Staining techniques can be used on surfaces to give them a natural stone look. There are several different ways to produce this stone-like effect, and many different types of marble and granite can be successfully mimicked. Staining is typically applied to concrete surfaces, but if you already have a faux-stone surface, you can use the same procedures since manufactured stone is treated exactly like concrete in staining and cleaning methods.
Cleaning and Preparing the Surface
First, clean and dry the surface. Remove any existing coats of paint by using paint strippers and sanding techniques. Most concrete floors are also sealed, and these seals should be removed as well using similar strippers. Vacuum up dust and debris, and let the concrete fully dry. If the surface is built over ground that absorbs moisture, drying may be a problem, and you should choose a staining method that leaves the concrete porous so moisture can still filter out.
The surface should also be very smooth before application. A stone grinder can be used to sand down any drips, ridges or spikes that have developed in the surface of the concrete or fake stone. If you are planning on using an epoxy covering, you may also want to use a leveling compound to smooth out any rough areas or lower patches.
Epoxies, Acids and Paints
There are several different ways to create a stone-like appearance when using manufactured stone or concrete materials. For concrete, it helps if a stamp or mat was used when the concrete was first cured to give it a tile or patterned appearance. Manufactured stone is typically set in this manner and should be easier to stain. The first choice is an epoxy covering. Not a true stain, the epoxy will completely coat the surface, removing it from view. The epoxy layer is then combined with different colors or painted over to give it a stone coloring. You may want to use this option over older surfaces or indoor surfaces where bare concrete is not suitable.
True acid etching uses particular acids that seep into the surface and permanently change its color by adding new particles and chemically changing the stone particles already present. Choose a concrete acid stain and possibly a collection of concrete dyes, based on how you want the surface to look. These substances can be found at local home improvement or flooring stores. If you prefer a less costly option, try using a combination of light paint over a sealed concrete surface and feathered linseed oil, which can give a marble look depending on the shading used.
- Photo Credit concrete image by grafiker from Fotolia.com
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