Are you planning for a concrete stain job, but can’t make your mind about the different colors available? Or maybe you have been browsing on outdoor concrete stain colors, but want a little bit more info about them?
No matter what the reason is, here is a little bit about the subject. I’ve kept it as simple as possible as acid staining is simple in the sense that there are fewer options for colors when you compare it to something like a water-based concrete stain.
The reason for that is simple as well. Acid staining is a reaction between acid and minerals in the concrete. Water-based stains work more like paint and they penetrate the porous surface of the concrete and provide color in that way.
Choosing indoor and outdoor concrete acid stain colors
It’s not always easy to pick up indoor or outdoor concrete stain colors, especially for things like concrete staining which you don’t want to repeat too many times. You have to think about your furniture, the space itself, what kind of mood you want to be there (the colors do matter), etc.
The process of staining is also not simple and you get to acid stain the surface for a limited time as you run out of minerals on the surface. If you want to read about the process, here is an article on how to acid-stain concrete indoors.
To redo the acid stain on the surface, you would have to grind the surface or resurface it. It might be too much work for simple color picking.
There are limited amount of colors
There are eight primary concrete acid stain colors. Several deviations exist from these eight colors, these variations are combinations of concrete acid stain colors, pigments, and/or dyes.
While these colors are beautiful and will work in most interior applications, caution should be used in an exterior, and other places that receive a lot of light, applications as the UV from the sun may break down the pigments or dyes and reveal the acid stain within and change colors over time.
This applies to most of the stain products on the market so it would be good to research that before buying any product. A good resale place should know their products, but can’t always count on the salesperson only.
There is also the option of combining acid stain with other kind of stains like penetrating stains, but more about that is in the guide of the link
The eight primary concrete acid stain colors
There are eight primary concrete acid stain colors to choose from. If you browse the internet, you will notice fast that different manufacturers just use the same colors with slightly different names. Here I’ve used just simple names for them as I don’t want to go around inventing synonyms for colors.
Black is actually a very deep chocolate brown which when only apply straight or slightly diluted will give a “black” color. You may find that the mottling or variations are the deep chocolate described previously. When this color is diluted you can also achieve a beautiful brown and diluted still further a taupe.
While a brick red is not possible with true acid stain this color is simply a magnificent color to be used in a “Southwest” or “Mexican” decor. It can give a “canyon” kind of look which can be nice and soft in some places like wood I think.
This might be one of the most popular colors around. It can give a deep and “old”/dignified outlook to any floor. Its versatility is unmatched as it can be used with almost any decor. Whether it be an elegant restaurant or a kid’s playroom it works with all colors and styles.
This is the lightest of the acid stain colors and test spots should be used to determine, as with all acid stains, whether this particular stain will take. Sometimes the Tan color has to be applied two to three times to achieve the desired color. This problem usually does not occur when using this color on polymer overlays.
This is one of the newer colors around. It can add a stunning brightness to any room and is especially vibrant on a polymer overlay. Personally, I like this one a lot as well as it can give out deep earthly colors like golden sand. But like with the others, it should be tested out to see if it’s your thing.
Umber is almost like a light brown and adds an excellent accent to the red, brown, or tan. The use of this color for overall staining is an excellent way to lighten a room when diluted to about 2 to 1. It also gives that brownish earthly look that is warm that I personally like.
Most blues can be actually pretty light variations. Only when combined with a slight amount of black can you get a slightly dark shade of blue. This color can be used for “tropical” settings or for coloring a “water scene”. Some brands have come to the solutions that are pigmented stains and these come in a wide variety of colors including blues as sapphire and sky blue.
Green tends to vary from leaf green to turquoise depending upon the manufacturer. Green can also be darkened by adding a slight amount of black acid stain to it. It’s good to do a test again on your slab before application to ensure it is the color your desire.
Now there are many manufacturers and many different names for these, but the basics are pretty much the same. If I’d be considering staining for my floor, I’d first do a sample on concrete pavers or something elsewhere it’s easy to see what will the end result be.
When I’m testing the color I could also see if diluting the acid would be preferable or not. I could also make good assumptions on how many times should I stain the floor. It’s not for nothing that people say that preparation and planning is half of the job done.
It would also be good if you have a bigger test piece to see how playing with the same stain color or maybe two different ones will play out. Once you have confidence in your product and vision you can proceed to stain the whole floor or multiple floors even.
On the same topic, I’d say that you can also test out different staining techniques while you’re checking the color to know if one is better than another. In the end, it’s creating a game with the acid concrete staining as you’re doing a unique job no matter what you do.