Check out an array of concrete designs, from stained to stamped.
Staining concrete can add a marbleized color to standard gray concrete surfaces while maintaining the integrity and durability associated with concrete.
Similar to faux finishing techniques, concrete dyes are applied in creative ways with sprayers, mops, sponges, rags, plastic sheets and other materials. As it's applied, the concrete is simultaneously stained and sealed. With concrete dye, it's difficult to achieve the depth of color that acid staining offers, but it's a fairly inexpensive process, and the ease of application can reduce labor costs. Concrete dye is also able to hide imperfections to some degree. A clear coat must be used on acrylic dyes to protect the color. Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com
Often used in garages to protect and beautify floors, epoxy coatings have come a long way. Available in acrylic, epoxy, urethane, polyurea or polyaspartic varieties, these coatings allow for quick application and are highly durable. Once available almost exclusively for commercial applications, these coatings are now highly sought-after in residential settings as well. Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com
Stamped concrete uses patterns that mimic tile, stone, rock, wood and other textured surfaces. The technique allows a large area of concrete to be decorated without sacrificing the structural integrity of the concrete. Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com
Stamped Concrete: Stone Pattern
The texture that results from the stamping process can very closely mimic the look of real stone. The added texture can also provide increased slip-resistance. Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com
Stamped Concrete Overlay
One way to renew the look of damaged concrete is to use a stamped overlay. Rather than tearing out existing concrete, which can be expensive and time-consuming, spread a thin layer of concrete over the damaged area (typically 1/4- to 3/4-inch, depending on the pattern used). Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com
Concrete stencils create a unique decorative accent that adds a focal point to a pool, patio or driveway. They can be colored and layered with a wide variety of designs. The stencils should be cleaned by pressure washing, and sealed surfaces should be resealed every couple of years. Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com
With the look of a small field of stones or pebbles, applying an exposed aggregate finish is an excellent way to improve the look of a standard gray concrete finish. This type of finish is durable, offers slip-resistance and is difficult to damage. It requires basic cleaning with occasional pressure washing to remove grit. Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com
In the acid-staining process, a chemically reactive stain is applied directly to unfinished concrete. Because it bonds with the concrete, it offers excellent resistance to peeling, flaking and fading. Acid stains typically produce rich, earthy tones in a wide variety of black, brown, orange, aged copper and green hues that highlight the natural variations present in concrete materials. Resealing every couple of years is recommended; unsealed concrete may require occasional pressure washing to remove absorbed grit and debris. Image courtesy of ConcreteIdeas.com