How Miami Concrete Staining is Done
There are now two ways to stain concrete, one uses a weak acidic solution, and the other uses a pigment based solution. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
In the first category are chemical stains, these in effect do not have any color of their own, but color the concrete using a chemical reaction. The acid reacts with the lime deposits, and imparts the mineral agents into the concrete. This color is formed as a permanent bond and will not chip or peel away. The best finishes are achieved with acid staining, as the depth of translucency is achieved by the use of multiple layers of color and finishes.
The second category is the water based acrylic pigment solutions. These soak directly into the concrete and leave behind their pigment. These are preferred by many as there is a much wider choice of colors, than can be found in the Miami acid stains. However they do not last as well, and certainly don’t produce the same depth of color.
The most conventional way to apply a Miami concrete stain is to place multiple thin coats onto the concrete, most professionals would use some form of spraying equipment. Be warned that the effects you achieve will vary with the quality and condition of the concrete. Concrete staining will only work where the stain can penetrate the substrate. An easy test for this is to pour a cupful of water on your slab of concrete and see if it will soak, if the water beads or wont penetrate, then the stain will not take either. If this is the case, then your other option is to apply a cement layer over your slab, this will give you a nice clean surface.
If you are going to stain a new surface, most manufacturers will recommend leaving the concrete to cure for at least 30 days. This is because many concretes will retain their chemicals, and water for at least that long.