because it will be hard to blend that test spot in with the rest of the stain application.
If the stain can penetrate the concrete but doesn’t react and create color, your concrete might contain additives like fly ash or slag. Additives reduce the ratio of lime in the concrete, which prevents the stain from reacting. It’s not possible to use acid stain on concrete containing fly ash or slag. You might consider using Kemiko Buildable Overlay to provide a cementitious surface that will react with the stain.
How much floor area does one gallon of Stone Tone™ Concrete Acid Stain cover?
At the recommended 1:1 dilution ratio (water:stain), a gallon of stain will cover approximately 400 square feet of floor area with two applications or 800 square feet with one application. We recommend using two applications to achieve the best stain color.
A section of my floor didn’t take the Stone Tone™ Concrete Acid Stain. How can I fix it?
If your floor isn’t completely clean before applying stain, residue can prevent the stain from penetrating and cause spots where the color doesn’t develop. To fix it, try brushing your diluted stain into the area with a nylon or a chip paint brush. If the diluted stain still doesn’t color your concrete, try using the stain at full strength without dilution. If your color still won’t take in that area, sand the floor with 100 grit sandpaper to open up the pores of the concrete and re-apply the stain.
Stone Tone™ Concrete Acid Stain in Golden Wheat turned my floors orange. What now?
Concrete has a bit of calcium chloride in the mix, and higher concentrations of calcium chloride can cause the stain to turn a deep red or bright orange color. This is part of the reason why color sampling is so important before you start your project. To do color sampling, test the stain on an area of the concrete that will not be visible such as a spot in a closet, under stairs, or where you will be putting cabinets or appliances.
If you notice that the concrete is turning orange or red and that is not your desired color, you can add Green Lawn stain to the mix. Use up to 10% Green Lawn stain to soften the orange color created by calcium chloride.
If you have already applied stain to your floor and it turned orange, you can apply Green Lawn stain on top to correct the color before you apply a Kemiko sealer. Dilute the Green Lawn stain 10 parts water to 1 part acid stain and mist on top of the areas that turned orange or red. It may not remove the orange or red color entirely, but it will soften the warm tones.
If my floors are already stained with Stone Tone™ Concrete Acid Stain, can I change the color?
Floors that have been acid stained can be re-stained to create a darker color but not a lighter one. First, remove any Kemiko sealer. Then, apply a stain color.
To achieve a lighter stain color on a previously stained floor, apply Kemiko Buildable Overlay to provide a cementitious surface that will react with acid stain.