Home > faq


Subject: Profiling Concrete

What is profiling and how do I know it is right?

Profiling is etching, grinding, shot blasting or scarifying a concrete substrate which allows greater adhesion for film forming products: water based stains; overlays' sealers and coatings.

Will straight Surf Prep profile a floor good enough for a coating or overlay?

Yes, but refer to the manufacturer's technical data sheet for specific profiling instructions prior to use to determine the recommended CSP for a particular system.

Will Surf Prep clean efflorescence off sealed colored concrete without having to reseal?

Only if the efflorescence is on the surface. Otherwise the sealer needs to be stripped to remove the efflorescence.

Why do I have to worry about preparation of my floor?

Preparation of the slab is crucial to the performance of an overlay or a coating. If the concrete is not profiled enough then the overlay or coating may not have enough surface area for a durable bond. It may and eventually fail.

Is there a difference between existing concrete preparation and new concrete preparation?

Depending on the coating, there could be slight differences. Refer to the manufactures technical data sheet to find the best prep for the coating you are applying.

Back to Top ^

Subject: Acid Stain

How soon can I acid stain after my concrete has been poured?

The manufacturer recommends waiting the full 28 days for the concrete to cure. If you want to stain sooner, work with dilution rates on samples starting with 10 parts water to one part stain.

Why is my concrete coming out orange?

This is a typical reaction when the acid stain is applied to a floor to early or too strong. It is called burning the concrete.

What do I dilute the acid stain with if it's too dark?

Dilute the acid stain only with water. Several tests are recommended to determine the shade that is desirable.

What will adding calcium do to the staining of my concrete?

The stain will still take. The problem comes in when you seal it. The sealer may entrap the salts and minerals resulting in a blush under the sealer.

How does adding a waterproofer affect the stainability of my concrete?

Adding waterproofer to the concrete can keep the stain from penetrating and reacting.

How clean does the concrete have to be before I can seal?

Give it what we call the white glove test. All residue from the stain needs to be cleaned off and dry before sealing.

Can I use all the colors outside?

All colors can be used outside. However, the blues and greens tend to fade in direct sunlight and if there is a moisture issue under the slab or in the slab, they can turn black.

Can I use acid stain on a vertical concrete surface?

You can use acid stain on vertical surfaces. Keep in mind that the acid stain is not heavy bodied and when applied vertically it will run. The way around this is to start from the bottom and work your way to the top.

Will the wash water stain other areas where it runs off?

Yes the residue is still active. If the acid is not neutralized prior to cleaning, it will stain other areas.

How long after I rinse can I seal?

A good rule of thumb is to wait about 24 hrs. for the slab to dry. This also depends on the ambient temp and the porosity of the concrete. A floor that was cleaned using a automatic floor scrubber and a minimum amount of water will have absorbed less water than a floor repeatedly cleaned with a mop and bucket so may be sealed more quickly.

I am getting white areas under my sealer, why?

This could be one of two things or a combination of both. Either surface moisture is being trapped under the sealer and/or salts and minerals (efflorescence) being forced to the surface by moisture which is then trapped.

I pulled up my carpeting and there is glue, paint and nail holes. Do I need to do any thing first?

First thing, remove the paint and mastic because this will prohibit the stain from reacting. Check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend for this. As for the nail holes, it adds character. If you can live with them, then leave them. If you can not, fill these with a cementitious patch and do a microtopping over the whole area that you are going to stain. Otherwise, the patched areas will stain completely different.

There are areas that stained lighter on my floor, why and how do I fix it?

This is due to the finish of the concrete. The difference in finishing techniques decides how the stain will take. Open and porous areas will stain darker. Tight finished areas will stain lighter because the stain cannot penetrate a tight, closed finish as easily. You can darken them with either the SS Rainbow Water Based Stain or the SS DYE-namic.

Can I apply acid stain to integral colored concrete?

Yes, but consider the base color of the concrete. Our color samples are based on gray concrete. Testing is very important.

I applied my acid stain to my floor and nothing happened, why?

First, if the finish is a hard trowel finish, the stain may not be penetrating the surface. Also, chemicals such as; muriatic acid or waterproofer could have been applied which keeps the stain from reacting.

I applied my acid stain and it just went to powder with no color?

The acid stain is not reacting due to the stain not penetrating the surface. It could be due to the fact that something is in or on the surface.

Back to Top ^

Subject: SS DYE-namic

Can I use any sprayer to apply SS DYE-namic?

No, it can only be applied with a sprayer that is specifically made to spray and hold up to acetone.

Can I paint SS DYE-namic on?

It is possible but it is also likely to leave brush marks and streaks.

Can I use SS DYE-namic over acid stain?

Yes, either before or after acid stain.

Can I use Rainbow over SS DYE-namic?


How much ventilation do I need to apply SS DYE-namic ?

Acetone is highly combustible – extinguish all ignitions sources and ventilate. This means turning off all pilot lights and not using power equipment that may create a spark.

Back to Top ^

Subject: Rainbow Stain

How do I prepare my concrete for water-based stain?

The preparation of the slab prior to applying the water based stain is critical. Preparation of the substrate should be in accordance with the ICRI Guideline No. 03732 with a minimum of concrete surface profile (CSP) of 1. This will ensure the surface is clean, dry, and free of grease, oil and sealers, and open to receiving the SS Rainbow System.

What is profiling and how do I know it is right?

Profiling is the act of opening up the surface of the concrete enabling coatings to better adhere to the surface. If a substrate is not properly profiled it may cause de-lamination of stains and sealers.

What is the best way to apply Rainbow Stain?

The preferred method is to apply with an HVLP (high volume low pressure) sprayer.

I applied the stain with a pump up and the colors have sifted and it now looks green. What happened?

The color has separated because it was applied to heavy. There are various pigments put together to make up the color and they all weigh different. The lighter ones tend to rise to the top.

Back to Top ^

Subject: Solvent Based Acrylic Sealers

How should I maintain my inside and outside concrete?

Inside it is recommended to use a maintenance wax such as the cherry wax once every three or four months in your high traffic areas. Outside, a maintenance wax is not recommended. To maintain the sealer check with the manufacturer for their recommendations. A mild soap and water should do, and reseal as needed.

How soon after I pour concrete can I seal it?

The solid content of the sealer, is going to determine the amount of time you have to wait before sealing. The lower the solid content, the sooner you can seal. Read all manufacturers recommendations and tech data before applying.

Why do you use SS Supreme 2500 first then SS Supreme 3000?

The SS Supreme 3000 is not a stand-alone product. The solid content is too high for it to bond to the concrete by itself.

Why do I have to wait for 28 days to use SS Supreme 3000?

The SS Supreme 3000 is a 30% solid sealer. It is not breathable. Therefore, it will not let any moisture through. It traps it and makes the sealer blush.

How soon after I acid stained my concrete can I seal?

Once all residue from the acid stain is cleaned off and the slab & has had ample time to dry. 24 hrs, is a good recommendation.

How do I apply the sealer?

Rolling the sealer down with a ¼" or ½", hard plastic core roller is recommended. Some can be sprayed and back rolled depending on the solid content of the sealer.

My sealer is bubbling after I applied it, what can I do now?

More than likely, the sealer was applied too heavy. Another thin coat of the same sealer should solve the problem. Also, for contractors, a light mist of xylene can also be used.

My sealer is turning white at the edges. What's wrong and how do I fix it?

The sealer turning white is a clear indication of moisture or efflorescence. The sealer can be stripped; a densifier can be applied, cleaned up, and re-sealed.

My sealer is flaking up. What's wrong and how do I fix it?

Moisture and contaminants are the main reason for sealers flaking. Stripping and re-sealing would be suggested.

My sealer is really dull and scratched up. Do I need to reseal it?

On an interior floor, applying SS Cherry Wax, SS Cherry Wax Plus or SS Cherry Wax Matte will rejuvenate the shine. Outside, re-sealing with the same sealer, is the best option.

My sealer is fish eyeing, how do I fix this?

Fish eyeing is normally caused by contaminants. Remove the coating by grinding, stripping or other suitable methods and clean the substrate prior to recoating the area.

Why should I use a solvent based acrylic if it so soft?

It's the most user-friendly product that delivers the most desired look.

Can I put solvent based sealer over water based sealer?

No. Solvent based sealers are too active chemically to topcoat over the coating that presently exists on the floor.

Back to Top ^

Subject: Water Based Sealers

Can I put water based sealer over solvent based sealer?


Can you use the SS EpoSeal 20 and SS EpoSeal 38 at the same time?

The SS EpoSeal 20 acts as a stand alone sealer or as a primer to the SS EpoSeal 38. The SS EpoSeal 38 is not a stand alone product.

How do you apply the water based sealer?

Rolling it on or spraying it out of an HVLP is the preferred method. Most water based sealers roll out white and dry clear.

Back to Top ^

Subject: enPOXY

Why do I use enPOXY?

It is chemical and stain resistant. It makes your countertop food grade.

What precautions do I need to take when applying the enPOXY?

Mix enPOXY part B into part A. Stir slowly by hand or low rpm mixer for two minutes. Pour mixed parts A & B into a separate bucket and continue mixing for 5 minutes. The pot life after mixing is 15 minutes and is extended to 45 when immediately applied to the concrete surface. Avoid activities that create airborne particulates which may become embedded in the surface.

How can I minimize air bubbles?

Bubbles come from two sources – from mixing and from pinholes in the surface. A spiked roller and a heat gun will pop air bubbles. An enMAGIC slurry coat and/or priming with any sealer prior to applying the enPOXY will help seal off pinholes in the concrete surface.

How should you protect your top?

Treat an enPOXY coated countertop as you would any other fine finish – use cutting boards and hot pads.

Back to Top ^