Stamped concrete is a textured combination of cement, gravel, sand and water. Color can be added to this imprinted material to transform the concrete into a customized and unique work of art. If you wish to make minor color adjustments to your concrete, you can use a diluted acid stain. A medium color transformation will require a full strength acid stain. If you would like to completely transform the color of your concrete, you will need to apply a solid color stain.
Step 1 – Preparing for the Coloring Process
Work on the concrete when the temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to put on protective eye wear, gloves and a dust mask before you begin coloring your concrete. The entire process will take a couple of days to complete. Check the weather forecast to be sure you will have a couple of days of good weather. Visit your local hardware store and speak to a professional about your plans to color your concrete. Discuss the possible colors and the necessary stain you will need to create the best look for your concrete.
Step 2 – Cleaning the Concrete
Before you begin to color the stamped concrete, it will need to be thoroughly cleaned. You will need to be sure to get into all of the small crevices as well. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the degreaser before you begin to clean the concrete. Following the directions, use your degreaser to wash the concrete. Allow the concrete enough time to dry completely. Wash the concrete again and allow it to dry. Wait about 24 hours before you begin the coloring process.
Step 3 – Coloring the Concrete
Apply tape to any areas of the concrete that you do not want to color. Use a broom or leaf blower to remove any debris that may remain on the concrete. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the stain before you use it. Shake the stain container in order to completely combine the contents inside. Apply a bit of the stain to small part of the concrete. Allow the stain enough time to dry and check to be sure you have the color you want. Use a paint roller to apply the stain to the remaining concrete.
Step 4 – Coloring Tight Areas
Apply the stain to tight areas with a paint brush. Be sure to work the stain into small corners and crevices. Keep the stain from puddling by applying thin, even layers.
Step 5 – Fixing Color Bleeding
If the color stain you use begins to bleed into areas that you do not want to color, use a paint thinner to remove the stain.
Step 6 – Allowing the Stain to Dry
Leave the concrete to dry completely. Low traffic areas can be left for 12 hours. High traffic areas should be left for about 72 hours.