Horizontal surface retarder

SpecEtch is a spray-applied, chemical surface retarder specifically formulated to expose the aggregate in freshly placed horizontal concrete. This product is designed to not alter the natural color of the aggregate or concrete, making it ideal for creating decorative finishes. SpecEtch is non-flammable, VOC compliant, and comes ready to use.

  • Non-Flammable & VOC Compliant: Safe and environmentally friendly.
  • Color Enhancing: Maintains the natural color of concrete and aggregate.
  • Ready-to-Use: Simplifies the application process.
  • Red Dyed: Makes application visible to ensure even coverage.
  • Typical Etch Depth: Achieves an etch of 1/4” to 3/8”, suitable for aggregates ranging from 1/4″ to 1/2″.

Tech Sheet
Safety Sheet
Sell Sheet


  • Preparation: Float, screed, or trowel the concrete surface level but avoid overworking, which may drive the aggregate below the desired depth.
  • Application Rate: Approximately 150 square feet per gallon. Apply evenly as soon as surface water has disappeared using a garden-type sprayer, avoiding puddles.
  • Curing: Cover the treated area with plastic sheeting (preferably black), ensuring the edges are secured. Allow curing for 12 to 24 hours depending on temperature and conditions, periodically checking the set of the concrete.
  • Exposure: Once the desired etch depth is achieved, remove the plastic and flush the surface with a garden hose and stiff broom. A pressure washer may be used carefully to expose the aggregate.


  • SpecEtch is available in 55-gallon drums and 5-gallon pails.

Shelf Life

  • The shelf life of SpecEtch is one year from the date of manufacture when stored in properly sealed containers.
  • Protect from freezing and store in a dry environment.


  • Rate: 100 – 200 square feet per gallon, depending on application techniques and surface conditions.