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Staining Exterior Concrete

Because they penetrate the concrete surface, most acid- and water-based stains have excellent UV stability and wear resistance, permitting you to use them on both interior and exterior concrete slabs (see The Types of Concrete Stains and How They Work). If you plan to stain a concrete driveway, patio, or other outdoor surface, just make sure to check that the concrete stain you use is suitable for exterior applications. Most manufacturers recommend applying a clear sealer to newly stained concrete for additional protection from abrasion, chemicals, and UV exposure.

Other precautions before applying stain to exterior concrete:

  • Allow new concrete to cure for at least 30 days before applying a stain.
  • Avoid the use of curing compounds, which can inhibit stain penetration.
  • On existing concrete, keep in mind that stains are intended to enhance rather than disguise the surface. They will not mask cracks, blemishes, discoloration, or other flaws.
  • An existing concrete slab with major cracks or spalling is usually not a good candidate for staining because any patchwork is likely to show right through the stain.

Creative Stained Patios