Garage Floor Need Resurfacing? Step-By-Step Instructions for Acid Etching

Posted on: 28 September 2016

If you do a lot of work inside your garage, you want to avoid stains. That can be difficult to do if your concrete hasn't been properly sealed. Before you apply a layer of sealant, you need to make sure that your concrete is prepared to accept the application. Smooth concrete may not be porous enough to allow for the proper absorption of sealant. To make sure your garage floor is protected against stains and water damage, you should acid etch the concrete before applying the sealant. Here are some step-by-step instructions that will help you make quick work of the acid etching.

Start with a Clean Floor

When acid etching your concrete floor, it's best to start with a clean surface. To do that, you'll need a large bucket, grease-cutting detergent, and a stiff-bristled push broom. Fill the bucket with warm water and add about one cup of detergent. Pour some of the cleaning solution onto the floor and scrub the area with your broom. Continue pouring and scrubbing until the entire floor is clean. Remove the water using a wet/dry vacuum.

Once the floor is dry, look for areas that still show signs of grease or oil. Pour a glass of water on those areas. If the water beads, you'll need to clean that area again. Continue cleaning until all of the grease and oil has been removed. After you've cleaned the floor, you'll be ready to begin the process of etching the concrete. You'll need to start with a wet floor. Fill a garden sprayer with water and use the sprayer to saturate the entire floor. Keep the water on hand to keep the floor wet during the process.

Apply the Acid Solution

Once the floor is wet, you should mix the acid solution. Be sure you have an acid-tolerant pump sprayer for this portion of the project. You can rent this type of sprayer from your local home-improvement center. Before you begin mixing the solution, be sure you're wearing boots, protective goggles, a face mask, and heavy-duty gloves.

Fill the pump sprayer with water and add the etching compound to the sprayer according to package instructions. After the solution has been mixed, you'll be ready to apply it to the concrete. Go over the floor one more time with the fresh water. Now, beginning in the corner farthest away from the door, begin spraying the acid-etching solution onto the concrete. Once you've sprayed the acid solution on the entire floor, begin brushing it into the concrete using your push broom.

Neutralize the Acid Solution

After you've applied the acid solution to the entire floor, you'll need to apply the neutralizer. This step neutralizes the acid and stops the etching process. Fill a five-gallon bucket with water and then add an entire box of baking soda. The baking soda will neutralize the acid. Pour the neutralizer on your concrete floor and spread it using your push broom. Be sure to get into all the corners and edges with the broom. You'll hear a light fizzing sound, which means the neutralizer is working. Once the fizzing subsides, rinse the floor with fresh water and allow it to dry. Your floor is now ready to be sealed.

If your garage floor takes a lot of wear and tear, make sure it's protected against damage. Use the instructions provided here to get your floor ready for a fresh coat of sealant. Consult a company such as S&W Concrete for more information.

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