How To Acid Etch Concrete and Why You Should Consider It


If you’ve ever wondered how to acid etch concrete, then you’re in luck. This guide will give you all the information you need to get started. Even if you don’t know what acid etching is or why it’s important, I’ll explain it all here.

Why Acid Etch?

Not all concrete is created equal. That’s why you may have to do some extra prep work before you can paint or stain your garage floor. If your garage is a dark color, such as black, brown, or green, acid etching will help bring out the true colors in your concrete by removing any leftover waxes and sealers on the surface.

Acid etch concrete is an easy way to prepare your garage or basement floor for paint or stain. It’s a safe and inexpensive way to prepare concrete without needing toxic chemicals.


What You Need

This is a simple acid etch that you can do at home. There are three main things you will need:

  • Acid solution – This can be purchased from any concrete supplier or pool supply store
  • Water – Tap water is fine
  • A bucket with a lid 1/2 gallon plastic bucket works great!

How to Acid Etch Concrete

The process of acid etching your concrete is relatively simple. The first thing you will need to do is prepare the acid mixture. This can be done by mixing equal parts muriatic acid and water in a plastic bucket, using either a wooden paddle or an old paintbrush (plastic bottles should not be used as they may melt). If desired, you can add some food coloring to create a colored pattern on the concrete if you are planning on oxidizing it afterward. Once this has been completed, the concrete must be completely soaked with water before beginning the etching process. The addition of water will prevent any damage caused by splashing when applying the acid mixture.


Make sure you have the right protective gear on

When you’re working with acid etching, it’s important to protect yourself. Acid etching can be harmful if it is not done in a proper environment and with the correct protective gear.

First, wear safety goggles. This will prevent any acid from getting into your eyes and causing damage to them. If any does get in the eyes, flush them out immediately with water and contact your doctor if necessary. Next, wear gloves and long pants/long sleeves as well as closed-toe shoes like boots or sneakers (if you’re concerned about being comfortable). The bottom line is that there’s no point in taking any risks when working with chemicals—make sure you’re protected as much as possible!

Mix the acid solutions in a plastic bucket with a wooden paddle

Mixing the acid solutions in a plastic bucket with a wooden paddle is easier and safer than mixing them in a glass beaker. The reason for this is that when you mix the two solutions together, they create an exothermic reaction (an exothermic reaction means that heat is released), and therefore can be very dangerous. Using your hand to stir up the mixture would not only burn your skin but could also splash some of it onto you. A plastic bucket and wooden paddle are both strong enough to withstand the violent reaction between these two acids without breaking or melting away as a glass would do.

To make sure that you don’t get any splashes on yourself or anyone else who might be nearby while working with this product, wear protective gear! You should always wear safety goggles over your eyes while working with chemicals like this one because they may cause serious eye injury if they spill onto them or are splashed into them accidentally during use (especially since we’re going to be using them outdoors). Also, wear long-sleeved shirts so there aren’t any incidents where some spills occur onto our arms as well; after all: we need those arms!

Soak the concrete with water so that it is totally wet

The concrete should be wet enough to be damp, but not so wet that it is dripping.

If you have a garden hose, soak the area of concrete you want to acid etch by spraying it with water from your garden hose. If you don’t have access to a garden hose, use a spray bottle filled with water instead.

Apply the acid solution to the concrete

You’ll want to apply the acid solution to the concrete, starting at one edge and working toward the other to avoid trapping yourself in a corner. Be sure to wear safety goggles!

Don’t worry about over-saturating the concrete or getting it on your clothes—you won’t be able to see what you are doing anyway.

Letting It Dry and Neutralizing the Slurry

Once the concrete has been etched, you will want to let it dry for at least 24 hours before applying the sealer. To neutralize the slurry and remove any remaining material from your driveway, mix some baking soda with water until you have a thick paste. Use a paintbrush to apply this mixture to the surface of your driveway and let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Then rinse off all of the baking soda using just water (no soap).


Rinse off the slurry and neutralize it with baking soda.

  • Pour out the aqueous solution, rinse the concrete with more water, then neutralize any remaining acids by adding baking soda to it. The baking soda will react with any remaining acid and eliminate its corrosive effects on your concrete. Allow everything to dry before proceeding to the next step if necessary.

Let It Dry Completely

Once you’ve finished the acid etch, let it dry completely before you neutralize or rinse it off. You can also let the concrete dry completely before painting or staining.

It is important not to walk on the concrete until it is completely dry, as wet concrete is susceptible to foot traffic damage and imprints from shoes and tools will show up more clearly on a wet surface than they would on an air-dried one.

Acid etch concrete is an easy way to prepare your garage or basement floor for paint or stain.

Acid etch concrete is a simple process that can be done at home. A solution of muriatic acid (which is what pool owners use to lower the pH level of their water) is applied to the concrete, causing it to become more porous and absorbent. This makes it easier for paint or stain to adhere to the surface. The acid will not eat away at your floor, but if you want a deeper etch, you can repeat this process until you achieve your desired look.


If you’re looking for a quick way to prepare your garage or basement floor for paint or stain, acid etch concrete is an excellent choice. It requires little preparation and can be done in as little as one day. The process can be done by anyone with minimal training and experience, so don’t let the idea intimidate you! Remember that this method should only be used on concrete floors that are not exposed to water or moisture.

Learn more at The Paver Sealer Store!

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