One of the most popular ways to make your outdoor patio more aesthetic is to opt for a stained concrete patio. It is a great way to make the outside of your home more attractive while still being a relatively affordable home improvement project.
Like any home improvement project, many homeowners prefer to attempt to do it themselves instead of hiring a professional. However, the concrete staining process in order to get a stained concrete patio can be a complicated one. In order to do so, you will have to:
Prepare the Patio
Preparation is a key step. You will need to clear the patio of all dirt and debris first. Then, scrub it down with water and mild detergent and use a brush and scraper in order to remove any foreign items that may have gotten lodged in the surface (like gum, paint, etc.). You may also have to use a degreaser in order to remove any oil and grease stains.
Apply the Acid Stain
In order to apply the acid stain, you will have to use a pump sprayer or paint gun. You can also use a push broom in order to make sure that the acid stain is properly worked into any bumpy areas or areas that have not received the stain well. Make sure that you do not create any puddles when applying.
Add Additional Layers
In order to ensure that you can apply an even pattern on your stained concrete patio, you will have to apply at least two layers of acid stain. Dilute the acid in order to achieve a lighter color. If you prefer darker colors, add more layers.
You will not need to wash off the acid residue between coats. All the residue can be removed at the same time – at the end of the staining process.
Neutralize the Acid
Once the stain has been applied, the acid will need to be neutralized. In order to do so, apply a 50/50 solution of baking soda and water. This solution will stop the acid from continuing to react with the concrete. It can take between 8-24 hours for the acid reaction to stop, and the solution will help fasten this process.
Clean Up and Let Your Patio Dry
Now, let your stained concrete patio dry. As mentioned previously, it can take between 8-24 hours in order for the acid stain to react with the concrete. While this is happening, make sure that the area is taped off so that nobody or nothing accidentally steps on the concrete. Once the concrete is completely dry and cured, you can spot-check the coat in order to determine whether you are okay with the color.
Concrete sealers are available in either solvent or water-based forms. There is a simple way to determine how your concrete surface will look when a sealer is applied.
When your concrete is slab while the residual stain is being wiped off, the look you see is what the concrete will look like when a solvent-based sealer is sealer. When the slab is dried (but still damp), the look is the same you will have with a water-based sealer.
Choose the sealer you prefer and apply it on top of your dry concrete. Once the sealer is dry, your stained concrete patio is ready for use.
As you can see, the process of staining your concrete patio is not an easy one. If you go wrong during any of these steps, your concrete may be ruined. This will force you to restart the process, resulting in a loss of time, money, and energy.
In order to avoid this, it is always best to hire a concrete professional. A professional knows how to create a stained concrete patio well and will also be able to offer you more colors and designs to choose from.