STAINS & DYES - Interior or Exterior
There are a basically three ways to add color to concrete: integrally, topically, and via toppings or overlays. The use of concrete stains or dyes is one of the oldest and most popular methods. Concrete stains or dyes are considered topical coloring products, meaning they are applied to the surface of cured (hardened) concrete. The concrete can be new or old. This is one of the advantages of using stains or dyes.
The oldest method involves the use of acid stain. Concrete that is colored with acid stain has a unique, variegated appearance, and the color is considered permanent. Available in a limited palette of browns, greens and blacks, acid stain chemically reacts with the concrete and becomes part of the concrete surface. No two acid stained floors will be alike in appearance. From a versatility standpoint, acid stained floors can look either antiqued or contemporary, depending on the design of the surrounding environment.
An alternative to acid stains are water-based stains. These high-performance, low odor stains offer more color selections than acid stain, including vibrant reds, purples, yellows and blues. Another benefit is that the area that is stained can be more quickly returned to service. The use of a protective sealer is important to maintain the color.