Concrete dye is another name for water based and acetone based concrete stains. We use a lot of these types of stains when we stain basement and garage concrete floors. I personally like the fact these types of stains offer many more color choices than acid based concrete stains as well as they are much easier and safer to work with.
Concrete acid stains in the past have received much more attention for the way they can transform a concrete floor from something plain to something beautiful. But lately, water based and acetone based dyes are getting all the attention. One reason is a concrete dye can achieve vibrant tones like blue, yellow, and red simply not possible with an acid stain.
Check out the colors of the stains below. By doing multiple applications you can get a darker version of the same color or you can try mixing colors together to come up with your own custom color.
The concrete stain's you see above are the same one's I use to stain concrete. If you'd like to use these stains also you can buy them here.
I like using these stains because they are water-based so they are very safe to use and they also seal the concrete as you stain. You don't have to purchase a separate sealer to seal the concrete afterwards.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DYE AND ACID STAIN
A dye is used as a coloring agent, usually in concentrated form, that is diluted in water or a solvent to get the desired shade of color. The dye can be mixed on site, by itself or together with other colors.
The solvent, or water carrier, penetrates the concrete taking the dye with it, the final color effect is transparent so the concrete is still visible. The dye is applied with a pump up sprayer, airless sprayer, sponge or brush depending on the desired effect and size of the area being covered.
Today's dye's are manufactured with the latest nanopigment technology which means they penetrate the surface of concrete much better than in years past. They are also much more resistant to fading due to sunlight because of this new technology.
Acid based concrete stains color the concrete very differently. The acid
catalyzes a chemical reaction with the lime in the concrete, creating a
variegated, mottled effect. The pigments in the stain release color.
The color palette of acid stains is somewhat limited, they tend to mimic
colors that occur naturally in stone.
One of the great things about dyes is they penetrate the concrete and dry very quickly. Once they're dry (24 hrs.) the floor is ready to seal. Acid stains, after applied, have to be neutralized and rinsed many times to clean up before any sealing can take place. This is much more work and could add another day to the job.
Once dry, if you protect the surface with a concrete sealer and a floor wax, you get a terrific looking very low maintenance floor that will last for years.
Here's a concrete floor I stained with a water-based concrete stain/dye.