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See all Floor coating how-to »

Preparation of Uncoated Concrete for Sealers

Skill:  Intermediate DIY'er

A great looking finish begins with the right start. Following the proper prep procedures will dramatically affect the look and longevity of your finished project.

For Best Results:

New concrete must cure for 30 days before applying any floor treatment.

For your safety, please wear protective clothing, eye goggles, and acid-resistant rubber gloves and footwear.

Suggested Supplies
  • Broom (Stiff Bristle)
  • Brush (2"-2½")
  • Chemical Resistant Gloves
  • Hose
  • High Pressure Nozzle
  • Mop
  • Protective Apparel
  • Rags

How to Clean and Etch a Concrete Surface

  1. Step 1

    Make sure the surface is clean. Wipe up all oil and grease spills. Sweep and scrape away all dirt and loose contaminants with a broom.

  2. Step 2

    If the surface is new or uncoated, use a product to clean and etch the surface. Use a plastic watering can to evenly distribute the product. Spread the product with a stiff bristled, non-metal brush or broom. Allow the product to stand for 10-20 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Using a stiff bristled, non-metal brush or broom, vigorously scrub the concrete surface. DO NOT allow the surface to dry.

    Heavily stained areas or older stains may require additional applications.
  4. Step 4

    Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water using either a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle or a pressure washer. Prevent the rinse solution from entering the storm drains.

  5. Step 5

    Remove excess water with a non-metal squeegee or mop.

  6. Step 6

    Allow the surface to dry. The surface is ready for priming when it feels like medium grit sandpaper and no residue or loose concrete remains.

    To avoid adhesion issues, ensure the surface is clean by wiping your fingers over the surface to check for dust. If residue is present, repeat the rinsing step.