Podcast: Guidelines for Using Blue and Green Acid Stain on Outdoor Projects

You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 3: Guidelines for Using Blue and Green Acid Stain on Outdoor Projects. Join us as we chat with Direct Colors General Manager, Shawna Turner, about guidelines for using blue and green concrete acid stains on outdoor projects.


Amie N: You are listening to Podcast Episode 3. Today we’re talking with Shawna Turner about Guidelines for Using Blue and Green Acid Stain Colors on Outdoor Projects. So let’s get started.

Hey, everybody. Amie Nolen here. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming.

Hi Shawna, our acid stain product page and how to information recommends against using blue and green acid stain or deco gel acid stain outside. Could you explain that to our listeners and what outdoor projects would you recommend to avoid?

Shawna T: It’s true that our acid stain and deco gel product pages and how to information recommend against using the blue and green colors on outdoor projects and there is a very good reason for that. Each of the blue and green acid stain colors which would include Avocado, Shifting Sand, Sea Grass and Azure Blue contain copper and just like what you see on the roof of buildings. The color will patina in the presence of water after the initial application. So the color would turn sort of a brown or bronze color over time if water infiltrates the sealer and on many projects, that wouldn’t be altogether attractive so it’s important to keep in mind when making the decision about the colors you use outdoors. Now there are projects that you can use a blue or green acid stain outside but there are a few that you definitely would not want to use those colors. For example, a pool deck or a fountain would be a poor choice for blue or green color, the reason being that these projects are commonly submerged in water, particularly in the case of the fountain and often the case for the pool deck. So the chances of a patina occurring in those instances would be higher than other projects like a covered patio.

Often customers use the blue or green stains on a patio project or something similar to that. So predominantly you would choose say a Cola or an English Red acid stain as a base and just a highlight of the blue or green colors to lift the overall pattern and give it some interest.

Now you do have a special requirement for sealing that patio or anything you’d use a hint of blue or green outside. It’s important to maintain your sealer. If you’re using an acrylic sealer, you’ll want to touch it up every few years. As long as you keep the sealer in good condition, there will be no color change occurring. That’s really the key to success when using these color acid stains outside as an accent color.

Amie N: What advice would you give for keeping outdoor projects looking great over time?

Shawna T: I think the advice I would give would he making the right sealer choice from the very beginning based on what the project is. Again, returning to our example of a water fountain, I would not use an acrylic sealer on a water fountain. The main reason why is because acrylic sealers form a membrane on the surface of the concrete and as water flows over it and the sun begins to break down the acrylic, water will get under the sealer and make it milky and cause unattractive and undesirable damage to the sealer.

So you want to use a sealer that penetrates into the pores of the concrete and doesn’t form that membrane on the surface, and that sealer would be the Penetrating Lithium Sealer that we offer for both floors and concrete decor. It’s a great sealer, it’s inexpensive in the small quantities that you would require for your fountain and you’ll never have to return and reseal. So in that case, that’s how you keep that project looking good over a long period of time.

Now, a drive way or garage, you need to think about how these projects will be used and how easy it will be for you to come back and reseal them in the future. I often recommend Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer for these projects. I like that sealer for two reasons. First, it’s a satin gloss product so it’s not going to be dangerous or slippery when wet and that’s very important for anywhere that will have foot traffic and will be wet periodically. So for safety, use Sprayable Satin Finish.

The second reason I prefer this sealer is it’s very easy to repair if damaged and easy to reseal when the time comes (2-3 years after initial application). So if you’re on a driveway or garage surface, this is a place where spills will happen and damage is more likely to occur. So if it should happen, you can easily go to the area after cleaning it with the appropriate cleanser and reseal the floor or driveway using just a small amount of the Sprayable Satin Finish. You don’t have to sand or strip the sealer. Just apply and repair and it looks just like it did before as if nothing happened. It’s a wonderful choice for outdoor projects of any kind and it’s easy for anyone to apply and reapply which is very important when you think of the long term viability of a decorative concrete project.

Amie N: Thanks so much, Shawna.

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