A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Stain Concrete

Do you have an existing, or do you want to construct a new driveway, patio, walkway, countertop, floor, and any other concrete structure? Do you want it to be the most adorable piece of art in your compound? If you do, why not consider concrete staining?

Staining concrete is a great experience. For many, they need to look for highly experienced and skilled decorative concrete contractors to do the job. However, some homeowners believe in themselves and do the job for themselves. The fact of the matter is, whether you are a professional or not, concrete staining is not an event, it is a process that needs to be followed to the letter, if getting desirable results is anything to go by.

Here is a step by step guide on how to stain concrete for any professional, or DIY fanatic.

Prepare the surface

Surface preparation is the first and the most important step in concrete staining. Whether you are staining an old or a new concrete surface, you cannot afford to shun away from through surface preparation. Most concrete stains are translucent in nature, and if they are not (such as water-based stains), they are applied lightly to create a translucent, and aesthetically appealing surface. That said, leaving any residual will give it outright visibility through the newly applied stains; hence it will not bring out the most desirable results.

If done properly and carefully, this initial step is what determines the overall appearance of the end product. You can use specially formulated cleaners from your stain manufacturer, or mechanical grinders for a perfect job.

Efficiently apply the decorative stain

After you are sure that your surface is perfectly prepared, it is time to do what you love doing; staining concrete. Below is how to do it.

  • Protect the door frames, and walls you don’t want to stain by masking them off
  • Dilute the stains with water according to your manufacturer’s instructions
  • Use a brush or sprayers to apply the first coat. To save time by ensuring maximum speed, use sprayers instead of brushes. Popular sprayers around the world include;
  • HVLP sprayers
  • Airless sprayers
  • Pump sprayers
  • Production guns
  • Trigger spray bottle

However, if you have the attention to detail personality, you can use a sponge or brush, which will give you an opportunity to take maximum control of the staining process.

Let the stain dry

Do not assume that your surface is ready as soon as you apply the stain. Give it enough time to dry before you can do anything else to the surface. The time it takes for a stained concrete surface to dry is dependent on an array of factors including;

  • Temperature
  • Air flow and,
  • Humidity

In optimum conditions, it takes a maximum of 20 minutes for stains to dry, but it might take upto 24 hours for them to completely cure.

If you desire to use more than one color, repeat this procedure. Most stain manufacturers around the world recommend that you wait for 2-3 hours between the applications.

Remove the residue

After the application is complete, it is now prudent to clean the surface using the following basic clean-up procedure;

  • Rinse the concrete several times with water until the water is sparkling clean
  • Use neutralizing agents such as baking soda, ammonia, and others recommended by your manufacturer if you used acid-based stains. Water-based stains do not require any form of neutralization.

Add an efficient and quality protection coat

Apply the sealer of your choice after the stained concrete is completely cured. To ensure utmost durability and low maintenance, make sure you go for the best sealants in the market, you can consult a reputable and trusted decorative concrete contractor on this.

The type of sealer you use depends on the level of gloss you need, and whether the concrete is in your indoor or outdoor space.

You can also add wax or a floor finish to add extra protection against scratches and scuffs.


5 Stained Concrete Designs You Should Give A Try

In the past, people feared using concrete in their homes, due to the greyish official appearance it had. It was widely used in commercial premises, especially in areas that received massive foot traffic especially warehouses and garage areas. However, with the invention of stained concrete, this has changed. Today, you will find beautiful structures in homes across the world made of concrete. From patios, driveways, walkways, pavements, pool decks, floors, countertops, fireplaces, and many other elements in both the indoor and outdoor space, stained concrete has played an integral part in transforming the look of modern homes.

Whether you need a decorative surface for your concrete patio, floor, pool decks, or driveway, staining is the best way to go. It does not only provide the best curb appeal without a price tag, but it also offers utmost durability and superb versatility that you cannot find in any other material.

Staining is a great method of coloring concrete because it penetrates deeper; hence it’s difficult for the colors to fade, chip, peel, or flake off. With a stained concrete structure, you are guaranteed that your future generations will enjoy the benefits you enjoy today as long as it is properly sealed.

With this type of decorative concrete, you can build whatever you can imagine. Below are some stained concrete design ideas you should give a try.

#1 A surface with multiple colors

Why should you settle for one color while stained concrete comes in a broad range of colors to choose from? Why not perfectly blend a few to bring out the most desirable outcomes? If you are a color enthusiast, you can create anything you can think off. Whether you need a kaleidoscope or a rainbow-inspired surface, purchase stains of different colors and do the magic. With this type of concrete, there are no limitations with what you can do. All you require is a creative mind, and the ability to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

#2 Use colors inspired by water

If you want to customize the looks of spaces that get into contact with water every now and then such as bathrooms, toilets, pool decks, and other surfaces, consider using water-inspired colors. Here, you can choose either water-based or acid-stained stains with a blue color. The color blue comes in a range of shades.  If you cannot customize the color by yourself, you can seek the services of a good decorative concrete contractor who will help you acquire the most desirable shade that will bring enviable outcomes.

#3 Use multiple color patterns

Have you ever imagined having a surface that looks like a chessboard? Does the thought look unachievable? With stained concrete, you can easily achieve this. Coming inn an array of patterns, you can customize your surface to give it a personal touch. Use stencils to control the placing of the colors.

You can create many patterns with stained concrete including plaid, flora, polka dots, swirls, and many more.

#4 Why not mimic marble?

Marble is one of the most expensive materials in the modern market. Other than spending all your fortunes purchasing it and using it for your concrete surface, you can make use of acid-based chemical stains to mimic it at a fraction of the price. Seeking the services of a professional will go a long way in making it difficult for onlookers not to believe the surface isn’t made of real marble. Simply put, do not try to do this by yourself unless you are a professional in the field.

#5 Give your surface the look of wood and natural stone

Due to their outstanding versatility, stains can be efficiently used to replicate the random effects and colors of wood and natural stones. Achieving this is not easy, and you will require to pay a skilled and professional artisan.

Using distinct types of stains, you can get a natural look of travertine, limestone, river stone, flagstone, and slate. You can also acquire different wood patterns including the reclaimed wood weathered look, chestnut, oak, and walnut.

5 Mind-Blowing Concrete Patio Design Ideas

Are you in search of a material that will give you thousands of design ideas for your patio? Concrete is what you need. It is the only material that will help you achieve any designs that you can think of thanks to its high versatility.

concrete patio 2

Concrete is commonly used by most homeowners across the world to provide hard and durable patio surfaces, as well as provide smooth and clean edging that can be used to transform your patio into any texture, style, and look of your dreams.

Concrete is easily moulded to create a patio design that can be tinted, colored, and design into whatever shape you desire. Using concrete for a patio design will create a dazzling, and attractive structure that will place you way ahead of the competition, and that will make your home an example that many will want to follow.

If you want to design a patio that will increase the value of your home, and that will complement your already beautiful landscape, below are concrete patio designs that will help you a great deal.

#1 Add the color of your choice

You can add the color of your choice to your concrete patio using various methods including staining, stamping, and painting. Since decorative concrete comes in many colors, avoid the natural greyish look of concrete, and make use of the colors you love. In fact, you can enhance the look of your patio by blending multiple colors, to bring out a design that is unique, and that conforms to your signature style. To ensure that you do not make regrettable mistakes, make sure you follow instructions to the letter. The best way to bring out the most desirable outcomes is to ignore the instincts that tell you that you are the best DIY expert and seek the services of a professional and reputable concrete contractor.

#2 Make use of decorative stone

Instead of spending a lot of time moulding your concrete to mimic other materials (it is expensive by the way), you can mix your concrete slab with decorative stones such as pebbles and quartz. These stones are cheap, and can help you come up with a design that has a stunning pebbled surface that will enhance the curb appeal of your patio.

#3 Use simple concrete moulds

There exist an array of concrete moulds in the market that come in many shapes and sizes. You can decide to use small, or large ones depending on the look you want to achieve for your patio. These moulds gives you an opportunity to showcase your creativity, and you will be able to tailor them in any way you want in order to achieve your most desirable design.

#4 Create a perfect mix of shapes and sizes

Using one large slab of concrete will rarely bring out an enviable end result. To ensure that your patio grabs the attention of every passer-by, mix different sizes and shapes of concrete slabs. Using smaller pieces with different shapes will give your patio an extra flair and edge – and will add uniqueness and innovation. Make sure the blending you create complements your outdoor space.

#5 Add designs before concrete dries

Different shape and textures are better achieved when concrete has not dried. When you pour concrete for your patio, do not allow it to cure before you can press different designs. Doing it one ‘wet’ concrete will make your work easier, save time, and enhance permanence. It is wise to seek the services of a concreting expert when applying these designs.

A concrete patio is capable of changing the overhaul look of your modern home. The above design ideas will help you achieve a functional patio you have dreamed of for years, and will surely make your outdoor space adorable to everyone.

Choosing Stamped Stamped Concrete Designs

Choosing stamped concrete designs for your project can be difficult, but there are a few things to consider before making that decision. There are many patterns and textures, but some may be more suitable than others.

First of all, don’t try to match anything. For instance, if you have brick on your house, don’t think you can match it with colored and stamped concrete. Concrete and brick are completely different materials and you will never be able to get them to match exactly. I suggest staying away from brick patterns if there are existing brick structures close by. The same goes for any other patterns.

Remember that all concrete should have control joints. These cuts have to go straight across the slab. This means they have to go straight through the pattern. For most people it’s no big deal, but can be bothersome for others. Patterns with straight lines can help hide the cuts and even make them virtually unnoticeable.

The entire slab does not have to be one single pattern and one single color. There are infinite ways to incorporate different patterns, textures, and colors. Borders and bands are the most common ways to do this. There can also be accent designs in the middle. You’re only limited by your imagination. Of course, the fancier you get, the more it’s going to cost.

Although there are many patterns out there, some of them can be next to impossible to get. Most contractors don’t own more than a few patterns but can rent ones they don’t have. The rental stores, however, don’t carry every pattern available. Some of the less popular and obscure patterns may not be available and you may have to settle for a second or third choice.

The best way to go about choosing stamped concrete designs is to look at photos. Searching through Google Images is a good place to start. Be sure to ask the contractors which patterns are available before they come out to estimate.

Make your Outdoor Patio the Perfect Winter Hangout

1. Cut down on wind chill with ceiling to floor shades

When you’ve got a craving for the outdoors in the winter, one of the strongest deterrents is often wind chill. Thankfully, you can easily diminish the wind’s effect by supplementing your space with shades or blinds. When made of natural materials like wood or bamboo, these inexpensive additions look at home in just about any setting and can make sitting outside in winter a whole lot more enjoyable!

2. Use seating that retains warmth (but not moisture)

Metal or plastic patio furniture might hold up well under outdoor conditions, but when winter hits, these pieces offer very little in the comfort department. By picking furniture with insulating padding (but covered by a water-proof protective surface) you will not only have a more cushiony seat, but one that retains your body heat during cold weather, as well!

3. Enhance your lighting

Many porches and patios are lit more for function than for relaxing. To make the space more hospitable, lose the harsh edge of a single bulb and upgrade to several smaller fixtures. If your lighting swivels or is placed on tracks, you can adjust where the light hits to fit whatever function is on the agenda. This will not only be a benefit during the winter, but all year round.

4. Add an outdoor heat source

A crackling fire or the heat and smell of a wood stove can warm up gatherings on even the coldest days of the year. From small portable fire pits to real masonry fireplaces, the addition of heat to your outdoor entertaining area is a must. Permanent heat sources might be a bit more expensive than tips 1 through 3, but the addition of an outdoor heat source will not only create atmosphere, and may even increase your property’s value and marketability. The average cost of installing a pre-fabricated fireplace is $1,332. Custom fireplace installation averages $2,937, while wood stove installation averages $2,364 (in some cases, wood stoves can actually provide heat for an entire house rather than just a patio or porch).

5. Add an outdoor kitchen

Who says you can’t cook out in December? Far less expensive than indoor kitchens, respectable outdoor kitchens can generally be built for under $3,000, but if you want all the bells and whistles, you could end up with a bill of $10,000+. The most basic outdoor kitchen layouts include a grill, a cabinet for storing glasses, dishes, and utensils, as well as counter space to make food and drink prep easier. More elaborate outdoor kitchens have all of the appliances and fixtures you’d find in a normal indoor kitchen. Whether you go modest or expensive, nothing enhances a gathering like good food and drink. This is one addition that guests and homeowners alike will truly appreciate all year round!