Acid Stain vs. Water Based Stain
There are two types of concrete stains, acid based and water based. Both have their qualities and drawbacks. This article should help you decide which is the best choice for your concrete.
Acid stains are by far the best looking. The natural patterning that an acid stain can give the concrete is the most unique. Unfortunately if the concrete is too old the minerals won’t react with the acid stain and pick up the color. Newer concrete will always get the best patterning. The patterning is similar to what can be found in natural stone. Usually acid stains are more expensive for these reasons: The concrete needs to be neutralized after the acid stain has cured. If the concrete isn’t neutralized any topcoat applied will be destroyed. It also takes more prep work when using acid stains. If you can imagine the product is very acidic and instantly rusts any metal it touches. It can also damage base boards and paint so all of the areas have to be thoroughly masked before application.
There are many different types of water based stains. Some come out looking similar to paint and some have a light transparent look. Water based stains can be applied in multiple colors to mimic the acid stain look. They are usually easier to apply because they’re not acidic and are low in VOCs. They do not have to be neutralized and some can be fully cured in an hour or two. This makes them more cost efficient option when budgeting is a concern. Water based stains have a more consistent look to them. Some people want a consistent color across their concrete and water based stains are the correct option for that specific look.
Sweet Concrete is skilled at applying both acid and water based stains. It took over a decade to find the best brands and application techniques which have now been perfected to an artisan quality. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your concrete staining options.