Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

How to Stain Concrete - A General Look at How to Breathe New Life Into Your Concrete

March 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 187

The type of concrete stain you prefer will determine your specific preparation steps. No matter what type of stain is used, all require adequate cleaning and preparation of the surface. Do not skip this step. It will affect your overall results and new concrete is no exception.

Preparation: First, gather all supplies and tools needed. These include personal protective equipment and clothing. If you are dealing with acid or reactive stains be sure to wear appropriate protective clothing including thick pants and socks, long sleeves, safety glasses and gloves. Next, use paper or plastic to mask off and protect the areas you are not staining. If you are acid staining outdoors, protect nearby vegetation or find an eco-friendly stain that will not harm your lawn or plants.

Note: If you are using tape, make sure the tape adhesion does not leave behind any sticky residue; this will affect the look of your handiwork.

Repair cracks or flaws in your existing concrete. Use as close to a cementitious material as possible when filling in cracks. Differences in texture can create differences in the color and finish. Different levels of porosity in your concrete will affect how well the stain or dyes penetrate.

Preparing your concrete also includes removing discoloration, residue, previous sealers, coatings, debris, efflorescence, etc. If your concrete has been treated with water repellant or curing compounds then consider removing them as this can prevent penetrating coatings from absorbing and bonding. The type of coating or contaminant you are trying to remove will determine what type of stripping agent you should use. Be sure to wash off any stripping or cleaning residue and wait for the concrete to dry completely before staining your concrete.

Note: If you are going to acid-stain, do not use acid-based cleaners or etching agents for prepping your concrete as they will effect the penetration of the stain.

In many cases, proper pressure washing is required to ensure the concrete pores are open and to remove obstructing particles. This rule applies even to new concrete. If you are prepping an interior surface where pressure washing is not an option, light acid washing, grinding, stripping or etching practices should be utilized. Again, wash off any residue left behind from your chosen preparation technique and wait for the concrete to dry before beginning to stain. Note: If you've just poured your concrete, make sure it has cured appropriately before beginning any decorative treatments on it. Refer to the product label.

Test it: You're almost ready to start staining. Before you begin, however, test a small area of the surface with your chosen product to make sure you have the right color, adhesion, consistency etc. It is important to remember to use a manufacturer's color chart as a guide only. Each concrete surface can vary in texture, porosity, age, temperature and more, effecting the penetration, shade and even the consistency of your stain.

Staining: The stain application process differs depending on the type of stain you are using. We will focus on three main types of stain: acid stains, water-based stains and dyes.

Acid Stains: Mix the stain as directed by the manufacturer. Start in one corner of the area and stain from one side to the other. Then repeat in a typewriter like fashion being careful to not step on any wet, stained areas.Note: It is important to ventilate the area.

After letting the first coat dry, which can sometimes take up to 24 hours, you can repeat the process for applying a second coat. If you are looking for a rich, marbled or textured look, the successive coats are applied in the same manner, but more selectively. You can continue to add textures and layers in different colors to your liking.

Acid staining may be applied with a sprayer, sponge or rag. It is suggested while one worker sprays, another follows with brushing. The brush strokes are then sprayed over one more time. This will prevent any evidence of what method you used being visible in your stain. You can spray on the stain, roll it on or brush it in depending on the manufacturer's recommendations. Again, sometimes it is best to use more than one method.

Acid based stain must be neutralized after application. Residue from the hydrochloric acid etching must be removed and the surface neutralized to ensure proper adhesion of the sealant. Wash the surface until nothing but clear water is visible.

Water-based stains: Mix the stain as directed by the manufacturer. Again, an easy way to apply the stain is to start in one corner and work your way to the opposite corner applying the stain from side to side. Some stains may require a re-brooming technique because of how the pigments are suspended in the mix. Other stains can be sprayed on with a standard HVLP sprayer. Be sure to read and refer to all instructions from the manufacturer in order to apply the stain correctly.

With water based stains, there is no chemical reaction taking place between the stain and the concrete as the stain simply penetrates into the concrete's pores. Therefore, neutralizing the stain after application is unnecessary.

Dyes: Dyes may be solvent or water based. Many dyes are formulated specifically for use with polished concrete surfaces and should be used only for such purposes. Mix and dilute the dye according to the instructions. To apply, grind the concrete slab up to 200-400 grit resin level.

Note: The grit level you apply the dye at may vary if the dye is water-based vs. solvent-based. Read the instructions for the specific dye you have purchased.

Next, apply the dye according the manufacturer's instructions. A good approach would be to spray the dye in a consistent, overlapping circular motion. Once the dye has dried, perform a white rag test and clean off any excess material. Two applications of the dye may be necessary. After you have polished the concrete slab to 400 grit resin (again, this number may be different depending on the type of dye used), apply the second application of dye. Finish by cleaning off any residual dye and polishing the surface again.

Note: Some dyes are not meant to be installed on exterior surfaces.

Sealing: Once you have stained the concrete to your liking and let it dry for the recommended amount of time, you are ready to apply a concrete sealer. It is important to find a sealer compatible with the stain you have used. Contact the manufacturer for more information. Remember, some sealers will leave a slick, slippery surface. If this is a concern look for a skid resistant sealer or non-skid additives that can be mixed into your sealer.

Sealers can be brushed, sprayed or rolled on. No matter what method you use, be sure to apply adequate, thin layers, especially when using water-based acrylics. Sealers that are applied too heavily or too sparingly can ruin the look of your surface and leave you with more work to do. Usually more than one coat is recommended. Be sure to let the first coat dry sufficiently before applying another coat.

Note: High speed burnishing may be required for sealers formulated specifically for dyes and polished concrete surfaces.

After your sealer has finished drying you can further protect your masterpiece with a floor finish, or wax. You can apply the floor finish much like the sealer, applying more coats only after the prior coat has finished drying. Some wax coatings require a buffed finish. Again, be sure to read all instructions and contact the manufacturer with questions before beginning to stain or seal your concrete surface.

Note: Wax finishes are not recommended for exterior application.

Remember that even if you follow every direction and install your stain seemingly without flaws, in the end, the look is dependent on the condition of your concrete and the products used. It may not be possible to completely hide a badly damaged concrete slab with semi-transparent stains.

NewLook International is the leading manufacturer of premium and innovative decorative concrete solutions. Our revolutionary and proven systems have been used since 1989 by industry professionals and property owners alike to dramatically enhance the image of concrete. Whether you are a concrete contractor, decorative concrete supplier, architect, designer or DIY customer, NewLook has a specific range of innovative and environmentally friendly products that will compliment your own range of solutions--making us your experts in surface enhancing solutions!

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:







How To




Decorative Concrete


Water Based Stains


Acid Staining



There is different types of locksmiths available to install, maintain and repair locks and keys. Here in this article, we are going to discuss four major types of professional locksmiths. The most

By: jamescor l Home Improvement > Security l April 03, 2013 lViews: 563

Another point to note is that the leather sofas can come both in contemporary and traditional designs. Indeed, the traditional Chesterfield sofa. Another point to note is that the leather sofas can

By: Simon Liva l Home Improvement > Furniture l December 23, 2012 lViews: 260

A bathroom is not simply a room in the house for you to bathe, get dressed and do the usual necessities. Today, the bathroom is where you unwind and relax from all the anxiety of the day. For this

By: jhon ford l Home Improvement > Bath and Shower l December 23, 2012 lViews: 273

These bathroom designers know and understand your requirements and have the power to convert your imagination into reality. These bathroom designers know and understand your requirements and have the

By: Simon Liva l Home Improvement > Bath and Shower l December 23, 2012 lViews: 1189

Having the baby furniture ready before your baby comes is not only practical but makes the choosing and designing of the baby’s room fun. The reason for this is that you can take a longer time in

By: Leanne Smith l Home Improvement > Furniture l December 14, 2012 lViews: 284

With a team of professionals around, you don’t need to worry about the health of the carpet. A Professional carpet Melbourne Company refrains from using harmful chemicals to accomplish their task.

By: Simon Liva l Home Improvement > Cleaning Tips and Tools l December 12, 2012 lViews: 445

The best way to get rid of driveway cracks is by taking care of it. You can do this yourself or get help from driveway repair services. Year after year, inclement weather and heat can wear out your

By: Joyce R Kiml Home Improvement > Concretel June 05, 2012 lViews: 276

A water based concrete driveway sealer may feature emulsive particles that are mixed with water. These particles sink into the porous paver of your driveway and stay there when the water evaporates.

By: Rex Masterl Home Improvement > Concretel June 04, 2012 lViews: 213

There are many good reasons you should use a water based penetrating concrete sealer. First of all, this sealant is really effective.

By: Rex Masterl Home Improvement > Concretel May 28, 2012 lViews: 387

For a long time, homeowners and commercial property owners alike viewed concrete as a purely functional material, seeing it merely as something useful for bland looking sidewalks, driveways,

By: Shawn Farnerl Home Improvement > Concretel May 22, 2012 lViews: 207

Building a patio in your garden allows you to make far more use of the space. Patios are the ideal space for entertaining in good weather, and even when the weather is less pleasant, a patio can be

By: O Reynoldsl Home Improvement > Concretel May 21, 2012 lViews: 454

If you are reconstructing your driveway, patio, or walkway, you should get a concrete sealant. This product will provide protection against external elements such as dirt, dust, and water.

By: Rex Masterl Home Improvement > Concretel May 16, 2012 lViews: 215

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus