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topic 24229 p2

Making homemade acid stains for concrete p2

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A discussion started in 2003 but continuing through 2020


Q. I would like to enquire if any further information was found in regards to how to make acid stains for concrete/cement. Has anyone been successful. Where can one find some technical info, specification, products required, and mixing ratios. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Corne le Roux
- South Africa


A. I found the exact answer for this question at [ed note: DON'T go to that site!].

Arvin W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Austin, Texas

Ed. note 2018: Sorry, that site now bounces to a place that installs an Adobe upgrade (probably malware!)
Readers -- Please include the title & author of an article (if not an abstract) when posting a link; with that info our readers know what article you are suggesting so they hunt for it. Almost all websites are short lived and broken links are a contagion that make even long-enduring websites like ours less useful ... even worse, hackers often quickly buy up the links to spread ransomware!


Q. I am also searching for the acid stain, I am a contractor in Karachi city and also want to use this stain procedure in my works.

If anyone has there more information about composition and results, please update so I get more knowledge.

Babar Latif
- Karachi Pakistan

December 2019

thumbs up sign  Hi Babar. Please don't ask strangers to just keep at it for you, updating you regularly :-)
Instead, please engage in the discussion, sharing your experience. Many readers would probably be interested in your efforts, successes, and failures in Pakistan -- I know I am. Thanks!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

October 16, 2008

A. I have found a very good walk-through of how to apply the stains: Sorry no info on making the stain yet.

Mike Rogal
- Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada

Ed. note 2018: Sorry, that site is long gone as well.
Readers -- Please try to include the title of an article if not an abstract when posting a link because most websites are short lived. With a title our readers at least know what article you are suggesting that they hunt for. Thanks!

October 29, 2008

A. For all measurement/homemade acid stain recipes take a look at this site.

Shahz Bagdad
- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Ed. note 2018: Sorry, that makes three out of three, as that link is also long gone as well.
Please try to include the title & author of an article if not an abstract when posting a link because most links are short lived. With a title our readers at least know what article you are suggesting that they hunt for. Thanks!

November 27, 2008

Q. I would like to enquire if any further information was found in regards to how to make acid stains for concrete/cement. Has anyone been successful. Where can one find some technical info, specification, products required, and mixing ratios. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Secondly, can pool acid be used for stain purposes?

Leon Van Zyl
artificial rock builder - Mogale, Republic of South Africa

March 29, 2009

Q. I need a formula to make water based concrete dye for polished concrete flooring. If anybody can help.

Tarek aboelata
contractor - Cairo, Egypt

Ed. note: Hi, folks. Asking people to keep starting over again & again & again disrespects the work they've put in, and makes the page repetitive. Please try your best to study the previous answers and phrase your questions in terms of what has already been said, engaging those responders in dialog and relating your own interesting experiences; if possible, offer some snippet that you believe (even if not conclusive), so we can keep moving forward. Thanks!

May 15, 2009

Q. Dear Sir
Thank you for your remarkable web site, I already got some information looking for concrete staining, My questions are specific (we have no library, cannot purchase books on line).
1- What is Metallic Salt.
2- What metallic salt (S), to be added to HCl .
3- Does metallic salts with HCl create the color, or color will be added later.
4- What procedure to be followed to stain concrete .
Again thank you for your website

araz J aziz
construction chemicals - Erbil kurdistan regional government of IRAQ


A. Hi, cousin Araz.

Metallic salts are compounds where a metal like iron or copper is compounded with an anion like acetate, chloride, nitrate, or sulphate. Some examples are cupric nitrate, ferric nitrate, ferric chloride, ferrous sulphate, and cupric chloride. Yes, these are added to the HCl and water. Yes, these metallic salts are the source of the colors. Good luck!


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

May 26, 2009

A. I had posted a response in 2006 and was surprised to see it still here. Metallic Salts are by-products of other products. Some can be liquid form, granular or powder. Examples are ferrous sulfate which can be used to make browns, terra cotta, tans; Then there's sodium dichromate combined with ferrous sulfate to make different shades of brown. Others salts are ferric chloride, manganese chloride, copper (cupric chloride) and chromic chloride. Different combinations of these salts mixed with a coagulant or activator like hydrochloric acid and water can result in several acid stain colors.

One of the best authors of how to apply them is Gaye Goodman. I write instructional manufacturing manuals on subjects like this one and others. My web address is [ed.note: sorry, link is now broken]

Johnny Brown [returning]
- Memphis, Tennessee

Ed. note: As the readers have come to expect, this fourth posted link out of four is now broken as well. Posters, please include the TITLE of any article you are suggesting.

January 23, 2013

thumbs up signMr. Ted Mooney.
Thanks, I made many chloride stains a long time ago just after your response to me. I asked chemist friends in Baghdad, so I purchased Iron sulfate, sodium dichromate, copper sulfate, and started first with acid staining, then chloride staining. Spent a lot of time and came up with so many results, so I am trying to sell my stain now after 2 years.

Araz J Aziz [returning]
construction chemicals - ERBIL, KRG, Iraq

A. That's great, Araz! Very happy for your success, and good luck with the sales.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

February 28, 2010

Q. The reason I want to know how to make my own stain is so that I don't have to buy a gallon of product for when I only need a half-cup of each color. Nor do I want to buy the individual ingredients in bulk. Where do I go to buy small quantities of acids, and mineral salts?

Has anyone ever tried rusted radiator fluid? I've seen driveways stained with that stuff and it seems pretty permanent.

Janet Hoopes
Hobbyist - Muscatine, Iowa, USA

March 2, 2011

Q. Hi, My name is Waleed Yosif. Trying to add decorative concrete to my construction line of work. Interested to know the difference between a concrete stain and dye and if both come in water or acid base and preferred application of both.


Waleed Yosif
Purchaser - Turlock, California, USA

February 21, 2012

A. Try using a clothing dye, I believe one brand is called Rit; mix with alcohol.
Works pretty well. Good luck!

Brian Esquivel
- Boise, Idaho, USA

November 16, 2012

Q. Hello,

Does anyone know what kind of acid is used nowadays to stain concrete floors? I know that muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) most of the times weakens concrete surfaces.


Art Ramalo
- Brazil

Can I make concrete stains by dissolving metals in acid?

April 6, 2018

Q. At the risk of sounding dumb, I'm an experienced stainer but have no access to stains or the chemical compounds referred to here. Stuck in the west indies. Can colours be cooked from raw metals rather than the compounds mentioned, i.e., can you melt iron in the acid to make a rust stain?

Adrian coulson
- Castries, st. lucia, west indies

November 18, 2018

A. I found this info posted by Mr Mathis of Macomb IL on a '' page; it seems relevant to this conversation:

"I needed to repair a crack in a chimney and wanted the color of the new mortar to match that of the existing mortar. I had heard about using acid concrete stain for this purpose, so I called the local paint store. They could mix only gallons. I started researching the idea of making my own concrete stain and found this web page on the topic:

From some of the conversations on the web page, I gathered that I could put two parts muriatic acid (a common cleaner for concrete and mortar) into eight parts water to make a solution for concrete-coloring pigments. Wearing rubber gloves and eye goggles, I used a glue syringe to inject 4 cc of acid into 16 cc of water. (Always add acid to water to avoid splashing acid.) After that, I just needed some pigment.

Years ago, I read a tip in Fine Homebuilding about Mixol universal tints. I bought the basic kit, which comes with a color chart showing the different hues that can be produced with the 10 concentrated pigments. The lightest shade of #23 looked exactly like what I wanted, so I put about four drops of color #23 into my 20 cc of acid/water mix and tried it on concrete in my shop. It was a little too light, but about six drops more gave me the color I needed.
If you try this, follow all the instructions on the muriatic-acid container, and be sure to do a test in an out-of-the-way place."

The original research and info provided by:
Mr Mathis, Macomb, IL

Rocko Lizardi
- Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Ed. note: Thanks Rocko!

March 10, 2019

Q. I read on this website:
about using iron oxides instead of iron salts. Have any here tried those? Maybe I'm going to make a test with muriatic acid and some pigmented iron oxides (red, yellow, green and blue), those are cheaper. Any experiences are welcome.

- Bogota, Cundinamarca, Colombia

December 19, 2019

A. 2 HCl + FeO = FeCl2 + H2O

Hydrochloric acid - approximately 74g
Ferrous Oxide - approximately 71g

Ferrous Chloride - approximately 127g
Water - approximately 18g

Adding more hydrochloric acid gives you an acid stain.

Luis Gulias
- Sao Paulo, Brazil

March 16, 2020

Q. I am looking for acid stain formulas too. I found that the SDS sheets, safety data sheets, in PDF format for various commercial brands of acid stains show the ingredients and a formula. I don't know if the formula is by weight or percentages but it is a start. The metal salts are usually chlorides, plus hydrochloric acid which is muriatic acid, available inexpensively. I have ordered the metallic salts on Ebay.
I have a 7000 sq feet horrible looking floor with patches and stains to camouflage and at 200 to 400 sq ft coverage ft per gallon, commercial stain is out of the question.

Tom Pule
property manager - Waldorf, Maryland, USA

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