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Anyone ever use concrete stain on a Patio?

I have a decent sized patio out back 12 x 22 and have been kicking around different ideas to spruce it up. After calculating the cost for pavers or putting in a deck, I am now looking at staining it. Cost wise it's a no brainer. I just don't know how well it will turn out.

Home Depot sells a solid and a semi-transparent. I'm leaning towards solid. The preparation on the concrete is what I'm questioning. They recommend etching "smooth" surfaces. My Patio is not smooth, it's fairly rough. Is etching necessary?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:53 PM
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Re: Anyone ever use concrete stain on a Patio?

Quote:
Originally posted by krichard
I have a decent sized patio out back 12 x 22 and have been kicking around different ideas to spruce it up. After calculating the cost for pavers or putting in a deck, I am now looking at staining it. Cost wise it's a no brainer. I just don't know how well it will turn out.

Home Depot sells a solid and a semi-transparent. I'm leaning towards solid. The preparation on the concrete is what I'm questioning. They recommend etching "smooth" surfaces. My Patio is not smooth, it's fairly rough. Is etching necessary?

Thanks for any input.
There are some variables you need to consider, primarily how old the concrete is. Generally the older the concrete the less likely the stain will "take' evenly. That being said, I've seen very old concrete that turned out beautifully if you wanted a "mottled" look; i.e., color variations as opposed to a solid color. Also, the fresher the concrete the more durable the stain in high traffic areas (seems the stain penetrates deeper on new concrete).

Finally, I'd recommend you score the concrete with a geometric pattern to immitate tile. This is done with a simple circular saw with a masonry blade set for a very shallow cut. If you just stain a plain concrete slab it can look pretty drab and monolithic. Additionally a coat of semigloss urethane can help with a more finished, deeper look but make sure it is recommended for outdoor use. IMO high gloss urethane outdoors looks pretty cheesy.

Just my $.02

Last edited by Dueller; 04-19-2007 at 09:04 PM..
Old 04-19-2007, 09:01 PM
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I've used it on a garage floor. I forget the brand, but it was an exterior grade solid color. It held up pretty good. Before it was put down I degreased the floor and scrubbed it with muratic acid.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:13 AM
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definatley use the muriatic acid. You want it to bubble ans sizzle a bit.
You need to neutralize the acid several washes of fresh water.
Protect your landscaping.

the stain will go on three days later after the cement has dried.

Why not try clay Mexican paver tiles? I would think a project as small as yours could be done yourself for under $1200.


KT
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:52 AM
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Definitely you need to acid wash first. Plan on alot of water to rinse and that you will lose smaller plants/grass along the borders.

I did a two color acid stain, amber followed by dark walnut, on my bbq island. The top was freshly poured ~ 1 month prior. The picture does not do it justice - it looks like old worn leather. Very cool. I finished with a clear coat that deepened the color and gave a gloss finish.



So for a patio - I doubt you would want a clear coat as a little water on there and it becomes as slick as ice. The clear coat really brings out the color though. With older concrete, and a larger patio surface, I think trying to go with a solid uniform color may not turn out well due to varying absorbtion. There might be a pre-stain conditioner, like wood stain products have, to enourage a more even take but I don't know.

Can you post a picture of your candidate patio?
Old 04-20-2007, 10:44 AM
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that bbq kitchen looks really nice.


KT
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:43 PM
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So here is the patio. I like to idea of scoring it to give it a more distinct appearance. I will also be adding a railing around 3/4 of it to give it a deck like feel. The concrete is 2 years old, poured when we built the house.
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:36 PM
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I'd recommend a sealer rather than any top coating when finished. The sealer will penetrate as the stain did and never lift. More than one coat will give adequate protection. I understand that you can get some patterns with the use of tape. Scoring sounds like a good idea, but what dry cutting I've done with a masonry blade was extremely messy. A big, heavy wet saw intended for that purpose will make short work of it. You won't be able to get all the way to any vertical wall or column. You could run a header cut and end at that.
Old 04-20-2007, 02:43 PM
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If you want to score cut, I recommend the following:

Have a helper hold a long wooden board to the slab for you to use as a cutting guide.
Set your saw to 1/8 inch deep.
Tape the end of your shop vac hose onto your circular where the dust comes off the blade.
Use a diamond blade designed for dry cutting.


But, I'd rather see you tile it with slate.


KT
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:14 PM
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I had a patio poured last year. After the recommended cure time, I "stained" it with Behr concrete stain. To me it didn't seem to penetrate like stain. More like paint. I followed the directions but it pretty much started flaking off right away. Maybe it was too new? Don't know, but it looks like crap now. The good news is it's flaking so badly that after this summer there probably won't be any stain left on it.
Old 04-20-2007, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by trekkor
If you want to score cut, I recommend the following:

Have a helper hold a long wooden board to the slab for you to use as a cutting guide.
Set your saw to 1/8 inch deep.
Tape the end of your shop vac hose onto your circular where the dust comes off the blade.
Use a diamond blade designed for dry cutting.


But, I'd rather see you tile it with slate.


KT
Thanks for the advice. I completely agree that the right thing to do is pavers or slate or even tile. If we were planning on staying here for a while I would spend the money. We are actively looking for homes on acreage lots currently so I doubt we will be here more than another 9 months. I just want to make it look nicer to enjoy for the short time and more appealing for potential buyers when we put it on the market.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:16 PM
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I would recommend acid type stain rather thaN water based stain.

try these links:

http://www.sunset.com/sunset/home/article/0,20633,1046110,00.html

and

www.fabcrete.com

As far as scoring. I would cut a "border" around the perimeter since you won'y be able to go all the way to the wall, and then score within that perimeter on a diagonal. Also, you'll probably want to want to make it into two sections since you have an expansion joint in the middle.

Last edited by Dueller; 04-23-2007 at 08:03 AM..
Old 04-23-2007, 07:57 AM
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