Is It Okay To Put New Siding Over Old Siding Do It Yourself Concrete Staining: Things to Know Before You Begin

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Do It Yourself Concrete Staining: Things to Know Before You Begin

Do it yourself Staining concrete is the cheapest and easiest way to improve the appearance of your concrete surfaces. The alternatives, tearing out the existing concrete and replacing with new or decorative coatings, are not recommended for do-it-yourselfers and can be very expensive. But before you start your coloring project, there are a few things you should know.

There are two types of concrete stains to choose from, acid stains and acrylic stains. Acidic stains work by chemically reacting with free lime on the surface to produce a natural, translucent color. They create a mottled, varied, multi-hued coloring. Every concrete surface reacts differently to acidic stains making every job unique. Acrylic stains are water-based and have pigments that penetrate the pores and adhere to the concrete, creating a more durable, semi-transparent color like that of a color. Acrylic stains will help mask imperfections and blemishes, while acid stains actually accentuate them.

For many surfaces, acid and acrylic stains will work equally as well, but which one you choose depends on the look you want. However, there are situations where one type will work better than the other. For older exterior concrete acid stains (more than 15-20 years old) they may not work because most of the free lime has been removed. Acrylic stains are great for old concrete because of its increased porosity over time. Acidic stains work well with newer concrete due to the availability of free lime. If repairs need to be made, such as patching leaks or scaling, then acrylics can be the best choice to help hide the repairs. Any patching material will be distinguished by acid stains. For trowel-smooth interior surfaces with less porosity, acid stains are usually better because they don’t require as much penetration to stain the concrete.

Before starting it is also important to have realistic expectations. Staining can turn dull, gray concrete into a beautiful, colorful finish, but it’s impossible to know exactly what the finished product will look like, especially with acid stains. Every concrete surface is different and will therefore accept stains differently. The same stain will have two different looks with two different tiles. Even experienced professionals cannot predict the exact result of a stain job. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to try to exactly match the color of the concrete to anything else like brick or siding. Chances are you won’t succeed. Instead, choose a color or shade that complements your concrete. For example, if you have light brown siding, then choose a dark brown stain.

The most critical part of coloring is preparation. Take the time to decide how you want your concrete to look and prepare the surface to apply the stain. You can do it properly if you don’t want to make a big adjustment to the surface. Do it yourself Staining concrete is not a difficult process, but it does require an honest effort to be satisfied with your finished product.

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