Change the Color of Stained Concrete
By Stephanie Wallace
August 2021 – $250 Winner
This month’s $250 goes to Stephanie W. from Wisconsin. Here, she tells us how she did a color stain correction on a particularly ugly concrete walkway and driveway edging, which they inherited from the former owners when they bought the house.
Project Completed In: Two days
Estimate of Square Footage: 268 square feet
We inherited this very bright chalky pinkish orange walkway when we purchased the house seven years ago. We’ve lived with the color all of this time, hating it but also being hesitant to dive into attempting to fix it.
We finally bit the bullet and decided this was the year to try to improve the color.
I ordered 7 color samples, from two companies. Direct Colors won out with their Light Charcoal Satin EasyTint.
I love the richness of the color, and the sample gave me the exact results I was hoping for — it turned the chalky orange to a rich rusty iron color.
I ordered more than the recommended amount of tinted sealer and acrylic sealer, as I knew how thirsty my concrete would be. I received my order quickly and transformed the concrete the following weekend.
I cannot recommend these products enough. I was impressed with the ease of application and even more impressed with the fantastic transformation. The end result was what I had hoped for and so much more.
Our walkway now has the rich color of iron stone. It is stunning. Gorgeous. I could go on and on. My husband said the same thing, that the results far surpassed expectations.
The evening before project day, I edged the sod all around the project, then pressure-sprayed the concrete. I was fortunate that the weather cooperated perfectly for me — it was overcast with a high of 72 degrees the first day.
On day one I applied two coats of the tinted sealer, using a 1/2” nap roller. Direct Colors recommends a 3/8” nap roller at the most, but I bent the rule and went with 1/2” because my stamped concrete has some pretty deep wells.
I was very careful not to get too much product in the deep areas so that there was no puddling.
I made sure to keep the coat even, and covered each section completely. I was concerned that with the fast dry time I might see roller lines. But no, not at all. Despite the fast dry time (tacky within a few minutes), there were absolutely no roller lines.
The sealer was fantastic to work with — it is thin, so it will run into cracks and over edges. I used this to my advantage when working the edges, and squeezed sealer over the edges with the roller.
I only had to hand paint (using a 2” paintbrush) a few sections which were deeper than others. But for the most part, I could get away with just using the roller for edges and the bulk of the project.
I ordered the five-gallon bucket for the tinted sealer. I mixed it by shaking and rolling it around on the ground prior to opening it. After I used some of it, I then could shake it more easily before each pour.
Also, I did not wear any special shoes. The tinted sealer dried completely between coats. It wasn’t completely cured, but it was very tough and I could easily walk on it, leaving absolutely no footprints.
On day two, again the weather cooperated nicely — it was partly cloudy/partly sunny, and again around 72 degrees.
I applied two coats of Solvent-Based Acrylic Satin Concrete Sealer. The acrylic sealer also dries very fast, possibly faster than the tinted sealer. But it was easy to apply using the roller and paintbrush.
Again, I used a 1/2” nap roller and was careful to watch for puddling. And again I was able to walk on the product between coats, leaving no footprints.
For cleanup for both tinted sealer and acrylic sealer, I used Xylene. For 268 square feet, I used approximately three gallons of tinted sealer and two gallons of acrylic sealer. My concrete was very thirsty, so it took more than the recommended amount.
I thought the concrete looked nice with only the tinted sealer from the day before, but adding the acrylic sealer not only gave it added protection, but added another layer of richness that took the look to the next level.
Direct Colors Products Used
Light Charcoal Satin EasyTint
Solvent-Based Acrylic Satin Concrete Sealer and Paver Sealer
Other Products Used
Lawn edger and power sprayer for prep work
Paint roller with extension pole
Xylene for cleanup