Concrete Stain

walttools reax concrete stainConcrete stain has changed a lot over the recent years and applicators have more product choices than ever. Like any product, each kind of stain for concrete will have both advantages and limitations by type, from water-based acrylic stains, acid-based chemical stains, and other reactive stains and one needs to consider this before choosing. In general, concrete stain can be used to produce both contemporary and rustic finishes of floors, countertops, and even walls. Cement stains are applicable for both interior and exterior construction, and can be used with new concrete or older existing surfaces.

For the longest time, decorative concrete contractors have been using acid based chemical concrete stains, or simply, acid stain, to achieve rich, earth-toned color schemes resembling natural stone, marble, wood, or even leather. But today, contractors are no longer limited to earthy shades. Other choices on the market, such as water-based stains, are greatly expanding the installer’s palette with colors ranging from soft pastels to rich reds, oranges, yellows, and purples. And in most cases, these newer stain products can be easier and safer to apply.                                                                            

Acid concrete stain is a mixture of water, a special acid blend, and metallic salts. They penetrate, react chemically, and it stains concrete. Once stained, you will have to fully neutralize and clean the surface with a suitable concrete cleaner before applying your protective concrete sealer. They are classified as a concrete reactive stain. Concrete acid stains become a permanent part of the concrete. They're known for their durability and long-lasting color because cement stains will not fade, chip, or peel off. The color pallet is a bit limited but Walttools has the largest color range available. Concrete acid stains are known for their translucent color and ability to react differently creating one-of-a-kind color and patterning.

Another chemically reactive stain, exclusive to Walttools, is Re-ax stain. Similar to acid stains in that they chemically react with the concrete surface, but different in that they do so without the extra work involved with acid stain cleanup. These are simply “apply, wait for the color change and seal” stains. They are especially potent in their ability to mottle the surface to produce the most variation of any concrete stain. As with acid stains, they will potentially react different on each concrete slab so it should always be tested for color reactivity before proceeding.

Then, there are water-based concrete stains. If you want to go beyond the drama and subdued color palette of reactive staining, consider using Tru Tint water-based stains. With 40 stock colors offered and custom blending available, they are and extremely popular choice for contractor and DIYer alike. Color is more consistent between surfaces and there are no harsh chemicals involved. Colors can be diluted, combined, layered, and manipulated in many ways to achieve the desired effects. Water-based concrete stains are suspensions of micro-fine or nano-pigments suspended in a water-based solution of penetrating and binding agents. Because pigment color choices are so plentiful there is a wider color variety to choose from. A good water-based stain will give you time to work with it yet be permanent when cured out. Water-based stains work by actually flowing into and filling the concrete pores and bonding into the surface. Because they are more surface dependent for soaking in, you need to be sure proper prep is done to open up the surface to allow for a good, deep bond in the poors. C-Etch is a great product for that by safely etching the surface giving you plenty of porosity.

As you can see, there are many product options for stains. For more info on each particular type of stain, click on their categories below.


Re-Ax Stain

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