Staining concrete walkway and steps


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Old 11-25-09, 09:21 PM
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Staining concrete walkway and steps

I just completed the pour for new steps and walkway and I'm considering staining the drab industrial grey. I did some googling around trying to get a little smarter about concrete stain but I mostly ended up at various manufacturer's web sites that were pushing their product.

Is stain a good option for an exterior application? Rustpoleum, SW and others sell a concrete stain that sounds an awful lot like paint. My understanding is that acid stains are longer lasting and less likely to fail. Is an acid stain application a DIY project? Any special (pricey) tools needed?
 
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Old 11-26-09, 03:34 AM
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Any pigmented stain like those you mentioned are basically paints. They coat the surface. Acid stain is not a coating in any sense. It contains no pigment, but gets all its color through chemical reaction.
It is certainly a DIY project. You can buy it at Lowes and Sherwin Williams (at least around here). The only special tool you'd wnat to have is an ALL PLASTIC! pump up garden sprayer. I say all plastic because acid will eat up and/or react with a metal tip or wand. I've had great success using a cheap $15 one from Lowes meant for spraying herbicide. In fact, the brand name on it was Spectracide.
Good luck.
 
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Old 11-27-09, 11:01 AM
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Good thread. I'm thinking about staining my concrete slab walkway and steps project I'm currently working on.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 04:17 AM
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fxpose,
the thing about acid stain, since it gets its color through reaction, is that it can react differently with different loads of concrete. In your case, acid stain could make your job look like a patchwork quilt.
I've stained different slabs with stain from the exact same bottle where one came out yellow/amber and the next came out brown.
Acid stain is really cool, but it's very unpredictable. That's one reason it's hard to talk a paying customer into doing it (I'm a contractor).
It usually looks great, but not necessarily like the customer expected. It's definitely not like paint where it will match the color chart.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 06:52 AM
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Pecos - Weather permitting I'm going to acid stain as soon as I strip my forms. Never having done this before I'm wondering what I can do if it ends up looking like crap.

Is a solid stain still an option after using the acid stain?
 
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Old 11-28-09, 04:46 PM
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Yes, since the acid stain isn't a coating, you can coat over it with pigmented stain. If you have any specific questions before you begin, just private message me.
 
 

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