WOODLANDS DECORATIVE CONCRETE
Stained Concrete is Always a Big Hit
The sky's the limit for decorative concrete acid and water-based staining. Chemical concrete stains are used to create rich, looks that resemble natural stone, marble, and wood. New options mean contractors aren't limited to earth tones as it was in the past. Water and solvent-based dyes are available in a host of colors including soft pastels, vivid reds, oranges, yellows, and purples. Interestingly, new stain products take less time to apply. They're also safer to use.
Concrete stains are a mixture of water, hydrochloric acid, and acid-soluble metallic salts. Since concrete is porous, the introduction of stain causes a chemical reaction. The stain then becomes a permanent part of the concrete that won't fade, chip, or peel. Concrete stains are also translucent. Stains react differently according to the condition of the concrete. The final product always has a unique color and pattern.
How the staining process works
The process is different based on the stain that's being used, whether the job is indoors or outdoors and the desired effect. It's always best to follow the instructions that come with the product you use. Staining concrete has four steps:
Home and business owners will enjoy the variety of concrete colors. Acid stains provide different variations of earth tones, while a wider variety of colors are found in water-based stains including black, white, yellow, and orange. Further, experienced contractors know how to blend colors to create a custom shade.
Concrete Acid Stains
Acid Stains can be used indoors and outdoors. Acid stains cause a chemical reaction in concrete. The reaction changes the color and leaves a pattern. The color is permanent and durable resulting in deep tones that create unique designs.
Choosing the Right Stain for Your Project
Water-based concrete stains are relatively new on the market. There is no chemical reaction when using a water-based stain. The product is UV stable and can be used indoors and outdoors. The main difference between water-based and acid-based stains is the variety of colors.
Water-based stains have more vibrant colors, but you won't see the unique patters associated with acid-based stains. A lot of contractors prefer water-based stains because the application is safer and the product dries faster. Water-based stains come in three forms: solid color, semi-transparent, and acrylic.
Outdoor Concrete Stain
Staining is one of the best ways to give exterior concrete a facelift if the concrete is in relatively good condition. A simple gray slab will be transformed into a work of art in just a couple of days. Acid stains may be a better choice for outdoor use. However, water-based stains can be used, but you'll need to reseal often. The best stain for an outdoor job really depends on the look the homeowner wants to achieve.
Indoor Concrete Stain
Stained concrete floors look amazing in homes and offices. Additionally, acid-based stains have an added bonus. They're good for high-traffic areas because of the durability factor. The marbled effect blends well with a variety of furniture styles. Water-based stains should be used for more modern designs.
Stain, Paint, or Dye?
Stains penetrate concrete's surface leaving a durable, unique color. Stains are available in earth tones. Flaws in the concrete show through, and the flaws give the finish a warm, rustic look. Stains are for those who enjoy a natural look.
Concrete paint coats the surface and eventually peels away. Paint is more susceptible to wear and tear than a stain. Paint leaves a solid color and can be used indoors or outdoors. Paint is best for concrete that needs to be covered because it's stained.
Concrete dyes offer vibrant color choices such as yellow, blue, and purple. Dyes can be used with stains to magnify the final effect. Dyes are transparent, dry quickly, and the clean-up is easier. A dye is a better choice for people who want vibrant color and need the job finished quickly.
Can New Concrete Be Stained?
New concrete can be stained after it's fully cured. Curing time varies but it usually takes about 28 days. Concrete cures faster if the mix is stiff and/or the temperature is warm.
Can Concrete be Re-stained?
It's easy to re-stain concrete if you want to refresh the surface or you're unhappy with the color. Use water-based stains or dyes to restore faded concrete, making sure all sealants are removed before re-staining. It's easy to make a stain darker rather than lighter. That's why contractors apply diluted stain in layers. They check after each layer to see if they have the correct look.