How to Achieve Special Effects with Concrete Stains

Posted on: 15 June 2016


If you are like most homeowners, gray, rough, and boring are the things that come to mind when you think of concrete. However, concrete is one of the popular materials used today, not only in driveways and garages, but also for interior flooring and countertops. Concrete stains have made it possible to add color to concrete for aesthetics, strength, and durability. With a little creativity, you can use stains together with decorative techniques to create special effects and patterns on the interior and exterior concrete floors.

Choosing concrete stains

There are two primary types of concrete stains on the market today. Both stains color concrete differently and give different results.

•    Reactive concrete stains

 Reactive concrete stains are acid-based stains which have been around for a long time. When they come into contact with concrete, the stains react chemically to give rich, deep, variegated tones and marbling effects. Reactive stains bond permanently with concrete. However, due to their chemical composition, they are available in a limited color palette consisting of earth tones.

•    Non-reactive stains

These are water-based stains, which are new on the market. They do not react with the concrete surface; instead, they deposit their pigment particles on the pores of the concrete. Non-reactive stains are available in numerous colors and are easy to apply. However, they can peel off or fade away with time if not properly sealed and maintained.

Special effects with concrete stains

With a few techniques and creativity, you can create different patterns, and artistic expressions on concrete using concrete stains. Some of these techniques include the following:

•    Multi-layering

You can achieve different color effects by applying multiple colors of stains. To attain this, apply a base of acid-based stain then use various colors of both acid- and water-based stains and concrete dyes. You can use as many colors as possible to achieve the desired results. Once you apply one coat, seal it to protect it from subsequent layers.

•    Faux finish techniques

With faux finish, decorative concrete can resemble anything from polished marble to natural stone or even stained wood. You can use equipment such as sponges, spray bottles, feathers, paper, crackles, leaves, and brushes among other. You can use anything that will give the desired effect on concrete stains.

•    Stenciling and engraving

Stenciling and engraving techniques are used to create logos and patterns on concrete surfaces. For these techniques, you will need adhesive stencils specially made for concrete staining. You can even get custom stencils made for your desired designs or logos.

Concrete does not have to be boring and limited to garages and driveways. With these techniques, you can transform your interior and exterior floors and surfaces into beautiful and appealing areas with just a little creativity and skill.