CD Designs Blog

    How to Stain Concrete

    Imprinted Concrete Driveway

    Stained and Pattern Imprinted Concrete

    Staining concrete is a great technique to consider for pretty much any pattern imprinted concrete driveway, patio, internal floor, or other concrete project. It is fairly easy to do, and inexpensive, and you can use it to get pretty much any colour and style of finish that you desire, from polished wood to marble and other stone effects. Done well, it is almost indistinguishable from the real thing, but can you really do it yourself? Of course! Below we will tell you how.

    1. First of all, choose the staining method. the three choices are
      • Acid stain, which is actually a chemical reaction between acid and concrete surface, producing a unique colour depending on the acid being used.
      • Acetone dye, which is available in dozens of colours, and stains the concrete using coloured particles suspended in a solution.
      • Water-based stain, which is basically an acrylic dye and works in a similar manner to acetone.

      There are pros and cons to each. Acid staining is a bit more imprecise than the others, as it relies on a chemical reaction rather than specific colours, so it is impossible to guarantee exactly what you are going to get. Also, it usually gives you earthy colours and tints. Acetone has a wide range of colours and is pretty precise, but doesn’t give quite the same look as acid stains – it gives more of a bright solid colour, without much texture. Water-based stains are available in a more limited choice of colours and they are often used in corrective work. The choice is up to you, depending on what you want.

    2. Next, you need to prepare the surface. Make absolutely sure that it is clean and dry before getting started. Also, you should apply the colour before you apply any additives, sealers or coatings, as these can and will interfere with the colouring process.
    3. Time to apply the colour! Make sure you wear protective clothing, as the materials used here are pretty corrosive. Also protect any areas that you don’t want stained. the stain is usually applied with a sprayer or a brush. Try to get it as even as possible.
    4. After applying the colour, you need to seal the surface, with a sealer that is compatible with the method of staining that you used. Make sure you research this carefully.

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