One of the benefits of using acid concrete stains are their ability to turn an ordinary concrete slab into an extraordinary artistic work. Inherent in the acid stain process is the differing degrees to which the stain penetrates and colors different areas of concrete. This selective process is how acid stain can produce a rich, mottled or marbled effect.
With time and practice, you can achieve some incredible results with acid stains. In addition to a marble look, you can get your concrete to resemble wood grain, natural stone or even a leather-look.
Acid stains are available in mostly earth-tones — rusts, brown, terra cotta shades being the most prevalent. To a limited extent, acid stains are also available in blue-greens. Custom color variations are possible by mixing stains just as an artist would mix paints to create just the right hue.
Concrete Stain Patterns
Achieving patterns with concrete stain can be accomplished in several ways. You can dilute the stain to create lighter areas where the stain is more translucent. If you want to go darker in some sections of your project, you can apply stain twice or three times to that section. Another option is to mix a darker shade of stain for the area you want to appear darker than the rest of the project.
Patterns can be incorporated into your design by masking off shapes before you begin to stain. For example, some people want their acid stain concrete to look like terra cotta tiles. We do this by masking off a grid pattern in the room or on a patio and apply stain inside each grid.
Similarly, you can even use two different stain colors in your grid to produce a checkerboard effect. You can even create elaborate patterns such as a compass rose or a company logo by masking these intricate shapes as well.
Pattern Creating Tools
Using specific implements can create interesting patterns on acid stain concrete. A spray bottle can be used to spray elaborate spray patterns with acid stain. Just as in faux-finishing with wall paint, sponges and rags can be used for specific patterns in acid stains.
Crumpled paper can also be used to dab on stain in unusual designs as well as feathers and lamb’s wool. Just remember that with acid stains, you cannot use any metal implements as they will react with the acid in the stains.
If you think of your concrete as a blank canvas, there’s no limit to the creative patterns and effects you can achieve with acid stain concrete stains. The richness of the stain, combined with the degree to which the concrete absorbs the stain, gives you a distinctive and natural-looking surface that will enhance your home’s value.