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Stained Concrete DrivewaysTips and design ideas for using stains to color and enhance a concrete driveway
Staining is an economical and highly versatile way to upgrade the look of both new and existing concrete driveways. Stains penetrate deeply into the concrete surface, producing fade-resistant, permanent color that will not flake off or peel away.
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See examples of staining work in our concrete driveways picture gallery.
IS STAINING A GOOD OPTION FOR MY DRIVEWAY?
A stained concrete driveway is a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal. Adding color to your newly poured driveway, or existing surface can make a big difference in its appearance. Check out the pros and cons to see if this is the best option for you.
- Permanent – Stains penetrate your surface for long-lasting, permanent color
- Versatile – Designs are limitless and can complement other decorative choices
- Cost – Stains are a cost-effective way to get a high-end look for your driveway
- Transparent – Most stains are semi-transparent and will not cover any imperfections in the surface
- Imperfect – Stains can take to different concrete slabs differently and may not be consistent with the coloring
- Not an easy DIY – Staining is not an easy process for taking on as a DIY project, and should be done by a contractor for the best results.
WHAT DRIVEWAY STAIN COLORS ARE AVAILABLE?
Depending on the look you want to achieve for your stained concrete driveway, you can choose from acid-based chemical stains or water-based stains.
Acid stains penetrate and react chemically with the concrete, creating natural color variations that add character and unique mottling effects. However, the color selection is generally limited to subtle earth tones, such as tans, browns, terra cottas, and soft blue-greens.
Water-based stains go beyond the subtle drama and subdued color palette of acid staining. They come in a full spectrum of hues and in many cases, can be mixed, like water-based paints, to broaden your options.
Some of the most common colors for driveways are gray, brown and black. See more concrete stain colors.
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HOW TO STAIN YOUR CONCRETE DRIVEWAY
The following steps will be taken to stain your driveway:
- Clean the surface – remove the oil and other stains and debris on the concrete surface
- Apply the concrete stain – follow manufacturer recommendations for what equipment is required and how to apply
- Neutralize and rinse the stain – when using an acid-based stain should you neutralize with ammonia or T.C.P., and rinse the surface of excess stain
- Seal your concrete – apply sealant to make your surface last for years to come
Can I stain my driveway myself?
Staining your driveway can be done as a DIY project. However, like many other decorative concrete projects it is recommended to hire a professional contractor. Their experience and knowledge will make sure that your color saturation is even, and your project is completed on time. Discover 7 reasons to think twice before staining your own concrete.
COST TO STAIN CONCRETE DRIVEWAY
The basic cost of installing a new driveway with decorative staining is $8 - $12 per sq. ft. With the average 2-car driveway being 640 sq. ft., this would cost about $5,120 - $7,680.
Staining an existing driveway will cost $2 - $4 per sq. ft. Combining that with the average driveway size, it would cost between $1,280 - $2,560.
If you want to add multiple colors, stamping, borders, or any other decorative design elements, there will be a cost increase. The size of your surface can also impact your cost, the larger the square footage, the higher the price. Find a staining contractor in your area to get a more accurate quote for your project.
IDEAS FOR STAINED CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS
Whether you use acid or water-based stains to enhance a concrete driveway, you can achieve an endless array of decorative effects using techniques such as faux finishing, decorative sawcuts, and stenciling. Here are some design ideas and project examples to spark your imagination.
See these stained concrete driveway projects:
Decorative Medallion Enhances Stained Concrete Driveway
The centerpiece of this gorgeous driveway is a multicolored star medallion created using acid stains in the colors of black, cola and tan. For the main driveway, the joints were cut to form a decorative border, and then acid stains were layered with water-based stains to create attractive color variations.
Stains Give Driveway a Rustic Look
Even a cracked concrete driveway can be revived with a coat of stain. In this case, a dark brown acid stain was applied to accentuate the existing cracks and achieve a rustic, leather-like look. The garage door was also faux painted to give it a similar rustic appearance.
Tile-Look Driveway Achieved Through Creative Staining
One of the easiest ways to dress up an existing driveway is to cut decorative patterns into the concrete. On this project, square saw cuts and multiple colors of acid stains were used to create the look of individual tiles.
This driveway is the perfect example of how you can use concrete stains to completely revitalize existing concrete. The main field of concrete was colored with a water-based stain in Buffalo Brown, and then a decorative border was cut about 12 inches from the edge and stained with a lighter shade to coordinate with the color scheme of the home exterior.
Faux Finishing Transforms a Concrete Driveway
Custom engraving and faux finishing with water-based stains gave this existing plain-gray driveway curb appeal galore while complementing the exterior of the home. The lines for the faux brick border were created with a custom template, and then various colors of stain were applied to create the realistic color effects.
More design ideas:
- Apply multiple colors of stain to mimic the look of natural stone. This works especially well when the concrete is sawcut into random stone patterns.
- Use stencils along with stain to create custom graphics.
- Use sawcuts and stain to create a faux tile look.
- Set off your driveway by adding a stained border in a contrasting color.
- Use stains along with concrete dyes or integral color to create unique decorative effects.
- Keep it simple by using just one stain color in a hue that will complement your home or landscape. This economical approach can still make a big impact.
Driveway staining before and afters:
This colored concrete driveway was streaked and faded due to weather exposure and improper maintenance. To revive the color, Floor Seasons in Las Vegas used water-based stains in the colors of bark brown and light adobe. A high-gloss sealer was also applied to provide a protective long-lasting finish and help prevent future fading and discoloration.
This driveway before faux finishing was in great condition, but lacked color and interest. Custom Faux Designs and Concrete Engraving in Springfield, MO used water-based stains and custom engraving to improve curb appeal and complement the exterior of the home.