How to Stain Limestone Bricks
Limestone is a natural product widely used in building construction. Depending upon the type of limestone, it may be porous and accept staining well. However, one type of limestone is more compact and resists staining. If the bricks are already installed, they may have a sealant that also resists staining. Test the stain in a less visible area before undertaking the project. Staining limestone is similar to staining cement or concrete.
Remove all dirt, debris, and dust by mopping with detergent, and then mopping again, using a 5-gallon bucket. Wipe the bricks with a dust mop after they dry.
Tape off all areas such a baseboards where you do not want the stain to cover, using masking tape.
Mix the commercial stain as directed by the instructions.
Test a corner or other area with a small amount of stain. Let it dry for four hours and check the color to see if it is what you want. If necessary, adjust the stain mix and test it again.
Apply a thin coat of the stain around the floor next to the walls with a paintbrush. The stain may not be immediately visible, so be careful not to step in it or place a handprint on it.
Mop the rest of the floor with the sponge mop and a thin coat, doing a section at a time. This will ensure that all areas are covered without a need to step back onto stained areas. Completely cover the floor without leaving streaks while working the stain evenly onto all the surface areas. Allow the floor to dry for four hours, or overnight.
Apply a second coat if you desire a darker, richer color. Mop the stain on in a different pattern to ensure that there are no streaks or over-stained places. Allow the floor to dry for several days and then apply a commercial sealant, using a paintbrush and roller or mop the same as you applied the stain.
- The color will turn darker over several days as the acid continues to work. Washing the floor with 1/2 cupful of baking soda in a gallon of water after it dries from the stain stops the acid if you prefer a lighter color. Rinse the baking soda completely off the surface when you finish.
- Always wear safety equipment when working with acidic stains.
Jack Burton started writing professionally in 1980 with articles in "Word from Jerusalem," "ICEJ Daily News" and Tagalong Garden News. He has managed radio stations, TV studios and newspapers, and was the chief fundraiser for Taltree Arboretum. Burton holds a B.S. in broadcasting from John Brown University. He is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserves and the Navy Seabees.