Concrete is an incredible, durable material that is well-worth its investment, but rarely has anyone extolled the virtue of concrete’s dull gray color in an outdoor setting. Concrete patios are practical, but concrete often looks harsh, dull and interruptible to the natural landscape.
Staining your concrete can change its hue to blend in with the natural surroundings. With the right choice of color, concrete stain can take away concrete’s cold barren face and replace it with a warm welcoming hue that doesn’t detract from the surrounding landscape.
If you haven’t poured the concrete yet, you can add a dye to the wet concrete mix to create a base for the top layer of stain. This prevents a sharp color contrast from appearing when the top layer of stain starts wearing away. Instead of a defect in the concrete gaining attention, the area will achieve an overall weathered look and the defect will be unnoticeable.
Even if your concrete is already poured and set and dyeing it is out of the question, you still have a wide variety of stains and finishes to choose from. Stain colors can complement or blend in with surrounding plants and greenery or accent your patio furnishings. You could also choose a formal stain that creates a marble look, or use stain and etching techniques to turn you concrete into a cobblestone look-a-like. Stains can be used on any concrete material – patios, individual concrete stone slabs for walkways, vertical architectural elements, and concrete-based garden décor. If you’re staining a large patio, keep in mind that stains can appear darker when they are applied over a large area. Test an area before you take on a large project, and envision it slightly darker than it appears in the test area.
If you have multiple patios, sitting areas, or outdoor rooms, you can distinguish them by using different hues that tie together in your color palette.
Always scrub your concrete clean before you begin staining. It must be completely dry or it won’t adhere properly. You should also cover the surrounding area to protect it from getting an unwanted change in color. Using a manual pump sprayer for patios and stones will give you greater control in your staining. However, if you’re staining steps or garden décor, staining with a paintbrush will give you more accurate results. After staining, you can apply a sealant for extra protection from the weather.
Concrete stain can pave the way to a new landscape with warm hues softening the view. Life wasn’t meant to be dull and drab, and neither was your landscape. Warm up the harsh areas of your landscape with a concrete stain that acknowledges the natural world around it. With just one color change, your yard can give you a fresh new outlook on the world that’s sitting just outside your home’s back door.