Acid stained patios are the most popular project for DIY homeowners. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional, here are a few tips to getting the job done right.
“This was the homeowner’s first time using a decorative concrete surface around their home. “It seems that people want to spend a little bit more to bring color and design into a space rather than just pour regular concrete. Reactive acid stains are a great solution as they chemically react with the concrete to create a color that becomes a permanent part of the concrete surface,” says Nick Dancer of Dancer Concrete.
“Reactive chemical stains all work differently and temperature, humidity, and sun exposure all affect the color. The client was home during the acid staining process so they could guide us further in the color intensity they wanted,” says Dancer. The result of this unique chemistry between the acid stain and the concrete is a beautiful one-of-a-kind variegated look.
To prepare the concrete before acid staining, Dancer and his crew sanded the surface with a grinder and 100-grit sandpaper. “This helps ‘open up’ the concrete and remove debris,” he says. The color used was Direct Colors Black Acid Stain, diluted at a concentration of 1 part stain to 4 parts water to produce rich, dark coffee tones.
The crew applied the acid stain to the border first, using a foam brush. Then they sprayed the stain over the entire slab, working it in with a soft bristle brush. This was followed by the application of another light mist of stain to remove any brush marks. Another coat of stain was also applied to the border to darken it slightly from the main section of concrete.
To protect the newly stained surface and enhance the color, Dancer sealed the patio with Direct Colors Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer, applied with a roller to ensure even application. To keep the patio looking like new, Dancer recommends reapplying the sealer every few years, depending on use and sunlight exposure.