Types of Concrete Staining

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A gray and dull looking concrete wall is a depressing sight in a beautiful home. 

Painting can give them the boost they need but the end result of painting can cause some problems. Paint and concrete don’t come along very well. 

Concrete doesn’t have the right surface for paint to adhere. Due to the water vapors formed in the cracks and its improper surface, peeling and flaking will occur rampantly. 

The solution for this problem is to use concrete stains instead. The porous nature of concrete can now become advantageous for concrete staining. This makes sure that the color will stay in place and will not peel at all.

Stained Concrete Categories

Acid-Based Stain

Stained concrete solutions have different types. One type of concrete staining is the acid-based stain

It has three main components which are water, hydrochloric acid or commonly called as muriatic acid and metallic salts

Concretes contain hydrated lime which reacts with the acid-based stain. This stain will also penetrate the concrete making it a permanent part of the concrete. 

The end result will appear as translucent and each result will be unique. The results will depend on what surface and condition the stain is applied to. 

Though acid-based stains are popularly used, they only offer a limited range of colors. The basic colors commonly used are brown and blue-green. 

One problem it also has is it needs a very clean surface for application. 

Oils and dirt must be completely scrubbed off using water and soap. Using a pressure washer to wash the concrete is also advisable to get the best results out of the stain.

Solvent-Based Staining

Solvent-based staining is the other classification in the two types of concrete staining. 

Among the types of stains, solvent-based stain is the most similar to wood stains. The hydrocarbon solvent found in this stain transports it’s components into the concrete. 

Solvent-based stains also work just like the acid-based stains. The only difference is that this type of stain only penetrates the top layer of the concrete.

This makes the color very vulnerable to fading especially when exposed in extreme sunlight.

What To Expect?

People can be disappointed with the color they produce. Both of them don’t deliver the vibrant colors most people are expecting. 

This downside is one problem that can be easily solved using other methods. Since contaminants and other factors may affect the chemical reactions, inconsistency in color is also a problem but some use this inconsistency as natural patterns for their walls or floors.

The various types of concrete staining are all very useful and share common problems. 

They function well but each has its own disadvantages. Acid-based stains may offer great penetration but they lack in the color department. 

Solvent-based stains may only penetrate lightly but they are easier to handle compared with acid-based stains.


Each stain has its own purpose so identify first the situation and condition of the concrete before choosing a stain. 

Whatever type of concrete staining a person may use, great results will always be expected so long as instructions are followed properly and application is done correctly.

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