shutterstock_293779Concrete patios have traditionally always been stained a natural, earthy color. This is partly due to the fashion and partly due to the staining technology available. Nowadays, however, this trend is expanding to include more vibrant and even “unnatural” colors.

In order to figure out what is the best color stain for your patio, it’s important to know what the staining options available are today, and how exactly they will affect your patio.

Acid Stains

Acid stain colors are generally used for a more natural look. This is due in part to the colors available and also to the fact that, once they are applied to the concrete, they are more transparent in quality. This makes them have a more uneven texture, just like you would see in nature. The most common colors you will find as acid stains are browns, tans, softer blue-green colors, and clay colors.


The beauty of the more translucent acid stains is that it will give your patio a look and feeling of depth. Because you can see imperfections in the concrete, it will seem mulit-layered and will be interesting to look at, while still blending in nicely with its surroundings. If you want something that provides a natural continuation of your outdoor lawn area, an acid stain in a brown color is likely the type of stain perfect for your patio.

Water-Based Stains

This is where things get a bit wild and have, in more recent years, developed numerous unique looks for bold patio owners. The color spectrum available in water-based stains is far wider than with acid stains, and this means that you can choose a far brighter tone for your concrete patio. These new vibrant colors are due largely to more recent staining technology and allow for greater flexibility in terms of choosing a stain color for your patio.

Some of the colors available include blacks, whites, bright yellows or oranges, and rich blues and reds. Water-based stains don’t have the same transparent quality you will see with acid-based stains, so be sure you are fully aware of what the potential end result will look like. If you don’t,  you might be surprised with how vibrant it is.

Do a Test Run

No matter what type of stain or color you choose, be absolutely sure that you’re testing it out on a small area of your patio before you cover the patio with that color. Doing this is much more important than if you were, say, painting an interior wall because the colors can vary more greatly according to the material the stain is being applied to. If you are having the patio stained by a contractor, be sure to inform them that you would first like a small section done as a test.  Then, you can check it once it has dried to ensure that it is the color you wanted. If you’re unsure about it, it is better to wait and weigh your other options before just shrugging your shoulders and going for it.

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