Tru Tint Acid Stains Direct
"The best stains on the planet"
Acid Stain Guide
How to apply Trutint Acid Stains

1.  Weather and site conditions for acid stain

Application temperatures should be 50 degrees or greater (the higher the temp the quicker the reaction rate).

A 24hr window of dry weather

Low wind would be desirable if outdoors

Dust free environment (ie drywall sanding should not be performed in same area as acid staining, grading the yard at the same time as acid staining, etc)

Access to water hose or faucet/ soap- to wash acid stain off if you come in contact,  dilute the stain, and cleaning.

2. Prep Work for acid stain

Check to see if you floor has been previously sealed by applying water to the surface. If the water does not readily darken or soak into the surface the floor has probably has has some type of sealer on it. You can't always see sealers because some penetrate and/ or  leave the color and sheen neutral. A light coating can typically be removed  with a red pad and a buffer. If a heavier coating is present a stripper will be needed. Tru-Strip from Walttools is a biodegradable stripper that works excellent. Ocassionally even after a stripper has been used a mechanic scrub may be necessary. Always check the floor after cleaning for water penetration.

You must start with a thoroughly clean surface for best results. A scrub brush, water, soap, and elbow grease will frequently do the trick. For stubborn floors you may need a pressure washer, brush and a cleaner/ degreaser. A rust remover can be used in small quantities to areas that need it. After the floor is perfectly clean, flush with water to remove any residue from the cleaning process, vaccum or squeege clean and give a final mop.

3. Protective Gear

Protect yourself! Provide adequate ventilation in the application area. If you are indoors open windows and use fans for exhaust. Wear chemical goggles, gloves and boots. Wear a chemical respirator ( not a dust mask). Do not breath fumes from any acid stain and avoid contact with skin / eyes. Remove pets from application area. Use caution with acid stain. It is corrosive and contains metallic salts which can be toxic.

4. Testing your selected trutint acid stain

Let floor dry 12 to 24hrs after cleaning. Test your stain for color, penetration, and reaction in an inconspicuous spot. Brush apply the acid stain to the substrate. Use plastic containers to hold stain not metal. Let the stain fully develop color/ react this may take hours depending on the floor. Wait 24 hrs to be safe. The stain can be used as is or diluted as much as 2:1 with water. Usually dilution will lighten the color but will also make it less effective at penetrating/ etching the surface. Always test for an idea of results. Acid stain will vary even on the same slab because of cementitious content on the surface, different pours, different cement providers, finishing techniques, contaminants, temperature, application technique of the acid stain. After you are satisfied proceed to the next step.

5. Protect walls and surrounding areas

Acid stain will stain or damage many items. Take caution and save yourself headaches by properly taping and plastic sheeting walls, floors, furniture, etc. anywhere you think droplets of stain might touch and then some.

6. Application

Apply Trutint Acid staingenerously with a plastic pump sprayer suitable for acid. Make sure the sprayer has a quality plastic spraytip to evenly disperse the acid stain. Apply in a consistent spray pattern slightly overlapping. Apply the acid stain generously- enough to get get complete coverage but not so much there is large puddling areas. If the floor is highly trowled or "burnished" an acid deck brush would be advisible to help the stain penetrate and react. As the acid stain is sprayed on, have a helper work it in with a short circular motion. Do not step on fresh or reacting acid stain as it can leave footprints in the final finish, if you have to scrub it back out with a brush.

7. Neutralizing the surface and stop reaction

You can let acid stain fully react which could be 24 hrs or stop it short. You can test the floor for reaction and penetration by wiping the residue away and there should be the true color underneath and will not rub off. The stain should be obviously adhered to the substrate. Stopping the reaction before it is complete may result in extreme variations of light to dark and possibly lighter floor in general. Neutralizing the acid stain with an alkaline substance will stop it. The most common materials used are ammonia diluted 10:1 with water or baking soda and water. Either can be applied with a sprayer generously. Household ammonia is a better choice because it does not leavea residue or have to be worked in.

8. Cleaning Residue off

There will residue left on the surface that needs to be removed to reveal the true color and allow a sealer to adhere properly. Rinse/ flush surface with water and mop or shop vac as required. Give the surface one more washing with a mop and/or rags. If the final surface is exceptionally clean sealer adheres much better and high clarity or depth is obtained.

9. Protecting your new surface

The selection of your sealer is based on many factors. If the project is outdoors then an acrylic urethane, acrylic, silicone, silane acrylic, or silicone silane  would be advisable. There are many of these products out there. Some work poorly and others work exceptionally well. It also depends on the substrate or whether it will receive traffic etc. Through our many years of hands on experience, advanced chemistry and testing we have excellent sealers for acid stained surfaces. You can find them in the products section. If you are sealing an interior floor more options are available you can use any of the above and polyaspartic, epoxy, and urethanes.

 See Sealers for more info


A variety of advanced techniques can be employed to achieve a variety of unique finishes. See Advanced techniques


Visit our parent site for all your decorative concrete needs

 Contractor Source  1262A Leah Rd.  Morris, Il 60450  1- 888-263-5895 or international calls 1- 815-941-4215