How Long to Wait After Pouring a Concrete Slab Before Acid Staining?

By: Danny Lipford

On a new concrete slab, how long must you wait before you can acid stain it? -John

Hi John,

You should allow the concrete to cure thoroughly before staining or finishing, to allow any excess water in the slab to evaporate. The instructions with most acid stains (as well as concrete sealers and coatings) say to wait at least 28 days after pouring a slab before finishing it, with some recommending as long as 60 days. However, a lot depends on the consistency of the concrete and the weather conditions.

  • If the concrete mix was stiff without too much water in it, the temperature was over 65° F during and after the slab was poured, and there has been little rain; you may be able to stain it in as little as 18 days.
  • If the temperature was under 65° F, the concrete mix was soupy, or there’s been a lot of rain, I would wait 30-45 days before staining.

Good luck with your project,

Danny

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7 Comments on “How Long to Wait After Pouring a Concrete Slab Before Acid Staining?”

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  • Bill Says:
    December 8th, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Danny:

    I have a new concrete slab. I now need to replace several posts supporting a deck, install a railing, and replace some stairs. Should I acid stain prior to doing this work so that I do not have to worry about protecting much material, or should I stain after all the new materials are installed and painted to better protect the acid stain?



  • Denise Says:
    June 18th, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I am making a patio out of a stone look form. I want to stain it when ready, do I have to etch new concrete and if so will it be possible to do that with this particular design?



  • Ellen Says:
    November 11th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    On 11/5/14, we had a concrete slab poured and on the 7th, cuts were made in the concrete. After this was done all you could see was deep scratches due to some type of machine, wheel barrel tire marks,in addition to boot prints through out the slab. The contractor sealed on the 8th, 3 days later. The slab is a mess of odd white spots all over with markings. Is it too soon to try and fix. I had another contractor out and he said we should fix right away before completely cured. He suggested sanding,& acid wash then wait 28 days before doing the finish. Is this correct? Need advice! Thank you.



  • tommy karlsson Says:
    October 20th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    our pool builder poured concrete around the pool and acid washed it the next day its cracking 2months later is it related thanks.
    Tommy



  • Rob Says:
    October 9th, 2014 at 1:48 am

    @Judy you should if your concrete is still in good shape you should go ahead and wash it with a water/muratic 4/1 mix and scrub it with a push broom. If the concrete has exposed aggerate (stones) showing. You might want to resurface it with a polymer concrete overlay.

    @ Brad it’s ready. Quickrete will most likely stain a little different. Fair warning



  • Brad Says:
    November 30th, 2012 at 5:56 am

    I added on to my house. I poured a concrete slab a couple of months ago. Now it’s all in the dry and my Sheetrock is up. I had to pour a small batch of quickrete ( about a half a bag) where my old threshold was at for the back door. Now it’s just a cased opening. How long should I wait before I stain this 6″x36″ section.



  • judy Says:
    August 1st, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Hi Danny, We have just bought an older house with tile, carpet, and laminate flooring. We like the look of the acid stained porch you showed on a recent show and wonder if we would be able to stain the old slab under these various coverings when we take them up? Would the process be the same as staining these new and/or outside areas?


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