Are you tired of looking at plain dull concrete around your home? Have you seen beautifully colored concrete and wondered how it's done? It's not difficult and can be done by the average do-it-yourselfer.
Concrete staining is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to decorate new and existing concrete surfaces. Staining can transform your concrete surface into a stunning and unique masterpiece with little cost compared to other decorative methods such as stamping. Concrete staining is excellent for patios, porches, driveways and even interior floors like kitchens and basements.
The two common types of concrete stains are acid and acrylic. Acid stains are the popular choice; however, some concrete surfaces have too many cosmetic defects for acid staining. Acid stains will actually highlight any defects and variations on the surface. Also, older concrete looses its ability to react with acid stains because the free lime that is needed for the reaction leeches away over time. Although the natural coloring of acid stains cannot be paralleled with other types of concrete stains, the marbled and multihued appearance can be created with acrylic stains using faux finish staining techniques.
There are benefits to faux finish staining with acrylic stains, the biggest being the wide array of colors to choose from. Using acrylic stains, you can incorporate more vibrant colors with endless options for color schemes and patterns. Acid stains are only available in earth tones of browns, blues, and reds. It is feasible to faux finish with both acid and acrylic stains together. Maybe you have your heart set on acid staining but want to add a little zest with some brightly colored acrylic stains. Your choices are only limited by your imagination.
Another advantage of faux finish staining with acrylic stains is having control over the outcome or final appearance. Because acrylic stains are more like dyes, they will help mask cosmetic defects and you know exactly what shades and colors you'll end up with.
Faux finish staining with acrylic stains allows you total control over the variations and patterns created. With acid staining, aside from choosing the color, you have no control over the variations created by the reactive coloring process. Even though the surface appears to be consistent before staining, it is in fact quite the opposite and acid stains will highlight any inconsistencies. Also, you can never be sure what shades of the chosen color you're going to get until it's finished and sealed.
Because faux finish painting has become popular for enhancing interior walls, why not apply similar methods with concrete stains to jazz up a patio or basement floor. You don't have to settle for boring gray concrete even if it's been there for years. The techniques used for staining concrete differ somewhat from painting walls because you're working on a horizontal surface as opposed to a vertical surface, but the concept behind both remains the same.
Kirk Muhlhauser is a residential concrete contractor who offers ideas and instructions for enhancing your home's concrete surfaces. Find detailed information about concrete staining, painting, sealing, and repairing at http://www.all-things-concrete.com