Deco-Crete Supply |690 Harrison DrColumbusOH43204 | (614) 253-3326

Finding the Right Stain or Dye for Your Project

Stains and dyes work differently, and each presents the opportunity to create depth in a decorative concrete project. Finding and preparing your surface properly makes your project easier and gives you a finished product to admire for a lifetime.

Acid-Based Stains

Acid- and water-based stains adhere best to concrete with a rough surface. Removing all the residual stain and sealer from the surface will ensure proper coating and coloring.

Designs and concrete stamps created outdoors keep their color and shine without flaking or fading when you use acid- and water-based stains. The UV-tolerant stains, once sealed, look new years later.

Acid-based stains react with the calcium in the concrete to create a permanent color unique to that particular concrete surface. Earthy colors with amazing depth result from acid-based stains. A concrete contractor can give you advice and will know the tools and stains needed for a successful project. Expect to choose from many colors, including:

  • Aqua blue
  • Cola
  • Black
  • English red
  • Golden wheat
  • Lawn green

The range of colors does not end with these few choices. With acid-based stains, individual concrete artisans may have colors unique to their personal techniques. Concrete makes a beautiful and durable surface for pool decks, garages, driveways, basements and more.

Water-based stains come in more colors and offer the flexibility to use the stained concrete outside or inside. While the earthy tones of acid-based stains and the reaction during the coloring process keep these projects outside, water-based stains take the project to any room of the house .

Concrete Dyes

Dyes absorb into concrete instead of coating the surface. Opening the pores in the concrete as much as possible will allow dyes to absorb deeper into the material. Because dye becomes part of the concrete, polishing does not fade the colors or designs in decorative concrete projects.

To open the pores to their fullest, concrete contractors recommend grinding instead of using muriatic acid or other chemicals to prepare the surface. Dyes are not UV-tolerant and will fade if used outdoors.

Powdered acetone dye comes in any color desired and has the advantage of drying faster than acid- or water-based stains.

A wealth of color and design ideas exist to make the finished project a work of art. Whether crafted by a professional or a homeowner, concrete’s versatility and durability pleases the whole family.