Acid, Solvent and Water Bourne Concrete Staining
View Stain Color Chart
Concrete staining can add color to a dull gray piece of concrete. Staining allows the variations in the concrete surface to show thru, as they are translucent, and creates a marbling effect. Stains can either be acid, water or solvent based. Each type has its own specific pros and cons.
Acid stains react with the calcium and lime in the concrete to create the color. The color becomes part of the concrete and penetrates as deep as the reactive acids before they lose their acidity. However acid stains are very limited in the colors that are available and the surface must be neutralized before sealing.
Waterbourne stains are mixed with water and applied to the concrete surface. They are available in numerous colors and can be mixed to create different custom hues. They are non-reactive and therefore safe to use anywhere.
Solvent stains are mixed with acetone. They also come in various colors and can be mixed. They are deeper penetrating than waterbourne stains. Unfortunately they do give off fumes that are flammable and must be used with caution.
Concrete dyes cover the surface of the concrete. They are opaque and usually used as an edge tint around walls or to create solid lines and borders.