Is the plain gray concrete getting boring and ugly? Then try pool deck staining to revive the appearance for yourself and your guests.
It's an easy, inexpensive, and lasting way to ehance the appearance of, not only the pool deck, but the entire outdoor living space. After all, the pool deck usually takes up more space and accomodates you and your guests more than the pool itself.
Don't confuse staining with painting. Paint is a coating that adheres to the surface and may be susceptible to peeling and flaking. Stain penetrates the concrete pores for significantly less risk of flaking. It can wear away as the surface of the concrete gets worn down. That's why it should be coated with a clear concrete sealer periodically.
There are two types of stain you could use. Acid stains are very popular for coloring concrete. They react with concrete to produce natural looking colors. They tend to look better on smooth or slick surfaces. Acrylic stains are pigments suspended in a solution that seep into the pores and adhere. They are usually the better choice for broomed and textured surfaces. Because slip resistance is a main objective of pool decks, they have a broom finish or some sort of texture.
Surface preparation is the key to a successful staining project. The concrete needs to be as clean as possible and free of any other coatings or sealer. This includes removing any stains that will show. Acrylic concrete stains are semi-transparent and any existing discolorations will probably show through.
Preparation for acid stains usually involves just a good scrubbing and cleaning. Acrylic stains, on the other hand, require not only cleaning but etching and neutralization of the surface.
Pool deck staining can be done with a sprayer or roller (sprayer only for acid stains).
This is an example of a stained pool deck using basic techniques.
First the concrete was lightly pressure washed to remove dirt, grime, and debri. Next diluted muriatic acid (8 parts water:1 part acid) was sprayed and then neutralized with diluted ammonia (8 parts water:1 part ammonia).
*Even though the concrete may be porous, I recommend the etching and neutralizing to reset the pH of the deck.*
After a good rinse and an hour or so of drying, terra cotta water based acrylic concrete stain was sprayed. The stain was applied with a brush around the edges and pool coping.
To finish it off, the pool deck was coated with a clear acrylic solvent based sealer.
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