What is concrete staining? This is an effective method of transforming the aesthetic appearance of utilitarian concrete into something that is also very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Concrete staining uses a water-based acidic solution to yield a beautiful mottled and variegated appearance, resembling marble or granite. The effect can be quite dramatic and is perfect for outdoor patios, indoor sunrooms, poolside pavilions, stately driveways, and large interior walkways. Stained concrete can also be used on interior walls and countertops to create a truly custom look and feel.
Concrete staining does not coat the concrete. Instead, the metallic salts in the acid solution interact chemically with the limestone and other minerals in the concrete. This forms a permanent bonds that cannot peel away like paint. The resulting coloration is translucent with a typical penetration of about 1/16 to 1/32 inch deep.
Part of the appeal to concrete staining is that it creates a truly unique appearance. Each piece of concrete reacts in a unique way to staining. Therefore, instead of the uniform mundane appearance that opaque paint and traditional stains give, concrete staining results in a surface that could never be duplicated in appearance. This gives more original character to a place.
It should be noted that newer concrete will take the stain better than older concrete. This is because older concrete, especially if outdoors and exposed to water, will have leached out much more of the lime so the stain has less lime to react with. Older concrete will also require more prep work before it can be stained. On the other hand, staining older concrete can give it new life and new character. Its age can also result in something as unique and full of character as a old piece of hardwood full of knots and twists. If staining is used on an outer concrete driveway for instance, it can instantly transform the first appearance of a house and give nice curb appeal.
Concrete staining can be a very difficult as a do it yourself (DIY) project. For the stain to be applied evenly, the concrete must first be prepared properly. This involves an intensive cleaning process and an etching process so the stain can penetrate deep into the concrete. It also requires that the stain be applied in a way that no streaks are left. Also critical to the process is a professional sealant applied after the staining process is finished and any surface excess removed. For these reasons, it is best to hire a professional with a experience in concrete staining to do the job.
No matter how concrete staining is used, it exudes great visual appeal while remaining as fully functional and utilitarian as any other piece of concrete. Concrete staining is also a relatively economical option that should appeal to many home owners and business owners as a way to add class without breaking the bank.