Staining concrete?

lil_rhody(z6b RI coast)July 24, 2004

I was watching a TV segment on landscape design where the designer stained the concrete patio a terracotta color. The steps where not shown but the finished product looked very appealing as opposed to the drab plain color of grey concrete.

1) Can anyone recommend the name of a preferred product and/or pros and cons of staining concrete?

2) Are there any secrets/tips to the application of stain?

3) How long will the stain last?

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Liviu(3a AB)

I was probably done through what they call "acid staining" method. You can do an Internet research on this topic.
The results are always earthly colours (green, brown, red) depending on the chemicals involved.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 2:54PM
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lil_rhody(z6b RI coast)

I found mixed imformation concerning "acid staining", "acid etching" before staining, etc. I'm really only interested in a one step process if that is at all possible. I don't want a 3 step process. The TV segment I viewed showed them applying a stain, that's all.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 12:10PM
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pondwelr(z5 WI)

Paul, I watched a Hometime episode where the basement floor was washed, stained, waxed and buffed to be the finished floor. Perhaps the first washing step was called acid etching, dont remember.

Then too, I've seen Curb Appeal episodes where the old front porch was stained; even one where the front sidewalk was stained. Most stains that have a lot of colorant added look like paint because they do, in fact, have paint in the oily stain. I am thinking of Terra Cotta, Cedar Gray, etc.
A clear stain obviously wont do much to change the original concrete color.

When my patio was poured, I had colored 'crete. i.e. the color is thru and thru. One easy and inexpensive way to color your porch, say, is to add a thin layer of colored 'crete atop the old. Chips will show of course, but I imagine it will last longer than concrete paint.

I may experiment in the storage area of my basement just to see if I could get a nice color in old grey concrete. My front porch could use a fix up.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 5:36PM
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I have this book "Landscape Makeovers" an HGTV product. They refer to a concrete "stain" project and then say use exterior concrete "paint"(two coats), also clean first with TSP, so....this probably does not help. Try

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 9:14PM
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CaliforniaDreamin(z9 CA Coast)

Hmmm... I'm curious about the same thing (staining) for my driveway. Lil Rhody let me know if you find a good solution.

Also, we have a concrete patio that I was thinking of painting a terra cotta color, as a quick, inexpensive way to make it look better. But that comment by pondwelr is making me wonder if it would be best to re-cover with a colored concrete. Is that a easy enough do-it-yourself project?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2004 at 4:19PM
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Hi Paul, try this link, and/or do a search on google or some other search engine for staining concrete with Iron Sulphate.

good luck, linda

Here is a link that might be useful: staining with iron sulphate

    Bookmark   September 19, 2004 at 8:36PM
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tabbycat(8b swGa)

I've saved a magazine clip - Southern Living Garden Guide, Spring 2002 - which names Scofield Lithochrome Chemstain. This project used a color called Padre Brown and a darker color (or extra coats of same??) along the score lines. It says the stains that are specifically for concrete actually etch the surface and claims it will hold up well. Two coats are recommended, one gallon covers 150-200 sf with a single coat. Looks very nice in these pics.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 8:48AM
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funktree(z9 norCA)

superdeck makes 10 colors, and has some good info and a FAQ

Make sure you check out the photo gallery there's a slab with a geometric design that I want to copy someday.

Here is a link that might be useful: Super Deck Concrete Stains

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 11:54PM
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Superdeck isn't an actual acid stain. It's a paint type product. Check out Kemiko, the Stamp Store, Concrete Depot, Fabcrete to see real acid stains

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 8:32AM
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You can get Concrete Stain at Lowes in about any color you want. I found a Oops for $5 a gallon.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 1:43AM
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Lowes doesn't sell real concrete stain. If it's in a metal can, it's not acid stain

here's a clip from

Add to that the fact that unlike others floor finishes, acid stain is translucent. Rather than covering the slab with color, it creates a chemical reaction that transforms the color of the concrete itself. It doesnÂt cover up the imperfections in the slab, it accentuates them.

here are some links

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 7:00PM
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Just found this thread...Last summer I used Behr Concrete Stain from Home Depot on my concrete front porch. Looks great! Comes in several colors too.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:19AM
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Hey all you guys are really needing to look at my site, I can answer all your questions regarding staining concrete. I utilize several processes: Acid; Pigmented; or Dye. I also provide topical treatments in the areans of repair services or, what is called 'Kool-Decking.' I work residential or commercial, interior or exterior. My contact information is on the site. I also have a FAQ page. But if you are in a hurry call me @ 404-290-3198.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 3:41PM
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This is our garage floor which we stained ourselves about 10 yrs. ago,using H&C stain and a stencil purchased at SW, it's best to clean the concrete first with TSP, rinse good, let dry, then stain, then coat with the H&C clear coat.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:27AM
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Anyone interested in Kemiko, be VERY careful. I just had a botched job that left my floor looking horrible. It's the FIRST thing people say when they see it "Is it SUPPOSED to look this way". Builder sent in a regional sales rep from Scranton PA for a rehearsed act with the applicator claiming it looked perfect. Once they screw it up you can't really fix it. I'd NEVER use this product again.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:34PM
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jordanz(8A (Mojave Desert))

What about staining a bunch of 1'x1' concrete pavers? We layed a concrete paver back porch with a couple hundred of them. And they are surrounded by grass that gets watered several times a week. Can I stain them or will they not hold up to getting wet all the time?

If so, how long do they have to dry before I can resume watering again?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:45PM
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