Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rather than adding another layer of finish flooring over the slab, we decided to polish and stain the concrete itself (doesn't it make more sense to work with what we've already got?) So before the brick pathway is mortared in place, Keith was kind enough to set me up with his grinding/polishing equipment so I could get the job done. First, the floor was leveled by coarse grinding, then polished to a 200-grit finish using successively finer sanding pads in the polishing machine.

It took three days of polishing to get to this point, which doesn't look all that much different than the unpolished floor (but believe me, it is!).

Next, several samples of stain were applied in the utility room area to experiment with the color and get the shade we were looking for. Originally, I had planned to use a soy-based stain called Soycrete, but this product was not penetrating the polished floor very well during our test samples. In the end, we went with a more traditional acid stain instead. The adobe-colored stain was sprayed onto the floor, worked in with a brush, then allowed to penetrate overnight. The next day, I washed the floor with a baking soda/water solution to neutralize the reaction, then went over the surface one more time with a 220 grit final polish. Done!

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