Even the most well-maintained stamped concrete patios are liable to fade over time. External agents like sunlight, surface traffic, dust, and grime are responsible for the slow wearing away of the color. However, you can recolor the concrete with some basic tools and the following information.
Step 1 - Clean Your Patio Surface
Get started by thoroughly cleaning the patio. This is vital because you need to remove the debris lining the surface that has to be re-colored. You can use various kinds of solutions depending upon the condition of the concrete and your preference, but an organic washing solution can be prepared by mixing lukewarm water and some baking soda. This is the simplest and safest cleaner for scrubbing away stains, and you can use a brush or mop to apply and spread it.
Many landscapers prefer using cleaners prepared from muriatic acid. These concrete cleaners are safe to use and very potent. Using one of these is recommended if the stamped concrete is very old and heavily stained.
Step 2 - Remove Old Color
You need to prepare the surface for re-coloring by removing the existing layer of paint or stain. Use a chemically-formulated, acid-based concrete cleaner for this. Dilute the acid according to packaged instructions, and apply it to the stamped concrete patio using a wet mop. Allow the acid to work upon the surface for a few minutes. Then proceed by thoroughly rubbing and rinsing the patio using a long-handled broom and garden hose. It may seem that the stamped concrete isn't comprehensively etched in certain patches. Use a hard-bristled brush for minimally scrubbing such patches. Repeatedly rinse the area with the hose, and then allow the entire surface to dry.
Step 3 - Prime
Use an oil-based priming solution to overcome the traces of old paint/stain on the patio and provide a uniform surface for the fresh coat of paint. Pour it into a rolling paint pan and dilute it according to the package's instructions. Use a paint roller to spread the primer over the concrete surface and allow it to dry.
Step 4 - Paint/Stain Surface
Now, you can proceed with painting the patio in a conventional manner. Dilute the paint in the paint tray by adding paint thinner according to the retailer’s recommendations. Using a long-handled paint roller, apply the first coat of paint. Allow this to dry before adding another; two coats are usually the norm. You can exceed this according to your preference for the intensity of color.
Staining is another option for restoring color. It helps to render a slightly rustic look to the patio. Branded staining solutions are retailed specifically for concrete surfaces. You can choose a staining shade that complements the surroundings, such as the driveway or garden. The staining compound is applied in a manner similar to the paint, but it needs fewer coatings and minimal dilution.
Follow your painting or staining with a protective sealer for concrete so that your new color lasts as long as possible.