How to Etch Concrete Without Acid

These are the items that you will need to prepare and get your floor ready to stain without using acid.

Acid etching as a surface preparation is the process of applying an acid solution to a concrete surface, allowing the acid to react with and ‘etch’ the concrete. This is usually considered a concrete preparation step prior to the application of an epoxy floor paint (garage epoxy).

Large Push Broom

You’ll need this to clean the concrete before you stain it. This is good for an acid or non-acid etching. This photo is a good example of how I etched my concrete, and the broom is in the corner. IF you have a very large home, I recommend the 24″ push broom.

Professional 18″ Rough-Surface Push Broom

Professional 24″ Multi-Surface Push Broom

Acid-Free Concrete Etching

You’ll also need the acid-free etching product. There are just a couple available on the market. These work great if your concrete is not in that bad of condition.

Enviro-Etch – Micro Etches Concrete Surface Prepare

Now if you find that your concrete is NOT in good condition. This means you found paint drips, construction leftovers, or pet urine stains. (My floor had a lot of glue on it.) If this is the case you MAY need to use an acid based etching for your concrete. I had to use acid on mine, twice, just for the glue and white paint that was soaked into my sub floor.

Also be sure to purchase enough concrete etching product, as I had to use around 4 gallons for my project. (It was 8 gallons for the entire house.)

Acid-Based Etching Product

This product is an acid-based product, but it is a muratic acid alternative.

Krud Kutter Concrete Etch – Biodegradable