You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 12: What’s the Best Way to Renew Color on Outdoor Concrete and Pool Decks?. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for joining us. Stamped Outdoor Concrete and Pool Decks look fantastic when first completed but over time the color can fade or worse than that flake off. But not to worry, Direct Colors has a color and sealer solution for you! Shawna Turner, Direct Colors General Manager, joins the podcast today to discuss the best products to easily and affordably renew outdoor concrete and pool decks.

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Tommy C: You’re listening to DIRECTCOLORS.COM/LISTEN Podcast Episode 27, How-to Successfully Acid Stain Side by Side Concrete Slabs Poured at Different Times. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening.  I’m Tommy Carter, Sales Manager and Technician with Direct Colors. It may sound odd that concrete poured at different times would not acid stain the same but if you’ve added on to your patio, interior floors or driveway, this podcast is worth the time spent listening! Here to tell you more about why and how to get the best results from your next DIY project is Shawna Turner, General Manager with Direct Colors. Welcome to the podcast, Shawna.

Shawna T:  Thank you.

TC:  Let’s get started. So why does it matter if side by side concrete slabs are poured at different times if you’re planning to acid stain?

ST: Acid Stain is a chemically-reactive stain not just a topical colorant. The stain relies on the minerals available in the concrete surface to react properly and develop the variable, rich color acid stain is known for. Concrete is not mixed exactly the same way every time and the mineral content can vary substantially from one batch to another.  Concrete finishing, especially if a machine trowel is involved, can alter acid staining results dramatically from one floor section to another as well. Keep in mind that exposure to the elements can impact color development on older outdoor concrete slabs. In addition, concrete patches will also stain differently from the surrounding concrete and should be given special consideration before beginning a project. More to this subject than you thought, I suspect.

TC:  For sure!  What recommendations would you make for indoor floors poured separately or patched due to plumbing problems or for carpet tack holes for example?

ST: For indoor floors, making sure the profile is the same across the slab is important. Whether you choose to mechanically profile the floor using a sander or chemically profile with our Hard Troweled Floor Prep, do the same thing everywhere. I recommend reading over page one of our How to Acid Stain Concrete Guide to determine what process will yield the best results for your concrete before beginning. As for concrete patches, they can be tricky particularly if they are in a conspicuous area of the floor. Patches should be sanded flush with the floor before staining. For best results, I would stain and neutralize the rest of the floor first leaving the patch to be stained afterwards so it can be more easily color matched by carefully controlling the stain’s activation time.  Once the patch achieves the same color as the floor, neutralize the stain and move on to the cleaning step. Spray both the patch and the floor with water from a handheld spray bottle to determine when the matching color has been achieved prior to neutralizing.  Keep in mind that we offer topical stains, such as DCI Concrete Dye and Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain, to touch up or further accent any difficult areas so don’t worry, there’s more than one path to a beautiful floor.

TC:  That’s good news. What about outdoor concrete?

Many homes have patio and driveway slabs poured at different times. If you want the concrete to be as close to the same color as possible, I suggest applying the stain to the older slab first and leaving it to process for up to 10 hours for maximum color development. The longer concrete is exposed to the elements, the more surface mineral erosion occurs. For this reason, older concrete needs more processing time to achieve optimal color results than a newer slab. After the processing time is complete, neutralize the concrete and rinse so you can get a good look at the color. At this point, apply the stain to the newer slab and leave to process for 2-3 hours.  Using a spray bottle of water, dampen a small area of the old and new concrete and compare.  If it looks like a good match when wet, great. Neutralize and clean the entire slab in preparation for sealing. If not, let the new concrete process for another hour and repeat the test until a color match is achieved. Remember to look at the concrete only when it’s wet not dry. Dry, acid stained concrete does very little to reveal the final color as it will appear when sealed.

TC:  What happens if a color match can’t be achieved with the acid stain? What else can be done?

ST:  As I mentioned before, we have several topical stain options for indoor and outdoor use. I most frequently recommend our Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain for patios, driveways and other outdoor concrete. It can be used as a stand-alone concrete stain and often is or as an accent for acid stained concrete. If a satisfactory color match isn’t achievable, Liquid Colored Antique can be applied to blend the colors and create a more uniform final result. Customers often use this to color match on existing stained outdoor slabs where repairs have been made. It’s really an excellent, easy to use product that can renew color, fix problem areas and save customers a great deal of money by avoiding unnecessary tear-outs and refinishing.

TC:  That’s great to hear. Everyone likes to save time and money on home improvement and want to successfully acid stain concrete slabs. Thanks, Shawna, for the helpful tips on how to get the best results when acid staining interior floors and outdoor concrete. I’m sure this will useful information for many of our customers.

DIRECTCOLORS.COM/LISTEN DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at DIRECTCOLORS.COM/LISTEN. Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. I’m Tommy Carter and thanks again for joining us!

You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 36: Color Concrete Pavers for Patios, Walkways, Pool Decks and More! If this is your first time listening, then thanks for joining us.  Concrete Pavers are popular with a DIY homeowner audience because they are affordable, come in so many varieties and can be used for just about any outdoor project. Unfortunately, concrete pavers can lose their appeal becoming faded and dull with weathering and sun exposure over time. That’s when Direct Colors can help! Here to talk about the options for restoring, coloring  concrete pavers for the first time is Direct Colors General Manager, Shawna Turner. Welcome back to the podcast, Shawna.

ST: Thanks, Reagan.

RS:  What are concrete pavers most commonly used for?

Acid Stain Concrete Pavers

Smooth Acid Stained Patio Pavers

ST:  Concrete pavers can be used almost anywhere concrete could be poured. I think the most popular use would be patios and walkways, but we see them included in pool deck and driveway designs, too. Because pavers come in so many shapes and sizes these days, homeowners use them to bring a little variety to their backyards in particular. Now, not all pavers are colored and we often advise customers on what products to use for the color and finish they’re looking for. There’s also a large group of people who are making and coloring their own concrete pavers and stepping stones for all kinds of purposes.  It’s really an increasingly more common DIY home improvement project and we thought we might discuss what our customers are doing.

Acid Stained Concrete Paver Driveway - Copy

Acid Stained Concrete Brick Pavers

RS:  Great. What Direct Colors products do people generally use to color concrete pavers?

ST:  It entirely depends on the project. If you have existing concrete pavers that have lost color over the years, you’d most likely update the color using our Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain and seal with our Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer. The antique can be used even on previously sealed concrete which makes it ideal for outdoor refinishing projects. Sometimes it’s not necessary to add additional color to the pavers but simply to seal them and bring back their original appearance. I recommend pouring water on the pavers first to determine if the color is sufficiently revived by the water or will need more color. Wetting the concrete simulates the finish when the paver has been sealed so if you’re happy when it’s wet, you’ll likely be happy after applying a satin gloss solvent based sealer such as the Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer.

RS: What about new concrete pavers? What would you recommend?

ST:  Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain can be used for pavers whether new or old. It’s really a great all-around outdoor staining product. However, you can also use the concrete acid stain on new concrete pavers as well. It really looks great on smooth finish concrete pavers where you can get a more typical acid stain look just like what you’d expect on a patio or similar concrete slab. One of the advantages of pavers is you can use multiple colors to create any design you wish. We’ve seen some very creative examples over the years using both acid stain and liquid colored antique.

RS:  What about older concrete pavers that have been degraded by exposure to sun and weather?

Stained Sealed Concrete Pavers

Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stained  Pool Deck Pavers

ST:  That’s very good question. Even if the pavers have never been previously stained or sealed, the surface may be too eroded to react well with acid stain. No question the Liquid Colored Antique would likely be the better option but I’d strongly recommend testing the acid stain on one of actual pavers if possible to be certain. A good rule of thumb for deciding if concrete is a good candidate for staining is to look for exposed sand or stone aggregates in the surface. If you can see that, especially if it’s widespread, Liquid Colored Antique would be your best bet.

RS:  You mentioned earlier that customers make and color their own concrete pavers. How does that work?

ST:  That’s right. If we have a customer making their own concrete pavers, they will typically color the pavers using concrete pigment. Sometimes several pigment colors in fact.  We have a wide variety of colors so customers can create all kinds of paver patterns and designs.  Pavers in the shape of flagstones are the most popular for walkways and patios I’d say.  You can even use the Liquid Colored Antique as a mold release for pavers or stepping stones to create an antiqued look on integrally colored pavers. Looks great.

RS:  What advice would you offer for customers who have concrete pavers but don’t know what to do with them?

Integrally Colored Concrete Pavers

Integrally Colored Concrete Pavers

ST:  Well, the first thing I would suggest is that if you’re happy with your pavers as they are and would like to keep them in good condition for as long as possible, seal them with our DCI Penetrating Lithium Hardener Sealer. This is a one-time only application that works best on smooth or lightly textured pavers and protects from salt as well as the freeze thaw cycle. It won’t change the color of the pavers but it will preserve them for many years to come. Our solvent based sealers are commonly used to add some shine to flagstones and deepen existing color.

I’d also say that there’s no reason to live with faded and unattractive concrete pavers or tear them out for that matter. Many years ago I had a customer call me from Arizona about his pink concrete pavers. Now there’s nothing wrong with pink but he insisted they used to be brick red but the sun had faded them to pink and his family wasn’t happy. We used the Crimson and Cinnabar Liquid Colored Antique to restore his pavers and made sure they were regularly sealed from that point forward.  We offer samples for all our products and pavers make it very easy to test colors until you get just what you want.

Coloring and Sealing Concrete Paver patios, walkways or pool decks is a relatively inexpensive way to improve the overall look of your home and significantly increase curb appeal without investing a great deal of time, effort or money. What’s better than that?

RS:  Thanks, Shawna.  Who knew there were so many options for concrete pavers – new and old! If you have questions, call one of our expert technicians at 877-255-2656 and we’ll help you select the best products and technique for your needs.  If you prefer email, send in a free online design consultation and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.

Direct Colors DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at  Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ , YouTube and Instagram. I’m Reagan Smith and thanks again for joining us!

This step-by-step video on acid staining outdoor concrete offers step-by-step instructions for evaluating, cleaning, staining and sealing outdoor concrete. Everything you need to know to get the job done right the first time. For more…