Monday, August 29, 2011

Can I stain 20 year old concrete, or should I use acrylics?

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   Q. -  the concrete that i am planning to stain is about 20yrs old. is it too old to be stained or should i use acrylic instead?
Hello Jerry,
   A. -  Your concrete should be fine to stain, so long as it is not contaminated with glue, oil, grease, sealers, waxes, or anything else that would prevent the stain from soaking into the pores of the concrete. If it is covered or contaminated, then we can instruct you on how to strip and/or sand it as needed, to prepare it for concrete staining.
   Older concrete does of course have a harder time accepting and reacting to concrete stains, that are standard grade. Which is what pretty much all acid stains are, especially those found locally, i.e.: home improvement stores. However, Concrete Camouflage is the leader in, and perhaps the only one, to manufacture an Artist grade stain. Artist grade concrete stains will work where standard grade stains will not and cannot. Even on concrete that has been acid etched or acid washed. When all the other manufacturers tell you that concrete acid stain will not work on acid etched concrete, or concrete that is older, that is because they are representing a standard grade, or everyday run of the mill concrete stain. Even Concrete Camouflage carries a standard grade stain called Fiesta-Stain(to compete with the other manufacturers, after all not everyone wants a Mazarati - some people just want a Geo Metro.) Anyway, the Artist grade stain will indeed work where all the others will not, including Fiesta-Stain. I would still do a test area to be sure though, before doing the entire job. You should never take anyone's word for anything these days. A test would ensure not only compatibility with your concrete, but also that you are going to like the color.
   In regards to acrylics. Acrylic stains are simply disguised paint. Their only purpose is to separate you from your cash. As with all paints on concrete, they will peel. No matter what anyone says. We have a recipe for what would be the world's best acrylic stain. It's basically a type of concrete sealer(which wears away with time) and you guessed it, paint pigments. It is locked away forever, to protect the public from junk products.(we like to sleep at night). I strongly advise you to stay away from the acrylics. I and all of us around here for that matter, spend much of our time on an ongoing basis, telling people how to remove the acrylic messes that have been tricked into by the big box companies. Only acid stains are true concrete stains, as wood stains are to wood.
I hope this helps.
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