Adseal MD, Michael Palin explains the ease with which water-based stains can be applied and the impressive results they offer.
Water-based stains open up a whole new world of exciting possibilities when it comes to colouring, re-colouring, changing the colour or even adding decorative effects to concrete surfaces.
One business at the forefront of bringing this next generation of eco-friendly, non-hazardous concrete colouring technology to the UK is Adseal.
Start right, end right
As with so many things in life, preparation is the key to any successful concrete colouring project using water-based stains. Whether you’re focused on an exterior surface such as a patio or an interior one such as a kitchen or hallway floor, you’ll be pleased to know the steps involved are minimal and painless.
“For exterior staining jobs, we’d recommend a thorough clean using a pressure washer,” comments Michael. “This will remove any loose material as well as dirt or grease which can form a barrier between the substrate and the stain being applied.
“Similarly, for internal projects, we’d suggest cleaning the relevant surface with a steam cleaner. This is obviously less messy than a pressure washer and better suited to work sites where space is limited.”
“Regardless of whether you’re working inside or out, any stubborn grease or oil should be removed with a specialist degreaser. As a dedicated provider of concrete treatment products, Adseal offers solutions to meet your needs in this area – including our eco-friendly Surface Cleaner, Degreaser and Oil Remover.”
Soak it up
As a means of colouring concrete, water-based stains offer major benefits over other popular non-hazardous alternatives – namely paint. Paint may be easy to apply but, as it adheres only to the concrete’s surface, it can be prone to cracking, peeling and flaking. It can also fade over time.
Stains on the other hand aren’t affected by any of these issues as they actually permeate the concrete’s surface. With this in mind, it’s important to carry out a water test. “A water test enables you to check that a concrete surface is porous enough for a stain to penetrate” explains Michael. “All you need to do is put some water on the dry concrete and see how quickly it soaks in.
“If it soaks in fairly quickly then the paving is ready for staining. If it soaks in slowly or not at all, you need to exfoliate and gently profile the surface of the concrete using a product such as our non-hazardous and environmentally friendly, EcoAcid. This will gently open up the pores of the concrete enabling effective staining.”
Your colour, your way
Once you’ve prepared your surface, water-based stains can be used in different ways depending on the effect you’re ultimately looking to achieve. If you are looking for a one colour finish, or to cover existing blemishes, imperfections or even failed acid etching, then a simple solid colour stain is the answer.
With this type of project, the stain typically only requires mixing as instructed on the packaging and then applying with an applicator brush. For best results, Adseal recommends applying two coats and moving the brush in a figure of eight motion.
You can also use water-based stains to achieve more adventurous or unusual effects and designs. “With water-based stains, you can create a faux effect on a concrete surface by applying one, two or more additional colours in a random manner onto the coloured surface” says Michael.
“Similarly if you want to create an antiquing effect you can apply the same colour but diluted to greater levels to achieve the desired translucent and weathered appearance.
“In addition, you can create logos, numbers and other similarly detailed design features by combining water-based stains with a stencil from your local signwriter. You can even replicate the veined look of marble and travertine using advanced techniques.”
Sealing the deal
Having completed your staining project, it pays to protect the fruits of your labour and, more importantly, your customer’s investment with the application of a sealer.
Doing so, means you’ll only have to touch up the sealer on occasion, rather than having to maintain the actual stained concrete. A number of companies offer products to meet your needs, again including Adseal.
As Michael concludes: “Adseal is a one-stop shop for any concrete treatment requirement and our range spans the full project cycle – from preparation through to water-based staining and on to sealing.
“As such, our portfolio includes traditional solvent-based sealers as well as water-based acrylic/PU hybrid sealers which are very hard-wearing, virtually odourless and eco-friendly.
“As a business, we also believe it’s important to complement great products with equally great service. That’s why we’re only too willing to give the trade the benefit of our expert advice when it comes to using water-based stains.”
For further information on Adseal’s range of water-based stains click here.