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How to Choose a Pump-up Sprayer

Length - 05:37

Warning: Avoid Metal Components
When working with acid-based chemical stains, you should only use sprayers, application tools, and containers that resist hydrochloric acid and have no metal parts. All sprayer parts should be made of acid-resistant plastic. Brushes should have uncolored, acid-resistant nylon bristles (colored bristles can discolor the surface). And pails and containers for mixing or holding stain should be made of plastic.

Basic Tools for Applying Concrete Stains

Generally, the best way to apply a concrete stain is by using a pressurized garden-type pump-up sprayer because you’ll achieve more even coverage and avoid puddling of the stain on the surface. For detail work or small areas, you can also use a hand spray bottle, brushes in various sizes, sponges, and rags. Some stain applicators prefer to brush-apply the stain straight from a bucket. Be aware, however, that if stain runs down the side of the bucket and onto the concrete surface, it could leave a permanent ring. Setting the bucket in a plastic container will prevent unwanted drips.

Following is a checklist of the basic tools you’ll need for applying stains:

  • Brushes in various sizes (either foam or bristle) ranging from a 1/8-inch artist brush for detail work to a 6-inch brush for wide borders.
  • Sponges in various sizes.
  • Brushes for scrubbing the stain into the surface.
  • Buckets or plastic containers to keep the stain in.
  • Various sizes of sprayers, from a hand spray bottle to a 1- or 2-gallon pump sprayer

(Source: Bob Harris’ Guide to Stained Concrete Interior Floors)

Note that if you are using a water-based stain, these cleaning steps aren’t necessary. Water-based stains don't require neutralization or rinsing, and application tools can usually be cleaned with mild soap and water.

Concrete stain brushes
Photo: Brickform