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

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.

How long before I can use my Paving again?

Posted in Block Paving, External Sealants, Paving   

It should be possible to walk over the paving within 2 hours of installation to gain access to your home. We would recommend that vehicles are left off for a minimum of 24 to 36 hours. Longer may be required in cooler, damper conditions. But full details are provided in the download section of this website.

How frequently should I think about sealing my paving?

Posted in Block Paving, Driveway, Garage Floors, Paving   

As with a lot of things this is a bit like asking, how long is a piece of string.

There are many factors that determine how frequently the paving will need recoating, the biggest of these is how frequently the paving is driven/walked on.

The absolute shortest period the paving should need recoating is 12 – 18 months, this is with very heavy usage ie. a fully loaded van driving across it two or three times a day, but the chances are that it will last much longer.

My paving has already been sealed. Can I now use AdSeal Sealer?

Posted in Block Paving, External Sealants, Internal Sealants, Paving   

The short answer is that in 99% of cases, yes, but you must check to be sure.

There are three types of sealer.

  1. The first type is water based which usually can be bought at DIY outlet and some builder’s merchants that supply DIY customers as well as the trade.
  2. The second type is solvent based which is generally used by the trade, as it is much harder wearing and longer lasting than the water based products.
  3. Finally there is Polyurethane which is only very rarely used nowadays on domestic paving If your paving was sealed by a professional contracting company, the chances are that it is a solvent based product, and will be compatible with our sealers.

We would always recommend that you test a small area, and for this you will need a 2 inch paint brush, a small paint scraper, a flat screwdriver and a small plastic or metal bucket to pour the solvent into [you can order a small 1 litre can of solvent from our website].

Choose a small area to test, probably about 200mm x 200mm (8 inches x 8 inches) and in a low wear area, which will still have a good layer of the old sealer on it. In high wear areas, the original sealer may have worn off.

First of all, apply some solvent to the test area with a paintbrush, rub around and agitate briskly with the paintbrush for 5 minutes.

If the sealer has not softened repeat the process and if the sealer still does not soften it is a polyurethane. Unfortunately no sealer, not even another polyurethane, will adhere so you will need to strip it off before starting [please call us for advice on stripping].

If, on the other hand, the sealer starts to soften and become tacky – add a little more solvent, just enough to keep the mixture of melted sealer and solvent as a liquid for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes lightly scrape over the area with your paint scraper or flat screwdriver and look at the end of the material on the end – this will give you the answer.

If the sealer is solvent based it will become a liquid and nothing but a liquid. It may be runny or quite thick, but it will be a liquid. This shows that the sealer has totally dissolved. As the solvent now evaporates, you will see that the sealer gradually becomes more and more tacky and will eventually it will dry completely. This result shows that the sealer is solvent based and, therefore, totally compatible with our sealers.

If, on the other hand, the sealer does not dissolve completely and just softens there will be a soft deposit or gel on the tip on the blade of the scraper or the tip of the screwdriver, but it will not be a liquid. As the sealer has softened or not dissolved completely this indicates that that the original sealer is a water based sealer. The sealer will remain soft and not set to its previous hardened state. This indicates that our sealer is not compatible with the DIY sealer used on your paving.

If using InvisiSeal you will need to strip any existing sealer as InvisiSeal is an impregnator and any pre-existing seal will reduce its ability to penetrate into the paving


Whats your delivery time ?

Posted in Block Paving, Concrete, Driveway, External Sealants, Internal Sealants, Moss and Algae, Oil Stains, Patio, Paving, Resin Stone, Solvents, Tarmac, water based   

Delivery is usually 2-5 days

There are cloudy, white areas on my Paving – what can I do?

Posted in Block Paving, External Sealants, Paving   

If there is any moisture left in the paving [or the sand joints on block paving], this moisture will cause a clouding or whitening of the surface. This is not a problem and is really easy to remove. The whiteness or clouding is caused by escaping moisture forming microscopic carbon dioxide bubbles which are trapped within the thickness of the resin coating as it is curing. To remove the whiteness or clouding, simply spray a light coating of AdSeal solvent over the affected areas. This will allow the surface of the resin to soften which will, in turn, allow the carbon dioxide bubbles to escape. The sealer will then re-solidify without any adverse effect. If the clouding/whitening returns simply repeat the process.

I have a patio consisting of a mixture of slabs and paviers. I am thinking of removing the paviers and replacing with resin stone, laid over the existing screed. would it work?.

Posted in Patio, Paving, Resin Stone   

No – you need a firm, clean, smooth surface to lay resin bound stone on – a concrete slab is ideal