Posts by: Adam Sgammotta

Stamped Concrete Guide: How to Stain Concrete

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closeup of orange and red tinted compass rose

Concrete may be durable, but the color of it will inevitably fade over time. If you’re looking for a low-effort, low-cost way to improve the appearance of your concrete, opt for concrete staining instead of a complete replacement. Concrete stains can be used on their own or with other surface finishes. They’re also available in many colors, making it easy for you to find the right fit for your project.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to stain your concrete. With the right directions, you’ll finish this project in no time!

Brickform ARTesian Stain

Before we get into how to stain concrete…you’re probably what concrete stain is best to use. At Stamped Concrete, we recommend the Brickform ARTesian Stain.

The Brickform ARTesian Stain is one of the best concrete stains on the market today. Unlike many other stains, it is not made from harmful acids. In fact, it does not incorporate harmful chemicals of any kind. The stain contains organic carriers in the pigment and is non-chemically reactive, making it great for both indoor and outdoor use.

Additionally, this stain is transparent, but it enhances the natural color of your concrete. You can also apply this stain to both concrete and masonry.

If you have questions about this product, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our professionals. Now, if you already have concrete stain available—let’s move on to our step-by-step guide.

1. Surface Preparation/Cleaning

When staining concrete, surface preparation is a must. If you’re using a water-based concrete stain like Brickform ARTesian, you’ll need to check the porosity of your concrete. Thankfully, this process is relatively easy.

First, you need to spray some water on your concrete. Give it three or four minutes and check to see how much water has been absorbed. If most of the water has been absorbed, the slab only needs one or two applications of an etching solution to help open up the surface.

If most of the water is sitting on top of the concrete and hasn’t absorbed it, you will most likely need to prepare it with a one-part concentrated hydrochloric acid to five-parts water solution.

Once the etching solution or hydrochloric acid-water solution has been applied, you need to pressure wash the surface.

2. Application

After you’ve prepared the surface, you need to choose the color of Brickform ARTesian stain that you want to use. Keep in mind that you can always dilute the stain with tap water (one part stain to one part water) if you don’t want the color to be as pronounced.

You will need a sprayer to apply the stain. A small handheld sprayer will work fine if you are planning to stain a relatively small slab. However, you will want to use a larger backpack-style sprayer if you have a large area of concrete to stain. Remember to generously shake your bottle of stain before use.

As the ARTesian stain is a water-based solution, you can apply it even if the concrete is still damp from the pressure washing. In fact, you may see even better results if you spray down the stain on damp concrete.

How Much Stain Should You Use?

As a general rule, you should use about one gallon per 200 square feet of concrete. This will give you the boldest color possible. However, you can spray down one gallon for every 300 or 400 square feet if you want a lighter, more subtle color.

In general, you will only need to use one coat of concrete stain. However, if your concrete is very porous (remember how quickly it absorbed the water), you will likely need to use two or three coats. On the other hand, you should not use more than one or two coats if your concrete is very tight (non-porous). This will prevent excess stain from building up on the surface of the concrete.

If you want a unique look, you can apply a small amount of a second ARTesian stain color. This can help add highlights to your concrete. For best results, apply the highlight color while the first stain is still wet.

3. Wait & Dry

Finally, you need to let the stain dry. Use a sponge to lightly dab any puddles/ponding stain on the surface. Next, leave the concrete alone and let it slowly dry out. This will take about three to four hours outside (if it’s sunny) or 24 hours indoors. We recommend using fans to aid in the drying process. After your stain completely dries, we recommend applying a sealer for extra protection, especially if your concrete is outside.

Stain Your Concrete With Help From Stamped Concrete

If you have a concrete floor that needs staining, Stamped Concrete is here for you. We carry a large selection of high-quality concrete stains and other concrete supplies. If you have any questions about how to stain concrete floors, or you need help selecting products for your project, our friendly and knowledgeable team is ready to help. Contact us today, and let us know how we can help you!

Stamped Concrete Guide: Concrete Tools & Materials You Need

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section of CA weave stamped concrete floor

Stamped concrete can replicate the look of stone, brick, tile, and even wood. The enormous range of choices in patterns and colors make it popular for enhancing patios, driveways, pool decks, and more. But, stamping concrete is a challenging do-it-yourself project. The main reason is that you only get one chance to get it right.

Having the right concrete tools to achieve the texture and pattern you want is critical to your success. In this blog post, we’ll cover all of the concrete stamping tools you need to get the job done right.

Concrete Stamps

There are three basic types of concrete stamps. Each type serves a different purpose, and for most projects you will need more than one.

Rigid & Semi-Rigid Mats

Rigid and semi-rigid mats are made of polyurethane, and are considered to be the sturdiest of all concrete stamp types.blue Tile Border Corner Piece concrete stamp

Rigid mats are firm with zero flex while semi-rigid mats are slightly flexible, so they can be used to conform to the contours of concrete.

You will use rigid mats for most of your concrete stamping projects because they leave a clearer, deeper impression, but you may use semi-rigid mats on slopes or driveway aprons where the ends flare up.

Texturing Skins

You will need texturing skins in addition to mats. In a stamping project, they are used to add detail to the perimeter of your concrete. Texturing skins come in a varietygreen slate textured skin of details, but the impression they leave is less pronounced than what you will get from rigid and semi-rigid mats.

Texturing skins are ultra-pliable; their feathered edges overlap, so you can take your design to the edges of your slab. Texturing skins are also useful for vertical surfaces, including stair risers.

The biggest advantage of using texturing skins is that they don’t require precise alignment. It is possible to use them for an entire project.

Floppies/Flex Mats

Flex mats, aka floppies, are made of polyurethane that is thin enough to be bent into a 90-degree angle. They are mostly used for doing work in corners and up against walls, stairs, and columns.

How Many Concrete Stamps Will You Need?

Concrete stamps are always used in multiples. The general recommendation is using enough stamps to cover the width of your slab, plus two.

Detail Tools & Chisels

Different concrete stamping tools, including rollers, chisels, and broadcasting brushes are required for different patterns. To stamp concrete, tools must be on hand in a complete set before you begin the job.

You will use rollers and chisels at the very end of your stamping job to add additional details. Typically, you will use both of these tools to add missing grout lines and to clean up rough edges. The roller must allow for free rolling movement to achieve accurate detail work. The size and shape of the roller must exactly match the pattern you use.

Chisels make a straight line or a deeper imprint. Look for chisels made from cast aluminum that have a wide blade and a broad head. You will need more than one chisel, in varying lengths.

Lastly, we recommend investing in a grinder with a diamond blade, which helps remove any squish-ups during stamping.

Concrete Release

Concrete release agents keep stamps, rollers, and other tools from sticking to wet concrete. You will usually pre-season your texturing skins and mats with concrete release, and broadcast release onto your slab before stamping. Additionally, you must add release after stamping your concrete and let it sit for 48 to 72 hours, especially if it’s going to rain.5 gallon bucket of Stamped Concrete Liquid Release

Concrete release powders and liquids are available in many colors, making it easy to find the right match for your project.

Additional Tools

In addition to the concrete tools we’ve just mentioned, you also need to purchase a dust mask, gloves, and safety glasses. It’s dangerous to breathe in concrete releases, and you will want to use gloves when applying any color hardener to your stamped concrete.

For any repairs, have color hardener, water, and a hammer available. Chips and cracks are typically common defects after stamping concrete. Chips can easily be repaired with color hardener and water, and you can close up cracks with a hammer.

To ensure longevity of your stamped concrete, you will need to purchase a concrete sealer and a compression sprayer for application.

Find Your Concrete Tools at Stamped Concrete

Have questions? Our pros at Stamped Concrete Supplies are ready to help. We have everything you need to get started on your next stamped concrete project. Contact us today for help selecting the right concrete tools or to learn more about best concrete stamping practices.