Acid staining concrete generally doesn’t make a good candidate for a do-it-yourself project. Too many things can go wrong in inexperienced hands, and whatever results from a first-timer’s experiment is pretty much permanent, for better or worse. Such a caution to would-be DIY-ers holds especially true when it comes to using acid stain to create some of the more visually stunning and intricate designs and patterns that can be executed in concrete.
Concrete “special effects” projects not only require experience with acid stains themselves, but often also involve other special skills in working with concrete. Advanced techniques involving sawing or carving cured, hardened concrete are best left to practiced professionals. If you have particularly ambitious ideas for your home’s flooring or concrete hardscape, you need to choose an acid stain specialist who’s both a craftsman and an artist.
Of course, the way that acid staining transforms plain, cold-looking concrete into a vibrant, warmly toned surface that often appears to be some other material altogether is a small miracle in itself. But with acid stained concrete, it’s possible to go way beyond the simple-but-elegant look to achieve something truly eye-popping, something that can be a real conversation piece in your home or business:
Stenciling – Intricate, multicolored pictures or patterns can be created in concrete with the use of special stencils that act as a guide for the application of stain to small, specific areas. Sometimes a concrete gel dye is used rather than stain, because its thickness prevents it from wicking and bleeding under the stencil. Also, a wider color palette is available with dyes. Company logos and graphics for lobby floors or areas outside the main entrance of a business can be created this way.
Saw-cutting and engraving – Lines can be cut in the surface with a concrete saw to make borders between areas that will be stained differently to create designs or patterns that can be geometrically regular or abstract and asymmetrical. Lines can also be engraved after staining to make borders that are lighter in color than the surrounding surface, either to create an artistic design or logo, or to simulate the appearance of grout lines in a floor that’s been stained to look like tile or stone.
3D effects – Geometric patterns that fool the eye to create a three-dimensional appearance can be achieved using stains, perhaps along with concrete dyes, and precise decorative saw cuts. These designs really do seem to “pop”!
Metallic flooring – Epoxy floor coatings that include metal flakes can be applied to your concrete floor along with special sealers to give the surface a metallic appearance with a glass-like sheen. Faux-metallic floors can give a very modern look to a kitchen, bathroom or even a garage, and they can lend a hip-industrial look to businesses like nightclubs and bars.
Embedded objects – Implanting objects in the surface of concrete before it hardens can create a truly unique and personalized look. This technique can work well in surfaces like countertops and tabletops. Acid staining in complementary colors and patterns highlights the embedded objects, which can be a homeowner’s actual mementos, an assortment of small items representing a theme or objects arranged to create an abstract, artistic pattern. Creativity is the only limit – one designer used earthtone stains to give a concrete backsplash the look of ancient limestone, while embedding darker objects in it that appeared to be fossils!
Acid Stain Designs is an Arizona acid stained concrete specialist that can integrate decorative concrete special effects into the design of your home or outdoor living space. Call us today at 602-350-4833 to have a free consultation about how acid staining and other decorative techniques can transform the look of your indoor concrete or outdoor hardscape.