The majority of concrete stains available on the market, whether they’re made of water and chemically reactive ( acid-based) are able to be applied to both exterior and interior concrete. How do you decide the most appropriate product for your particular project? The variables which are involved are the same as those you’d think of for indoor and. outdoor painting. These include the exposure conditions, the appearance you’re seeking, easy application, the environmental and safety aspects.

Related: Acid Stains

Look over these top staining products:

  • Stained Concrete Patios
  • Stain Concrete Floors
  • Colored Concrete Driveways

A bowling alley flooring is color is created by water-based staining. Impressions Decorative Concrete, Inc located in Lutz, FL

Indoor staining

Do you think the stain is suitable for indoor usage?
Take note of the safety measures that are provided by the stain’s manufacturer. If you are working in an indoor space in which ventilation is not optimal Concrete stain that have low VOC content are the most suitable option. Certain chemical stains contain corrosive elements and solvents that could cause skin, eye, and irritations to the lung.

What’s the requirements for cleaning?
Chemical stains are hazardous to use indoors as you have to clean the concrete thoroughly after applying the stain to get rid of any remnants, then rinse with pure water. Then , you need to remove all residue using the help of a wet vacuum and then discard it properly (see Acid Staining Basics). Staining with water is simpler and safer to apply indoors as they don’t contain acids and solvents and do not require neutralization or the need for rinsing.

What kind of look do you hope to achieve?
If you’re looking to coordinate the color scheme of your existing home or make a bold style statement, water-based staining will offer you a wide range of colors and, similar to paint for walls, can be mixed to make custom shades. (See the way water-based stains were utilized to bring vibrant color to this flooring in a bowling alley.) If you’re looking to create rich earthy tones, with natural marble-like hues chemical stains are typically the best option as they are used in conjunction with the proper precautions are followed when applying them indoors. For this residential floor design Chemical stains made of antique amber and dark walnut were applied to create a beautiful vine pattern.

Does your floor emitting water?
To get the best results, concrete staining should be applied to slabs with interiors with an emission rate of low moisture. Some manufacturers suggest doing an water-vapor emissions test to determine the suitability.

Outdoor staining

Does the stain have resistant to UV and abrasion?
Most acid and water-based stainings for concrete exteriors are UVand abrasion-resistant. But, since acid stains are extremely pervasive and chemically interact with concrete, they can give more resistance to fade as well as wear with time. Both kinds of stain are permeable to water and serve as effective barriers against the penetration of moisture.

A stained patio that is acid-stained with an engraved diamond pattern. Holland Decorative Concrete in Rockwall, TX.

Does acid staining destroy grass and plants in outdoor use?
Outdoor projects, the gasses from acid staining won’t cause an issue. But the residue and the runoff after rinsing the stain needs to be controlled as it may harm grass and other vegetation around it. Water-based staining isn’t a requirement and any remaining residue can be cleaned up with water and soap.

Can the hue coordinate with your home’s landscaping and exterior?
If you are looking to recreate the look of natural old stone, the chemical staining will be chemically reactive with the mineral content of concrete, creating a stunning pattern (see this staining with acid). Water-based stains do not react which means that they tend to be less opaque, and more uniform. But, they offer greater color choices as well as the possibility of customizing hues to match the colors of your exterior. In this driveway for a residential home the solid-color water-based stains were applied to complement the existing design style.

Make sure you use a high-quality sealer

If you’re staining your concrete in the indoor or outdoors staining, all stained surfaces must be secured with a suitable sealer. The type of sealer will depend on the kind of stain as well as the conditions of exposure and the volume of traffic. The sealer doesn’t only protect the surface from wear and tear and scratches, but it also increases the color and defines the level of gloss in the finish. For indoor applications low gloss levels are likely to be cleaner and will not show wear or scratches as easily as sealers with high gloss. 


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