There are several different concrete stain techniques for enhancing concrete surfaces. Before deciding which technique to use, you must first decide which type of concrete stain you want based on the desired look and condition of the concrete surface.
There are two types of stain; acid and acrylic. Acid stains create natural, variegated or mottled look. They are ideal for newer concrete without alot of cosmetic defects and discoloration. Acid stains will actually highlight existing defects. There are basically two techniques for appyling acid stains. Spraying it on in a circular motion is usually the best method. However, sometimes brushing it on is necessary for smaller areas subject to overspray. Brushing can also create a more marbled look. Keep in mind that acid stains require more preparation and effort to be satisfied with the appearance. See acid stains for more information on acid staining.
Acrylic stains create a more consistent appearance and will help hide blemishes and discoloration. They are better for older and more porous concrete. They are also much more user friendly and less toxic because they are water based or water extended. Acrylic stains can be applied by spraying, brushing, or rolling. You can also apply some faux finish painting techniques to acrylic concrete staining. See acrylic stains for more information on acrylic stain techniques.
You can also use a combination of acid and acrylic stains. We use acrylic stains to enhance the appearance of acid staining or to help hide imperfections in the concrete that were highlighted with acid stains.
If you want your concrete to look like a painted surface or there are imperfections that can't be hidden by regular acrylic stain, then a polymer stain may be your best choice. A few coats of polymer stain will make a slab completely uniform in color. Brushing or rolling are the methods of application. You can also use faux finish techniques with polymer stains.
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