“Winds of Change” – A stained concrete patio in Fort Worth, TX

This stained concrete patio 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, the patio was not all poured at the same time. 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.” We agree. The second reason was the wind! We often have to deal with the elements in exterior projects, but this was ridiculous, with wind gusts up to 30 mph! Needless to say, it made it pretty exciting.

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The first step in a stained concrete patio 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. Once cleaned, we placed a couple of color samples for our homeowners, and they loved both of them. In the end, we decided to go with 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.

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

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Next we got ready to apply the sealer coat to our stained concrete patio. 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. We always mix in a “shark grip” with our sealer coats so that the finished floor isn’t too slippery. This gives the floor a light sandpaper texture that has some grip when it gets wet. They 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 patio.

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