coloring poolThose looking to distinguish their homes can’t go wrong with concrete. Though many of us think of it as such a basic material, the truth is that there are many options for using concrete in a number of beautiful ways. A concrete stain is just one of many ways you can beautify the outside or interior of your home. If you’re not familiar with the process, keep reading for more information.

How Acid-Based Concrete Stains Work

Acid-based concrete stains are actually quite simple, though they provide a beautiful finished product. All acid stains contain some amount of metallic salts. When applied to concrete, they eat through the surface of the tough material, opening pores throughout and creating a path for the metallic salt to penetrate (this is all on a microscopic level). As the salt makes its way through the concrete, it reacts with chemicals along the way, producing a magnificent translucent color. The finished product is what we refer to as Stained concrete.

There is no one uniform acid stain that can be applied to concrete, given the random elements involved. Some concrete will be older than others; some concrete is more porous than others. All things being the same, the acid will still find different paths to travel. But this only means each concrete stain is completely unique and offers natural beauty.

Water-Based Concrete Stains

The other popular type of concrete stain you might choose is water-based. While this type of stain offer many more colors to choose from, they are said to be more environmentally friendly. However, the finished product won’t be as naturally variegated and translucent as an acid stain. The water-based concrete stains require more of an artists touch to develop a natural color.

Water-based stains also penetrate your concrete but no acids are involved, no ammonia or neutralizer is needed at the end as is necessary with acid stains.


If your acid stain is outdoors, it’s even more important that you pick the right type of sealer. While you most likely won’t be mopping it, there are plenty of outdoor cleaning products you can use to help maintain its integrity but generally you can spray it off with a hose and when dry apply a new layer or sealer as required every year to two years.

Here at Contractor Source, we can offer answers to any questions you might have about either concrete stain option. We offer the best prices on a wide array of stains and can ship them to you faster than you might think.

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