I started the project on September 9, 2005. It was fully complete and usable by the morning of September 14th. I did the job by myself with a little bit of "help" from my children.
I ordered the materials from Direct Colors: http://directcolors.com/ConcreteStain/index.html. I used the Acid Stain DIY Kit in the cola color with the water-based sealer.
They were incredibly accessible and helpful. I was able to call and talk to someone about the process and problems that might occur. The man that I spoke to on the phone said that there would be at least 6 or 8 times when I would think I had ruined the floor. It was a great warning, because there were at least 8 times when I thought "Boy is my husband going to be mad when he gets back from the Middle East!"
For additional information, links and problems go to the Extra Notes page.
PREP & CLEANING:
Everthing was removed from the room, we suspended the shelves from the ceiling and taped up the walls and pipes.
Note: When using the sprayer, it did go above the tape in a few spots, so if you are concerned about the walls, tape a little higher or be more careful than I was.
I used a scraper to remove glue drips, paint and other things stuck to the floor. The floor was then cleaned with orange degreaser and water.
Note: Make sure to remove all the glue or paint. The acid stain will not take in those areas.
FIRST ACID WASH:
After putting the stain in a sprayer (with all plastic parts), I proceeded to spray starting at the far corner of the room and moving backward with a smooth sweeping motion. With a stiff brush on the end of a handle, I brushed swirls on the floor to give it a bit more depth. As it dried, it looked powdery and light (and like I ruined the floor).
Note: Wear goggles and a mask and have as much ventilation as possible.
SECOND ACID WASH:
After allowing the first wash to dry, I then did an additional wash to fill in and darken the color. The application was the same as the first coat.
Note: I used plastic bags over my shoes to prevent shoe prints and to keep my shoes cleaner.
DRYING & RINSING:
After allowing the floor to dry after the second wash (first picture shows the floor in that process), I then rinsed 3 times with water and sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the reaction of the acid and the lime in the concrete. The next two pictures show the floor as it was in its final state before applying the acrylic.
Note: It does seem to look really bad at this point, but the end product will be beautiful.
With the floor fully dry, I applied the first coat of acrylic with the sealer applicator from the DIY kit. It was a water based acrylic sealer (also from Direct Colors, DIY Kit), good for indoor use. I then did 3 more coats for a total of 4 coats of the sealer.
Note: The first coat looks patchy, but by the third coat the floor really started looking great.
I applied about 3 coats of a floor wax (just the regular mop on type) as a "sacrificial" layer. The floor was then complete!
Note: These photos are from February 2009. It still looks amazing. the only maintenance I have done is sweeping and redoing the mop on floor wax about once a year.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFO, PROBLEMS & LINKS GO TO THE EXTRA NOTES PAGE