Stained for Good: The Art of Concrete Staining

Let’s get one thing straight: plain, gray concrete is best used in military bunkers. Other than that, it’s downright boring. What can you do to spice up the gloom into glam? There’s one solution: stain it.

Image taken from www.thatisconcrete.com.

If you’re a parent, the word “stain” probably doesn’t make you think of a beautiful, antique floor. Nonetheless, staining is a great way to turn a slab of gray into luxurious floor that looks like it predates the Civil War. Staining is a great way to turn a slab of gray into luxurious tones of brown, green, even blue. Concrete experts generally use one of two ways to stain concrete: acid and water-based stains. Each one has a specific purpose, but which one should you use?

Pick One

Staining concrete takes time and effort, but the results can be beautiful.

  • Acid stains are made up of metallic salt minerals dissolved into a water-acid mixture. The acids allow for a chemical reaction during the curing process that permanently changes the surface of the concrete in color and texture.
Acid stained porch in Colorado. Image taken from www.denverconcretecompany.net.
  • Non-acid stains treat concrete differently than an acid stain. Instead of altering the structure of the concrete, non-acid stains create a layer over the concrete surface, filling pores and leaving behind a flat, smooth finish.
Non-acid stained concrete. Image taken from www.super-krete.com.

Do Your Prepwork

According to industry experts, the best way to stain concrete is as follows:

  • Thoroughly clean and prepare concrete
  • Apply concrete stain
  • Clean up and neutralize concrete stain
  • Seal concrete for lasting protection

In order to stain concrete, the concrete must be cured to its proper strength. This can take up to 48 hours (which feels more like forever than it actually is), but with concrete curing products this time can be nearly cut in half. Powerblanket’s Concrete Curing Blanket helps keep concrete at stable temperatures above 50°F, making cure time 2.8 times faster than open air curing. This is especially helpful when staining concrete in places where temperatures are variable or close to freezing. Make sure your concrete creation cures correctly.

Once the concrete is cured, you can move on to the staining process. Begin washing down the concrete surface. You won’t want any food crumbs or shoe scuff marks to get in the way of the stain, so make sure to give it a good scrub down. Also remove any layers of glue, sealers or curing membranes that might prevent the stain from contacting the concrete. Finally, apply a concrete acid cleanser to the project surface to ensure the concrete is as porous as possible. Once it has dried, rinse the concrete with water.

Let The Staining Begin

The time has arrived to forever change the way your concrete looks. After the concrete is no longer wet from rinsing, use a brush to spread the stain across the project surface. If it’s a puddle you can splash in (don’t), it’s too thick. If it disappears right after applying it (i.e. it absorbed into the concrete), you need more.

Image taken from www.lovelyimperfection.com, a concrete DIY blog.

Once your initial layer is down, allow 24 hours of drying before doing another layer of stain, even if it’s the same color of stain.

Most stains have difficulty drying in cold temperatures. If you can’t help but do a concrete staining project in the dead of winter, a Concrete Curing Blanket can save the day, allowing the stain to dry within a controlled environment.

Protect Your Project

You’re so close to being done! After the stain has dried, use a sealer or wax to protect the stain from dirt or grime that could change the color or texture over time. You’ll need to regularly clean the project surface, but don’t use powerful chemicals like bleach, vinegar or ammonia. Such solutions can damage stained concrete. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?

Image taken from www.kronion.pw.

Finally, bask in your work. Enjoy the fruit of your labors by eating a large bowl of grapes on your newly stained concrete patio, kitchen counter, table top, or garage floor.

The Wonders of Concrete: From Creativity to Concrete Curing

When most people think about concrete, their minds quickly turn to the common, grey, lifeless slabs that we walk and drive on. You can’t fault anyone for envisioning concrete in this way, but is it really a fair representation of such a versatile and varied construction material? We don’t think so. From creativity to curing, concrete is a truly amazing product.

 

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Concrete’s Real Potential

If you’re one of the individuals whose thoughts turn to sidewalks, interstates, overpasses, and patios when you hear the word concrete, well, it’s really to be expected. These forms of concrete application are certainly the most common. But there are also many other common uses that the typical person may not been clued in to.

Instead of settling on the usual image of concrete, take a chance to expand your horizon. Have you ever stopped to think about the many different types of pavement that exist? The fact of the matter is that much of the pavement you’ve seen, both indoor and outdoor, is some form of concrete. You see, concrete has possibilities for design that many people never even stop to consider.

 

The Wonders of Concrete- From Creativity to Concrete Curing 2

Decorative Concrete

For those in the know, concrete that falls outside of the stereotypical application and image is known as decorative concrete. And what some people have been able to do with decorative concrete is simply amazing.

Take for example the patterns that skilled concrete layers have been able to weave into what would otherwise be a very boring driveway. Perhaps you’ve seen the same techniques employed in outdoor walkways in and around historic downtown districts, malls, or river walks. Think of the innumerable possibilities that exist with such a method. Think of this, and you’ve only scratched the surface, though.

Even with as many outdoor uses concrete has, there are just as many indoor application methods. In fact, these types are the most stunning. Take a look at the picture below the driveway. Looks like tile; doesn’t it? Nope, it’s concrete, decorative concrete that has been designed to look like a very impressive tile pattern. Now take a look at the image below that. Looks like laminate wood flooring; doesn’t it? Actually, it’s concrete too.

This sort of thing is quite the surprise; isn’t it? For those who first venture into the realm of decorative concrete, the possibilities at first seem almost unbelievable. Oh, but they’re a very real and valuable way to make expanded use of one of the world’s most common construction products. To find more great examples of concrete usage, just type into Google: “decorative concrete” (under an images search).

 

Powerblanket and Concrete

If you’re in the concrete business, then you know how much freezing temperatures are an enemy to concrete curing. Well, whether you’re pouring concrete to create the usual, grey slab of strong and reliable stuff or your working concrete into a work of art, Powerblanket has you covered.

With Powerblanket® Concrete Curing Blankets, you can ensure the proper and ideal curing of concrete even in freezing conditions. You’ve never pour concrete in the cold? Well, how would you like your curing process to go nearly three times faster? In either occasion, Powerblanket can help.

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