How and Why Water-Based Concrete Stains Work

How and Why Water Based Concrete Stains Work | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

To achieve a more dramatic look, water-based concrete stains are often a good choice. Available in a wide spectrum of hues, water-based stains present a beautiful and durable color option. In many instances, it is even possible to mix different colors to broaden available color options.

Since water-based stains are not actually a covering or a paint, there are no worries that the color will chip from the floor. Maintaining a water-based concrete stained floor is quite easy, usually requiring only damp mopping with a neutral cleaner or dust mopping.

While water-based concrete stains are applied in a manner similar to acid-based and reactive stains, there are some differences regarding how these two types of stains function. While acid-based stains work by responding with the ingredients in the concrete in order to drive a chemical change, water-based concrete stains work by staining the concrete with pigments rather than chemical reactions. Water serves as the carrier to allow material, including a binder and pigment, to follow. The binder, which could be a silicate or acrylic polymer, works by locking the pigment into the concrete. The pigment is responsible for imparting the color.


Water-based stains actually work by flowing into the pores of the concrete and then bonding with the cement. It should be noted, however, that water-based stains do not alter the concrete chemically. For this reason, water-based stains are not technically permanent in nature. Without a sealer being applied, this type of stain could wear away from the concrete.

Problems with water-based concrete stains can occur if there is not a good topcoat or a proper surface profile. Since this type of stain works by carrying the pigment into the pores of the concrete, those pores must be open in order to receive the pigment. This means that having a good profile is absolutely essential. The profile cannot be smooth or slick or the color will not bond.


Q: How long do Duraamen’s concrete dyes last on an interior surface with foot traffic?

A: The lifespan of Duraamen’s concrete dyes on an interior surface with foot traffic may differ based on various factors. These factors include the application quality, the level of maintenance, and the amount of foot traffic on the surface. When applied correctly and maintained with the recommended sealers and finishes, Duraamen’s concrete dyes can last for many years. Their durability and resistance to fading make them an excellent investment for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Q: Are Deso and Pellucid environmentally friendly?

A: Absolutely. Duraamen is committed to sustainability, and our Deso and Pellucid dyes are formulated to be as eco-friendly as possible. These water-based stains contain low VOCs, making them safer for both the applicator and the environment.

Q: How much surface preparation is required for a water-based concrete stain?

To ensure a successful and long-lasting water-based concrete stain project, proper surface preparation is of utmost importance. The amount of surface preparation required depends on several factors. Firstly, it is essential to remove any existing cure and seal, sealer, paint, dirt, grime, and grease from the concrete surface. This can be achieved through thorough cleaning and possibly using appropriate cleaning agents.

Once the surface is clean, it must possess adequate porosity to allow the colorant to penetrate effectively. If the concrete surface is too smooth or slick, the colorant may struggle to nest in or bind, resulting in less stable pigments on the concrete. This, in turn, may create a barrier between the concrete and the sealer to be applied later.

To prevent potential issues such as the finish peeling up along with the color, it is crucial to ensure a strong bond between the sealer and the concrete surface. In order to achieve this, taking the extra time to adequately prepare the surface is necessary. By doing so, you can increase the chances of a successful outcome and a long-lasting, beautiful result.

Q: How do I know if my concrete is properly prepared for Duraamen’s concrete dyes?

To ensure that your concrete is properly prepared for Duraamen’s concrete dyes, there are a few steps you can follow. Firstly, it is recommended to lightly etch or sand the concrete surface to create porosity, allowing the pigments of the concrete dye to effectively bond with the surface.

To test the readiness of your concrete, begin by applying the concrete dye to a small test area and let it dry completely. Once dry, run your finger across the test area or wipe a cloth across the color. A well-prepared surface will retain a majority of the pigment within the pores of the concrete. It is normal to have a very slight pickup of color which is not considered a problem.

However, if you find that wiping off the color completely removes it from the surface, it indicates that the concrete may not be adequately prepared. In such cases, it is advisable to etch or sand the surface further to ensure proper preparation for a successful dye application that will not peel over time.

Remember, by taking these steps, you can be confident that your concrete is well-prepared and ready to achieve optimal color saturation and durability with Duraamen’s concrete dyes.

Q: How should Duraamen’s water-based stains be sprayed onto the concrete surface?

A: To achieve optimal results when spraying the water-based stain onto a concrete surface, follow these steps:

1. Prepare the sprayer: Before pouring the dye into the pump-up sprayer, make sure to remove all filters to ensure smooth flow. Also, give the dye container a good shake to properly mix the contents.

2. Starting point: To maintain a clear and uninterrupted path to the exit, begin spraying the concrete dye from a far corner of the surface.

3. Application technique: Apply the dye onto the surface using slightly circular motions with irregular overlaps. This method helps ensure even coverage and prevent any patchy areas.

4. Prevent settling: Regularly shake the sprayer tank from side to side during the spraying process. This action helps to prevent the color from settling, ensuring a consistent color application.

5. Avoid puddling: Apply thin coats of the concrete dye to the surface to prevent the formation of puddles. This will result in a more even and consistent color application.

6. Enhancing color intensity: For a deeper and more vibrant color, additional coats of Deso or Pellucid can be applied using the same spraying method. It is recommended to apply a maximum of four thin coats to achieve the desired effect.

7. Drying time: Allow the dye to completely dry before applying any sealer. It is important to ensure that the surface is dry to the touch before proceeding with the next step.

By following these steps, you can effectively spray Duraamen’s concrete dyes onto a concrete surface, resulting in a visually appealing and durable finish.

Q: How much do I need to stain my concrete?

To determine the amount of stain you will need for your concrete project, it is necessary to consider the square footage of the area you wish to stain. The coverage rate for the stain is 200 square feet per gallon, assuming you apply two coats and taking into account the porosity of the concrete. It is important to note that at least two coats are required for a satisfactory result.

Duraamen Industrial and Polished Concrete Flooring Products are designed to provide labor saving and long lasting flooring solutions. Talk to an expert about your flooring challenges…Please Call + 973 230 1301 / eMail Us

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