Concrete dyes and stains are a popular way to create a variety of different effects on concrete surfaces. The dyes and stains add warmth to bare cement and can be used separately to impart color or combined for endless design possibilities.
Concrete dyes tend to create more vibrant shades, such as blue and purple, in addition to pale pastels and neutrals. Dyes are often used on top of a stain to enhance a color, create a mottled effect or enhance a customized design.
Concrete stains are limited to fewer shades but add a richness and depth to a concrete surface. The resulting color is permanent, making it a wonderful way to revive older cement.
Some stains add color to a concrete surface by chemically reacting with calcium hydroxide, which is found in concrete. Conversely, water-based acrylic stains and concrete dyes are nonreactive, coloring the concrete by actually penetrating the concrete and saturating it with color.
Because dyes penetrate the concrete very quickly, application is fast and there is little residue left for cleanup afterward. Stains, on the other hand, are messier and less forgiving, so it may benefit you to hire a professional for the application process.
Concrete stains and dyes should be protected with several clear coats of sealer for outdoor applications and floor wax for indoor applications.
- Photo Credit grunge paper with stain image by Solovieva Ekaterina from Fotolia.com
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