Concrete Staining & Designs
Through the use of concrete stains, dyes, and scoring designs into the surface the possibilities are endless. Staining imparts a luxurious richness that is not achievable by any other coloring medium. Concrete stains and dyes do not produce a solid, opaque effect like paint. Stains and dyes permeate the concrete to infuse it with luminous, translucent tones that will vary throughout depending on the surface they are applied to and the application techniques used. The results that occur can mimic everything from polished marble to tanned leather to natural stone or even stained wood.
Stains and dyes for concrete come in two basic categories. They are acid-based or water-based. Both types of stains can be applied to new or old and plain or integrally colored concrete. They are especially effective for revitalizing dull, lackluster surfaces. Because they penetrate the concrete surface, most stains have excellent UV stability and wear resistance, permitting their use on interior or exterior concrete.
Most acid stains are a mixture of water, hydrochloric acid and acid-soluble metallic salts. They work by penetrating the surface and reacting chemically with the hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) in the concrete. The acid in the stain lightly etches the surface, allowing the metallic salts to penetrate more easily. Once the stain reacts, it becomes a permanent part of the concrete and won’t fade, chip off or peel away. The palette for acid-etch staining is generally limited to earthy tones, such as tans, browns, terra cottas and soft blue-greens.
If you are looking for a wider palette of colors and want to go beyond the subtle drama and subdued earth-tones of acid stains then water-based is the way to go. Water-based concrete stains provide a much broader spectrum of colors. Most manufacturers offer dozens of standard colors, including black and white and even metallic tints. Similar to acid stains, water-based stains penetrate the concrete to produce permanent color, ranging from translucent to opaque depending on the product. Like stains for wood, concrete stains are semi-transparent and are intended to enhance and not disguise the concrete surface. They will not hide, cracks, blemishes or other flaws in existing concrete surfaces. An existing concrete slab with major cracks or spalling is usually not a good candidate for staining because any patchwork is likely to show right through the stain.
Because stains must be able to soak into the concrete to achieve full color saturation, they shouldn’t be applied to surfaces covered by anything that can inhibit stain penetration, such as dirt, grease, glues, coatings, curing membranes and sealers.
- Pool Decks
- Residential Interiors
- Commercial Interiors
- Garage Floors