Stained Concrete Pool Deck

This stained concrete pool deck project we did in Fort Worth is an excellent example of how we apply an acid stain to exterior concrete. It was particularly interesting for two reasons, first it was not all poured at the same time.

stained concrete pool deck

As acid staining is a reactive process it will color the concrete differently if it is not all the same. We explained this to our Fort Worth homeowners who weren’t worried about it, “It’ll give it some personality” and we agree. 

The second reason was the wind! We often have to deal with the elements in exterior projects but this was ridiculous, wind gusts up to 30 mph! Needless to say it made it pretty exciting.

power washing pool deck

The first step in any stained concrete pool deck project is to thoroughly clean it. We normally do it by power washing it to get the grime up and use a non-reactive concrete cleaner for more stubborn spots. This is the most important step as anything that gets left behind will be visible in the final finished floor. 

pool deck after power washing

Once clean we placed a couple of color samples for our homeowners, and they loved both of them. In the end we decided to go with a two colors for this stained concrete patio- a “burnished copper” and an “onyx”. As the onyx is a darker, black toned stain, we used it as a highlight color.

taping up a brick column

Before spraying a drop of stain on the concrete, we first taped everything up to protect it, from the stones, to the coping, to the columns, to the walls, everything. 

And as fast as we taped it up, the wind pulled it down. I think we spent more time taping than spraying; but if you try to shortcut this step you’ll regret it at the end of the day.

spraying acid stain on deck

We basically sprayed the acid stain in between taping and this particular acid stain brand left a whitish haze on the floor that is a residue created by the acid reacting with the concrete.

after one coat of acid stain

 We cleaned this off and reapplied the acid two more times to get the color and highlights that our Fort Worth homeowners wanted.

pool deck after three coats of stain

Next we got ready to apply the sealer coat to our stained concrete pool deck. We had to make sure it was completely dry (which in the wind didn’t take very long at all) and sprayed it on in a couple of coats. As you can see it makes a tremendous difference in the final floor color.

applying sealer to floor

We always put down two coats of sealer to make sure we don’t miss any spots and always mix in a “shark grip” with our sealer coats so that the finished floor isn’t too slippery. Shark grip is made up of finely ground plastic that get dispersed in the sealer coat. This gives the floor a light sandpaper texture that has some grip when it gets wet.

applying second coat of sealer to pool deck

If you look carefully you can that there is a color difference between the pool deck and the patio.

pool deck after sealing

It’s a subtle difference, in this case it doesn’t really stand out. That’s not always the case but this time it blended in well. 

another view of stained pool deck

We really enjoyed staining this project and loved the small ceramic lizard that had been embedded into the pool deck concrete. While ceramic is normally resistant to concrete staining we applied a little vaseline on it to protect it, just in case. 

acid stained pool deck

That coating prevented the acid from contacting the ceramic. Once we finished sealing we wiped it off with a little solvent and let it shine.

closeup of lizard embedded in acid stained pool deck

Our clients loved it! Even Mr. Lizard who is a part of the concrete pad looks nicer against this new colored background. The “winds of change” were almost the end of us but it was well worth it to get such a nice looking deck.

close up of lizard embedded in stained concrete pool deck