All three types of dyes come in a variety of colors, tints, shades and textures, but each uses a different technology to create different decorative styles. Using a concrete dye is the easiest way to color concrete. The dyes are available in many different colors and dry quite quickly. Simply take the powder dye, add it to water or a solvent, and then paint the concrete.
For a long time, decorative concrete contractors have used acid-based chemical dyes for concrete, or simply, acid dyes, to achieve earth-toned rich color schemes that resemble natural stone, marble, wood, or even leather. But today, contractors are no longer limited to earth tones. Acid stains are created with a mixture of acid, metal salts and water. The acid chemically reacts with the minerals within the concrete and the reaction creates a beautiful speckled surface effect.
Once stained, you'll need to completely neutralize and clean the surface with a suitable concrete cleaner before applying your protective concrete sealer. They are classified as a reactive stain for concrete. Acid stains from concrete become a permanent part of concrete. They are known for their durability and long-lasting color because cement stains don't fade, chip, or peel off.
The color palette is a bit limited, but Walttools has the largest color gamut available. Acid stains for concrete are known for their translucent color and ability to react differently, creating a unique color and pattern. These stains will require the user to take safety precautions, since the user works with acid. As shown at the top of the page, Re-Ax Stain, exclusive to Walttools, is similar to acid stains in that it reacts chemically with the concrete surface, but different in that it does so without the extra work involved in cleaning acid stains.
These are simply “apply”, wait for the color to change, and then seal the stains. They are especially powerful in their ability to speckle the surface to produce the greatest variation of any concrete stain. As with acid stains, they can react differently on each concrete slab, so you should always test the color reactivity of your chosen stain before proceeding. Simply spray the Re-Ax, apply with a broom (optional), wait a few hours for it to change color, then seal it.
There couldn't be an easier process and, once again, there is no need to neutralize the surface as should be done with acid stains. They are the best for creating the “Old World” look in your project. Concrete dyes and dyes are used to color concrete. However, they do this through very different methods.
Because the coloring method is different, the possible results of either application vary. Film-forming stains coat or deposit on a concrete surface similar to paint, but can peel off or peel off with exposure to things such as heavy traffic and adverse weather conditions. For most projects, manufacturers will recommend applying a clear sealant to freshly colored concrete for additional protection against abrasion, chemicals, and lightning exposure. For this reason, dyes are often used to create designs, graphics, or logos stamped on interior concrete surfaces.
Knowing how to color concrete and the techniques used to color concrete should help you decide which process will work best for your colored concrete project. Colored concrete can be combined with other decorative concrete finishes, such as broom finish, embossing, sandblasting, aggregate exposure and more. When different batches of concrete vary slightly in the same job, they may absorb stains or dye differently, resulting in noticeable color variations. We use colored concrete for stamped concrete patios, stamped concrete driveways, and interior concrete floors all the time.
With treatments applied to the surface, especially reactive chemical stains, the color can vary widely depending on the condition and original color of the base concrete. Ask the color manufacturer or your decorative concrete contractor for the best care and maintenance procedures for your installation. A major advantage of integrally colored concrete is that the color spreads throughout the concrete slab. If water drips onto the concrete surface, the floor has been finished or sealed and is not ready to accept the dye.
Understanding the differences, benefits, and difficulties of each colored concrete application is important in determining which one is best for your project. This is often used when the installer plans to stain the concrete after pouring or must avoid the mess of dust release. . .