Perhaps you have a dull-colored backyard patio that you want to add a little life to? Or you’ve got a kitchen floor that is lacking luster and color? Whatever your reason, concrete staining is the answer. It is a straight-forward and inexpensive way to transform a dismal slab of concrete into an elegant piece of flooring that is vibrant with rich color. But before you begin the dyeing process there are a few basic points we have to cover.
First and foremost, take a moment and apply a dime-size amount of Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream. Our formula will protect your hands against the irritants found in many concrete stain products. Not to mention that cleaning them after the dying process will be that much easier with Workman’s Friend. A simple wipe of your hands and they’re clean. Any proof of your hard work is gone.
What is Concrete Stain?
Concrete stain is a water-based product that permanently coats the cement in a color. It is a very straight-forward 2-day process. You must prepare the concrete and then apply the stain the first day and seal or lock-in the color the second. There are a variety of concrete stains available. They can usually be found at your local home improvement or paint store. Similarly to paint, each surface that is dyed will accept the color a little differently. However, unlike paint, the concrete will be visible underneath the stain. This is particularly true if you’re using a lighter color.
Preparing your Concrete
Your concrete will need to be prepped before you apply the stain. Using a stiff broom, make sure you sweep any debris or dirt off the surface. Then rinse the entire patio with water. Once the concrete is clean make sure your shoes are too before you step onto the surface. Tape a plastic film or protective cloth along the sides of your concrete. You don’t have to protect your lawn or any plants if you don’t want to. Even if they are sprayed with a little bit of stain it won’t be noticeable nor will it kill them. However, the film will protect lawn furniture, fences or garden decorations that can’t be moved.
Applying the Stain
Similarly to painting, the first thing that should be applied to your concrete is a base coat. This first layer will make your top coat appear more vibrant in color. Spray this first color onto the wet concrete just enough to cover the surface. Using your spray wand and move it in circular motion over the cement. Wait a few hours before applying the second coat of stain. It is recommended to work in small sections (4ftx6ft) and not to box yourself into a corner!
Remember never apply the stain in direct sunlight or on a windy day. Both will make the dye drift on the concrete. The best tools to use when staining your cement are garden sprayers. One for each color you’re using (base & top coat) and a third for water. When you fill your sprayer full of dye make sure you do that over a tarp or the grass. You wouldn’t want any of it to land on your concrete because spills will stain your patio.
Applying the Sealant
It’s recommended to wait at least 24 hours for the top coat of the stain to dry before applying the sealant. Though the majority of the sealer should be applied using a roller, start with a small brush (i.e. 3 inches) to cover the edges of the cement first. The sealant will look a bit milky when it is brushed on but will turn clear as it dries. Let the first layer of sealant dry and then apply a second coat perpendicular to the first. Though some do-it-yourselfers’ don’t advise that you apply a sealant, what it does do is protect against fading and wear. It also enhances the stain of your cement.
One More Application
Whether you are a seasoned do-it-yourselfer or you want to add new life to a boring backyard patio, staining your concrete is an excellent way to accomplish that. It is a straight-forward, multi-step process that will deliver impressive and immediate results. But remember first and foremost to start your staining job with an application of Workman’s Friend barrier skin cream. Once that is done, you can start dyeing confidently knowing that your hands are protected from the messy clean-up.
--------------------Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream is light-weight and odorless product. Apply a dime-sized portion of our non-greasy, formula on each hand. Then rub them together to ensure the cream has been properly absorbed.