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A Step-By-Step Guide To Etching Concrete

Etching is a crucial step in preparing concrete for painting. It gives the surface tooth to adhere to, so your paint is more likely to stick for a long time. Most concrete paints require etching and if they don’t, do it anyway. Don’t skip this step if you want a long-lasting painted concrete floor.

Step 1: Clean the concrete. Power wash concrete and make sure it is free from dirt, dust and debris.

Step 2: Remove oil stains using a powerful degreaser such as Seal-Krete Oil Stain Remover. Paint will not stick to oily concrete, so be sure that any grease and oil stains are cleaned as thoroughly as possible.

Step 3: Apply etching solution. For garage floors and other smooth-troweled concrete, mix ½ gallon of Seal-Krete Clean-N-Etch to ½ gallon of water in a garden watering can. Working in 10’ x 10’ sections, dampen surface with water and apply Clean-N-Etch. Use a stiff-bristled broom, scrub solution into surface until foaming action stops.

Step 4: Rinse surface thoroughly with a strong stream of water, scrubbing while rinsing to ensure removal of all material. Surface should feel rough (like 150 grit sandpaper).

Step 5:
Let surface dry then check it by applying a few drops of water. It should penetrate quickly, if not, re-etch the concrete.

Step 6: Allow surface to dry thoroughly before applying paint or stain.
Note: Smooth troweled concrete (i.e., carports, garage and basement floors) generally requires two applications to achieve a proper surface profile.

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