When you’re looking to protect your concrete floor from cracking and damage, consider concrete stain. Concrete Stain can make your concrete floor appear as good as new, even years after installation. Concrete stain embeds itself into the concrete surface. In contrast, clear concrete paint merely covers the top of a concrete slab but is susceptible to peeling and chipping when improperly applied. If you’d rather preserve the original color of your concrete floor, use an epoxy-based stain for color control.
Like paint, concrete stains are available in several primary colors: white, black, brown, natural, green, pink, blue, yellow, gray, teal, purple, pink, rose, orange, peach, and brown. Each of these colors has its own benefits and drawbacks. For example, some colors are more suited to decorating concrete surfaces than others. White, for example, is an excellent choice if you’re staining a newly painted or stamped concrete surface because white maintains its appearance even after a few years.
Most contractors recommend applying a concrete stain in stages, which is why they recommend water-based stains instead of oil-based ones. Water-based stains are easier to apply because they form thicker layers on the surface of the floor, which allows more control over how much stain should be applied at one time. On the downside, water-based stains may contain chemicals that could damage your paint or cement sealant. It’s also important to use water-based stains as early as possible, because untreated concrete can eventually turn yellow or dark green, even if only partially stained.
Oil-based concrete stains achieve their deep color effect by penetrating the surface quickly and maintaining its intensity for up to six months. An advantage of oil-based stains is that they are easy to apply, even on very wet surfaces, which makes them suitable for indoor use. They can also be easily layered on top of one another to create a variety of complex textures. The downside is that an oil-based concrete stain will settle to a dull appearance over time if it is not properly protected from the elements. Also, it is important to apply the stain on top of an area that will be heavily stained, such as on a cement floor.
Some homeowners choose to use acrylic paints to decorate their concrete surfaces. Acrylic stains, however, are best used on surfaces with very little detail. The color will simply wash out if heavy markings or scuff marks are present. Acrylics are also very difficult to clean properly, since they form a thick and sticky paste when first applied, which makes it difficult to scrub off.
Before painting, it’s important to test the proposed color on an inconspicuous area, such as a section of the wall where a door or window would be. If the paint produces an unacceptable color, it’s time to move on to the next application process. Fortunately, most concrete stain removers contain mild chemicals that eliminate the need to strip paint.
There are a few options for those looking to match earth tones in their concrete stain. Earth tones include brown, black, white, and earth tones of yellow and brown. Earth tones are extremely popular for use in concrete stain colors because they have a natural appearance and are available in a wide range of hues. Earth tones are the easiest to work with because the texture is so close to the surface, and they are less likely to fade.
It’s important to consider the climate of the area in which you live when choosing the ideal color for your concrete floors. Some materials stain better in warmer climates than others. For example, brick staining is great for hot, sunny climates because the sunlight helps to fade the dark colors caused by brick. Concrete floors that experience colder climates may need to be protected from the fading effects of direct sunlight. This can be accomplished with a low-emittance window that directs indirect light away from the flooring surface.