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Concrete Stain Application Instructions

January 16, 2014

Smith Paint, Concrete Stain, concrete dyes, decorative concrete, concrete resurfaces, densifier, concrete coatings, polished concrete

Application Instructions

These instructions are not intended to show product recommendations for specific service. They are issued as an aid in determining correct surface preparation, mixing instructions and application procedure. These instructions should be followed closely to obtain the maximum results from the products.

Area Preparation: Be sure to mask or cover all areas that are not intended to be stained including but not limited to door frames, doors, walls and windows.

Surface Preparation: The surface preparation phase of “Staining a Concrete Floor” should be viewed as the most important. Proper floor preparation results in the stains longevity, minimizes potential failures and creates the best environment for an aesthetically pleasing work of art. In short, the more detail and time allotted to this phase of the project will dramatically affect the appearance and durability of the finished floor.

The surface must be free of all foreign materials that would inhibit the absorption of Smith’s Color Floor stain. Foreign materials include, but are not limited to grease, dirt, glue, previous coatings, and sealer*.

* Smith’s Color Floor can be applied to previously sealed surfaces. The process is described in “Previously Sealed Surfaces”.

Do not use an acid etch as a cleaning method.

Horizontal Application:

Exterior – broom Finish

1) Broom finishes may result in high profiles or peaks in the substrate which erode faster than the remaining substrate. Remove these unstable sections by simply running an ice scrapper or other metal object over the substrate. Extract debris from substrate. This step will enhance the longevity and durability of the install.

2) Apply Smith’s Green Clean following the instructions for Exterior & Interior

Exterior & Interior

1) Remove paint, adhesives and loose particulates from the intended application surface.

2) Liberally apply Smith’s Green Clean to a 20 x 20 foot section of the substrate with ½ inch nap roller cover.

3) Allow the gel to remain on the substrate for 20 minutes.

Interiors – use of power wash is not applicable :

4) Agitate Smith’s Green Clean utilizing a floor buffer (small area) or an auto-scrubber (large area) equipped with brush attachments while rinsing with clean water.

5) Extract material utilizing a wet/dry vacuum or lower the squeegee uptake bar on the auto-scrubber. Continue to flush and agitate the substrate until the rinse water is clear and surface is free of gel residue.

Areas that can be pressure washed :

6) Remove Smith’s Green Clean Cleaning from the surface using a power washer* with overlapping line patterns.

7) Allow the area to dry adequately before performing a Tape Test. Upon the completion of a successful Test begin the application of Smith’s Stains.

* Power wash = 0 degree rotating nozzle with 12,000 work units (Work Units = Gallons per Minute x PSI)

Note: If additional pro=le is desired, reapply Smith’s Green Clean following the previous directions.


1) 1st Pass = 40 grit metal bonded diamonds if the surface requires (e.g. adhesives, profile irregularities)

2) 2nd Pass = 150 grit metal bonded diamonds.

3) Remove excess dust with vacuum.

4) Remove remaining dust with dry mop or wet mop until floor is completely free of foreign materials and dust.

Tape Test

A tape test will help determine the effectiveness of the cleaning process. After the floor has been thoroughly scrubbed, rinsed and allowed to dry; apply several 1 foot strips of high quality 2” packaging tape to various locations on the floor. Aggressively press the tape onto the floor with the heel of your hand. Fold one end of the tape into itself and pull it off of the floor as vigorously as possible. Examine the adhesive layer in a bright light looking for residue that was pulled from the floor. Little to no dust or other foreign particles should be visible. Areas with visible foreign material need to be scrubbed and rinsed again until the surface is free of these contaminants.


Smith’s Color Floor is supplied as a concentrate. The recommended dilution ratio for base colors applied to concrete is 1 part concentrate to 2 parts Smith’s Base Boost to 2 parts distilled, deionized, or reverse osmosis water. For application of highlight colors, overlay systems or previously coated substrates utilize 1 part concentrate to 4 parts distilled, deionized or reverse osmosis water. Concentrate will result in ready to use stain by simply stirring mixture.

Note: “Hard” water has an adverse effect on Smith’s Color Floor. Therefore, in order to achieve maximum service distilled, deionized or reverse osmosis water is recommended.


The recommended dilution ratio for Smith’s Color Floor can be found in Dilution/Mixing section. Increased transparency as well as lighter color shade can be achieved by increasing the dilution ratio (amount of water to concentrate). The dilution ratio should not surpass 1 part concentrate to 8 parts distilled, deionized or reverse osmosis water.

Note: As dilution ratio increases, the amount of vehicle solids (glue) decreases resulting in a less durable stain.

High Hide: Decreasing the dilution ratio of the Classic Series (e.g. 1 part concentrate to 1 part water) will increase hide or opacity. This allows the applicator to cover stains and blemishes as well as achieve uniformity on different surfaces.

Application Directions:

Material Surface Ambient Humidity
Best 60-90°F 65-85°F 65-90°F 10-60%
Minimum 45°F 45°F 45°F 0%
Maximum 105°F 110°F 110°F 80%

Application Method:

To achieve a natural variegate appearance, Smith’s Color Floor should be applied by creating a mist via an airless sprayer, High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) sprayer, production gun, pump sprayer or trigger spray bottle. The variegation is the result of the specific gravities of the pigments as well as the absorption rate of the application surface. Roller application methods force absorption resulting in mechanical lines.

Brush/Sea Sponge Application:

For application areas where coverage and product control is warranted, apply Smith’s Color Floor with a sea sponge or traditional bristle brush (e.g. corners and walls). Using this method of application may result in the appearance of mechanical lines.

Secondary/Highlight Color:

To achieve increase color depth or mottled appearance. A secondary or highlight coat can be applied as soon as initial Smith’s Color Floor color is dry to the touch (approximately 15 minutes).

Note: All Smith’s Color Floor Colors are compatible, thus can be mixed, sprayed simultaneously and layered to achieve a desired appearance.

Previously Sealed Surfaces:

After cleaning the previously sealed surface, apply Smith’s Color Floor via an airless sprayer or HVLP (this application will atomize the stain) to a small, out of the way test section of the sealed surface. Allow the stain to dry (15-20 minutes). Test for adhesion by running your hand over the stained surface. If you are unable to rub the stain off, the stain has achieved adhesion. Apply Smith’s Color Floor stain to the remaining areas. Allow a 24 hour drying period before applying a clear sealer over Smith’s Color Floor.

Dry Times: (optimal)

Temperature Relative Humidity Dry to the Touch Final Cure/ Sealer Coat
70°F 30% 15-20 min 24 hours (recommended)

Note: Cool temperatures and high humidity and lower temperatures will lengthen dry and cure times. Dry time can be shortened by increasing temperature and air >ow. Proper adhesion will develop with 24 hour cure time.

Clean Up: Immediately clean-up work area and tools with water while stains are still wet.

Floor Protection: Use paper and/or cardboard to protect stained and sealed floor from other trades or during a move. Do not use tape on a sealed surface until sealer is fully cured. A good rule is 30 days for a sealer to fully cure.

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