Acid staining is a way to give a high-end, natural looking finish to concrete countertops. It can be done in a variety of colors and patterns, and is a very simple process.
Benefits of Acid Staining
Using an acid stain finish for concrete countertops will add beauty and value to your home. Many people think of concrete countertops as industrial looking, but the variety of finishes available make it possible to compliment any style with this type of construction. Acid staining gives a finish that resembles natural stone, with a marbled, organic look. It can come in a wide range of colors, from reds, to browns to greens.
Choosing a sealed acid stain finish for concrete countertops adds durability along with beauty, which makes it a perfect choice for places like the kitchen and bathroom where the surface will be exposed to moisture and food. Acid stained concrete countertops are an inexpensive option when compared to natural stone countertops, so you get a lot of style and quality for a low cost. They’re easy to maintain, and last for decades, making them an easy choice for any homeowner.
How it’s Done
Acid staining is a fairly simple process, and some homeowners opt to do the project on their own. Others have a contractor help them out, since installation of concrete countertops can be a little tricky. Once the countertops are installed and have cured, they need to be sanded down to the desired smoothness (or roughened up if that’s what you prefer). Acid staining won’t work on a completely smooth surface, because it needs to be able to seep down into the concrete pores, so some sanding will probably be required.
Before applying any type of finish, clean the countertops thoroughly, removing any powdery concrete left behind. The acid stain is a chemical that is applied evenly using a sprayer, or a foam brush. The acid stain will seep down into the pores of the concrete, chemically changing the color. The longer you leave it on, the darker the colors will be. When you reach the desired color, neutralize the stain using a mixture of water and baking soda, which you apply using a brush. Once the surface is completely dry, the slab can be sealed using a sealer that has the desired luster.
Cleaning and Maintenance
A sealed concrete surface is very easy to keep clean, and simply wiping it down with a damp cloth is usually enough. For tougher stains, use a special concrete cleaner. Acid staining is a permanent finish, so it’s almost impossible to damage. You may need to re-seal the surface of your countertops every several years to keep the gloss up and the finish looking new.