Please refer to the Beer Concrete Stain Technical Data Sheet/Application Instructions to provide detailed information about application and performance of the product.
Question: How do I choose the correct carrying agent? Answer: The most widely used carrying agent is lacquer thinner. There are multiple reasons--Lacquer thinner will dry quicker than water, beer, wine, or denatured alcohol. It also creates a stain that is not water soluble, so it will be less vulnerable. It is less aggressive on the sprayers than acetone so it may help extend the life of the sprayer. It dries slightly slower than acetone, so it gives a little more time for the stain to penetrate--This is especially notable in exterior applications as wind and heat will cause the stain to dry quicker yet. It is good for the stain to have at least 30 seconds or more to dry so it penetrates properly. Water is a great option if the situation does not allow for odors produced by solvents like acetone or lacquer thinner. If going over alumino silicate cements that may be high in polymer, it is best to not use water as it may draw some of the polymer to the surface. If attempting to penetrate through a sealer, it is necessary to use lacquer thinner or acetone as the carrying agent. This is one reason why most contractors use lacquer thinner or acetone, so if the customer wants more color added, or additional colors added after the sealer has been applied, it is possible to fix it for the customer without having to strip off the sealer and color and start over. When dealing with densifiers/hardeners, water is the best carrying agent.
Question: After I apply your stain, how long do I have to wait before I seal? Answer: As soon as it is dry to the touch, you may apply the sealer. With lacquer thinner or acetone it is just a few minutes. With alcohol it is just slightly longer. With beer, wine, or water, it will be twenty to thirty minutes depending on temperature and air flow.
Question: Can I use your product with a densifier or hardener? Answer: Yes. There are many different types of densifiers/hardeners on the market. The densifiers that seem to have the best color retention are the lithium and potassium silicates. Sodium silicates are harder to work with because the usually require agitation and rinsing so the process is more difficult. You can get it to work, but you should call us for technical support to make sure you are doing the process correctly. Finally, amorphous and colloidal silicas can be used in conjunction with our product, but they should be used with Beerbind to help retain more color. They are the lowest color retention materials to use, but the good news with these is that they remain porous for a few hours after application, so you can re-color even after densifier has been applied. Remember to seal with Industri-Seal after application of color and densifier--especially important with amorphous and colloidal products.
Question: Can I use your product outside without the color fading? Answer: Yes, our product is UV Protected and is perfect for exterior use as well as interior. It has been down in exterior applications for over 7 years without fading.
Question: Can I use your stain over a sealer or a cure & seal? Answer: Yes, when you mix our stain with lacquer thinner or acetone, you can get our stain to penetrate through most sealers and cure and seals. Depending on the type of sealer, you may need to buff the floor with a white buff pad to restore the original sheen of the sealer or apply a new coat of sealer when you are finished. A good way to test if our stain will penetrate is to put a drop of lacquer thinner or acetone on the sealer and rub with your finger. If it gets tacky, then you are good to go. If it doesn't, our stain will not penetrate.
Question: Do I have to prep the concrete? Answer: Not always, but we highly recommend following our instructions on prepping the floor. If you choose to not prep the surface you should use lacquer thinner or acetone, as it is common for concrete to have a cure and seal present. In that scenario, you will want a solvent as the carrying agent, as the cure and seal may repel other carrying agents. It is recommended to at least take a 50 grit resin pad to the floor, to open the surface of the concrete, therefore allowing our stain to penetrate better. Also, grinding the concrete is good because there is no way of knowing what contaminants might be hiding in the top surface of the concrete. The concrete may look fine and clean, but some chemicals are invisible. If you do not prep the floor according to our instructions, most likely the stain will work fine, but there are many contaminants that may repel the stain, so grinding off the surface of the concrete is the only sure way to be safe. Power-troweled surfaces are rarely porous enough to allow our stain to penetrate, so you should open it up mechanically or chemically.
Question: What kind of contaminants might keep your stain from penetrating? Answer: There are chemicals that may not be compatible with our stain that could have been dripped on the concrete that are invisible. Anything that has oils can be a problem. Soy gel cleaners will not allow our stain to penetrate properly. Some epoxies will not take our stain. Moisture in the concrete can also create a problem.
Question: When you say to apply a light coat, how light do you mean? Answer: The stain will go far so do not try to "paint" it on. However, make sure that you get enough on the surface that it remains damp for at least 30 seconds or so. If you spray it on and it is dry almost immediately, then you have not applied enough and it will not penetrate into the concrete as far as it should. This is especially important in exterior applications where the wind and heat may be drying the material more quickly. When using lacquer thinner or acetone (especially acetone) as your carrying agent, outside the wind may be drying the stain almost as it hits the ground so it may not penetrate if you don't get the surface wet enough.
Question: Can I use your stain on concrete that had glue or latex modified thinset on it previously? Answer: If you have pulled up glue-down carpet, vinyl, etc, or have used latex modified thinset and pulled up the floor tile, you need to follow a little different procedure to get the stain to work properly. First you need to remove as much of the glue or thinset as possible with a poultice type product that will pull the latex out of the surface. Other methods such as a concrete grinder and/or chemical removal methods may also help. If you are unable to prep properly, you can perform a small test area to see if it will work the normal way, but most likely what you will need to do is apply the sealer first and then use lacquer thinner or acetone to mix with the stain to penetrate through the sealer. Because of the latex in the concrete, it will soak up the sealer and will cut your sealer coverage rate in approximately half. So you will need to apply about double the amount of sealer that you normally would. After the sealer is dry and you see the normal sheen level for the sealer, now you can apply our product over the sealer to get your desired look.