staining/dying stone.

Posted in Colouring, FAQ, Stone   

This question was asked by
Alison McKie

Hello, I have a natural blond sandstone hearth and wanted to check which of your products would be best for colouring it.

Unfortunately the stains and dyes that we sell are designed for use on concrete surfaces and not suitable for use on natural stone.

Drew Palin

Stain products

Posted in Block Paving, Colouring, FAQ, Paving   

This question was asked by

Will this work on block paving.

Yes they will, they are ok to use on any concrete based product, just bear in mind that the coverage will be severely reduced, by at least half.

Drew Palin

Can I use your stains to stain stone splash back wall tiles?

Posted in Colouring, FAQ   

This question was asked by
Diane Lee

Hello, can I stain the stone splashback wall tiles in my kitchen

Unfortunately no, the stains are only for use with cement based product not natural stone.

Drew Palin

I am looking for the correct colour concrete stain, do you have sample sizes?

Posted in Colouring, Concrete, FAQ   

This question was asked by
Jason Winslow


I’m looking to enhance an area of concrete and was wondering if you might be able to do smaller ‘tester’ samples at all? At the moment the concrete has just been laid and is it’s natural colour. We think we’d like it to be more of a slate / charcoal sort of colour but not sure, so we’d like to trial a couple of tiny areas first.

We also like the idea of stencilling, and considering a grey finish with lighter grey / white-ish pattern.

What product(s) would you recommend, and can you do little samples?

Kind regards,


Firstly as the concrete has just been laid you will need to wait a minimum of 30 days to allow the concrete to cure before applying the stains to the surface.

You will then need to acid wash the surface to remove any dust or dirt and to profile the concrete to allow the stain to penetrate properly.

I would then suggest using the Solid Colour Stain to the surface, this will give you an opaque colour in whichever colour you choose.

Then if you are looking to use any further colours you will need to use the Smartcolour stain over the Solid colour.

Both these colours are available to by in a 4oz tester size.

Drew Palin

Colours with Concrete Advantages

Posted in Block Paving, Colouring, Concrete, Driveway, Patio, Paving, Stone, water based   


Adseal BMN 2

With summer now upon us, many homeowners are looking at their driveways, patios and other paved areas with a view to realising improvements.

For some, it might be case of breathing new life into an old concrete surface where time, traffic and the good old British weather may have taken their toll.

For others, it could be a desire to realise something more creative such as a picture, a pattern or another design feature, possibly inspired by the numerous interior design and gardening programmes now on TV.

Whatever the motivation, there are different ways of achieving the same goal.

Paint. Best known but is it best suited?

Paint is a widely used solution for colouring or recolouring concrete surfaces in the UK. But just because it’s a common choice doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice.

Certainly paint has its attractions. It’s cost-effective for a start both in terms of product pricing and the labour costs needed to install it.

In fact, paints tend to be fairly low odour and fairly low in their use of hazardous chemicals meaning they can be applied by the untrained user.

Paint also comes in an enormous range of colours and those colours are usually predictable. Putting that another way, the colour you see in the tin is the colour you’ll end up with on your driveway, patio or paved area.

Paint does have its drawbacks however. These stem largely from the fact that paint doesn’t permeate the substrate it’s being applied to. Instead it adheres to its surface.

As a result, paint can be prone to cracking, peeling and flaking. It can also fade over time.

Plus, while paint can be used for some detailing type applications, there are other alternatives out there better suited to the task.

Related posts – Acid Etching and Chemical Stains, Water Based Colour Stains.


Taking the Acid Test

Posted in Block Paving, Colouring, Concrete, Driveway, Patio, Paving   

Paint may be the default choice for many looking to colour or recolour concrete but acid etching using chemical stains offers another, less well-known alternative.

Adseal BMN 5

Most stains used in acid etching are a mix of water, hydrochloric acid and acid-soluble metallic salts. They work by chemically reacting with the concrete.

First, the acid etches the surface allowing the metallic salts to penetrate more deeply. The stain then reacts and the resultant colour becomes a permanent, sub-surface part of the concrete.

As a result, acid based chemical stains offer some key advantages over paint such as the fact that they won’t crack, chip, peel or fade.

As for the drawbacks? Well, these stains come in a fairly limited colour palette typically restricted to earthy tones such as tans, browns and terra cottas.

The colours are also unpredictable. The colour you see in the tin can be different to the colour you end up with because the staining relies on chemical reactions. Colours can also be blotchy in their intensity.

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Bigger issues stem from the use of hydrochloric acid. Acid based stains must be applied by trained professionals familiar with COSHH working practices. As such, while product costs for acid based stains are comparable to those of paint, labour costs are invariably higher.

Acid based chemical stains also give off unpleasant odours which can linger and they are messy.

After their application, the treated surface must be neutralized with a mild alkaline detergent. After that, the surface must be washed with liberal amounts of clean water.

Acid based chemical stains are also unsuitable for detailed work as the colour tends to weep into surrounding areas.

Related posts – Colours with Concrete Advantages, Water Based Colour Stains.

Water Based Stains. A New Choice – A Better Choice?

Posted in Colouring, Concrete, Paving, water based   

A third and lesser-known way to colour or recolour concrete is to use water based stains.

Adseal BMN 4

Water based stains cost a little more than paint or acid based chemical stains but their benefits are arguably worth it. They also offer some of the lowest installation costs of all.

Like an acid based stain, water based stains permeate the concrete to leave a permanent colour that won’t chip, flake or fade. Unlike acid based chemical stains however they do not contain any hazardous chemicals making them better for the environment as well as safe to use by unskilled labour.

Water based stains also give off virtually zero odour and are completely predictable. The colour you see in the tin is the colour you’ll end up with. The colour choices are almost infinite too. You can even mix colours to achieve a very specific shade or hue.

Adseal BMN 3

Water based stains can also be used to create all manner of effects, such as the veins of marble or the aged and weathered appearance of slates or tiles. In addition they can be used to replicate acid etching or on previously acid etched surfaces to completely eliminate any blotches.

Finally, water based stains were originally developed with detailing work in mind. As a result, they can be used to create intricate patterns and designs like logos, house names and house numbers with the help of a stencil.

Water based stains may be a new choice on the UK market but to Adseal – a business with over 45 years of surface protection and concrete colouring experience – they are a better choice. That’s why we have developed one of the biggest ranges in the UK.

Once the trade professional or homeowner has experienced the benefits of water based stains for themselves, we’re confident they’ll be equally converted.

Related posts – Acid Etching and Chemical Stains, Colours with Concrete Advantages.

I have a patio made of 2×2 cast slabs. They were originally slate grey but have faded badly. Do you have a product suitable for staining them back to grey?

Posted in Colouring, Patio   

If the slabs look ok when wet they will look ok when sealed, if the still look faded when wet you can use the colour chage to recolour the slabs