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"It's All the Same" - Concrete stain samples

 
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Can you keep a secret? This acid stained driveway in Dallas, TX can. There are many different brands of acid stain available on the market: Kemiko, Scofield, Elitecrete, Brickform, etc. All have colors with exotic names like Golden Wheat, Antique Brown, and Weathered Bronze. Each seems different, but there is a common thread binding them all: they're all the same! Ok, not exactly, but to the average person's eye, it doesn't matter what brand you buy. When we put down the concrete stain samples, they look very similar.

When we first pulled up to this project, they were still pouring the slab. It's exciting to see the work that goes into this; at least 15 men on site all running around pouring, leveling, and broom-finishing the concrete. We got together with the homeowners, and after choosing some preliminary colors, set a return date to put some concrete stain samples on the driveway.

We put down the samples (you can see them in one of the pictures), the homeowners chose a color and we went to get all our materials together. Disaster! Our supplier was completely out of the acid stain and the next shipment wasn't coming in for a week. Nowhere near in time for us to complete this acid stained driveway project. Instead of panicking, I reached for the phone and called another supplier who carried a competitor's brand. Many years ago I had done some experimenting with leftovers I had from several different acid stain brands. We made up some sample boards and sprayed some concrete stain samples on them to see what colors would come out. Lo and behold, a lot of the colors were so similar we couldn't tell the difference. Between you and me, I think they bottle everything at the same plant and just slap on a different label. Anyway, the other supplier had plenty of acid stain in stock, so I chose the closest color to what our customer had asked for and we got to work. After we were done, you couldn't tell the difference between the original concrete stain sample and the final result on the acid stained driveway. A concrete sealer further enhanced the color. In our next project, you'll see how much of a difference surface texture makes in an acid stain's appearance.

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