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How to Acid Stain Concrete Countertops

By January 8, 2013April 16th, 20212 Comments

Concrete countertops have become a trendy option for homeowners because of their ability to work well in any type of kitchen. Acid Stain, Camosse Masonry Supply, MassachusettsConcrete countertop mixes are available for purchase at concrete supply stores, so even an inexperienced home builder can tailor their kitchen countertops to the necessary size and color within a couple of days with this DIY project.

Concrete countertops have a cold look to them before they are stained. Many people choose to add color to their concrete countertops by using an acid stain. An acid stain will give a textured but professional look to the concrete. Acid stains also work well if you want to achieve a sponge-painted look. Since acid stains come in a wide variety of colors, acid stained countertops can be painted to match any variety of kitchen décor.

While an acid stain can be applied to just about any concrete material, the following article from SF Gate describes the steps for applying an acid stain to concrete countertops.

How to Acid Stain Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops can add an industrial feel to your kitchen or bathroom, but you can warm up the room by applying colored acid stain to it. The stain soaks into the concrete, creating a deep level of color while maintaining the hardiness of your concrete counter. Be sure to protect your cabinets and floor before you get started — the acid stain can change the color on those items as well as your countertop.

1. Clean your countertops thoroughly with water, removing any dirt or residue. Acid stain won’t coat evenly if the counter is dirty.

2. Cover your cabinets, floor, wall and sink with plastic. Tape it securely with painter’s tape.

3. Put on goggles and gloves as well as a surgical-style face mask, if desired. Open all the windows in your kitchen or bathroom and turn on the vent or range hood to help remove fumes. Mix your acid base with the color bottle, if required.

4. Pour a small amount of stain onto the countertop and spread it evenly in one direction, using a paintbrush. Stain it side-to-side as you would wood, even though the counter doesn’t have woodgrain. This helps create a seamless, even look.

5. Wait two to three hours for the stain to dry. Apply a second coat, if desired. The color will become darker the more coats you apply.

6. Wait 24 hours, then wash the countertop with clean water and a sponge. The sponge picks up the leftover residue of the acid stain, so rinse it often while cleaning the counter to remove as much residue as possible. Allow the countertop to dry thoroughly.

7. Mix 2 cups of ammonia with 5 gallons of warm water in a bucket to create an acid neutralizer. Alternatively, buy an acid-stain neutralizer from your concrete stain provider. This helps set the color into the concrete. Wash the countertop with the neutralizer thoroughly, then wash away the neutralizer with clean water. Continue wiping the counter until the water stays completely clear. Allow the countertop to dry.

8. Paint an even coating of epoxy penetrating sealer over the acid stain to help waterproof the counter. Allow the sealer to dry at least 24 hours before using the countertop.

Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Paintbrush
  • Ammonia
  • Epoxy sealer
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Face mask (optional)


  • For a more antique, mottled look, pour the stain into a small cup or bowl. Dip a small piece of sponge into the stain and dab it onto the concrete until the countertop is covered. Add a second or third coat as desired, then neutralize and seal the countertop.


  • Acid stain is exactly that: an acid. Never work with an acid stain without the proper safety gear, such as gloves and goggles.

The most important thing to keep in mind when using an acid stain on your countertops is to remove anything that may be sitting on or near the counter in order to avoid staining the kitchen’s floors and cabinets. Remember to acid stain in old clothes as it can damage them. Also, always wear gloves and goggles when coming in contact with acid stain.

Acid stain is perfect if you have a uniquely colored kitchen because of the variation of colors in which it can be purchased. Since a homeowner can build their own concrete countertops, they are an excellent choice if one has an odd-shaped or small kitchen.

Does installing concrete countertops sound like a project that you’d like to take on? Contact Camosse Masonry Supply and we will help you find the necessary materials. Come into the showroom today and see our large selection of concrete pigments and acid stains!