Everlast Concrete in Steger, IL

There are numerous ways to enhance vertical overlays with color. One of the easiest methods is to add a liquid or powdered pigment to the overlay material during mixing. Many overlay manufacturers offer pigments formulated for use with their products.

Patène Artectura stains were used to add color to this concrete shower wall.

Custom DesignCrete in Crescent, PA

Acrylic stains from H & C were used to create the look of natural stone.

If you want to achieve multi-tonal effects (to mimic natural stone, for example) or introduce accent shades, the overlay can be colored topically after it dries with acid- or water-based stains, dyes and tinted sealers. Because vertical overlays don't receive foot traffic, they can also be painted and faux finished with acrylic- or latex-based paints, similar to plaster walls.

Nathan Giffin of VerticalArtisans.com likes to use a variety of techniques and systems for his faux finishes. "I'll use acid stains, acrylic or water-based stains, and latex paints all on one job," he says. "And I use various methods for applying the color—brushing, spraying, sponging, spritzing—to get different effects. I also use powder release, not for the dominant color, but for setting off and creating depth."

Other coloring techniques include:

  • Hand painting of individual "stones."
  • Applying an accent stain by spray and then immediately wiping or blotting the stain off of high areas with a sponge, lamb's wool pad or terry cloth rag.
  • Spraying the overlay with a tinted sealer and then dabbing and rubbing the surface with a dampened cellulose sponge to produce an antiqued look.
  • Adding highlights by applying water-based stain using a dry-brush technique.

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