Acid Stained Driveways

Acid-staining is primarily done on interior floors, such as finished basements, and retail or other commercial business settings, but one great, overlooked acid-stain application is for concrete driveways, where the marbled stone finish creates an inviting look for an entryway to a home, and can vastly increase the real estate value of the property.  Because most people don’t know much about driveway treatments, though, they leave their driveways uncolored and unfinished, or have stamped concrete installed, which can be very difficult to keep clean, and chips and spalls easily, especially in northern climates. 

This is a driveway that was sawcut and patterned, and then acid-stained in a Southwestern motif, to complement the building style of the home.

This is a driveway that was sawcut and patterned, and then acid-stained in a Southwestern motif, to complement the building style of the home.

One of the main reasons homeowners don’t inquire about driveway treatments, like acid staining, is the unsightly accumulation of tire marks, vehicular fluid leaks, dirt, and other dark stains that arise from normal driveway activity.This is discouraging, and can seem impossible to overcome.  But such blemishes can be removed from the concrete prior to acid staining, and once stained the colored concrete can be protected by a clear sealer that enhances the color of the stain; repels moisture, fluids, the UV rays of the sun, acid rain, and other contaminants; and allows the driveway to be easily cleaned. 

This driveway was stenciled and patterned with a thin cement overlay before acid- staining.  You can see how the beauty and contrast of the driveway makes the home stand in isolated elegance.

This driveway was stenciled and patterned with a thin cement overlay before acid- staining.  You can see how the beauty and contrast of the driveway makes the home stand in isolated elegance.

Even if driveway blemishes cannot be completely eradicated, or something does happen to the sealed acid-stained concrete, these blemishes are much less noticeable on colored concrete, and they can generally be easily wiped or cleaned up.  Additionally, maintenance of acid-stained driveways is not difficult.  It consists primarily of occasional pressure washing, or mild scrubbing and attentive rinsing, with a garden hose.  Re-sealing the driveway is usually done every few years with one or two coats of a quality sealer, similar to resealing a backyard wood deck or stamped concrete patio.

Best of all, the acid staining of all outdoor surfaces, including driveways, walkways, patios and pool decks, is durable, and will not fade due to UV exposure, whereas water-based stains and dyes, such as those used on wood decks, always do, and eventually need to be recolored.  Acid stain colors used on driveways are generally of a gold, terra cotta, or brown tone, and can accented by a border, simple design, or saw-cut pattern, such as those in the Acid Staining section above.