There is no question that applicators can achieve a wider and brighter range of colors with acrylic stains than can be achieved with chemical stains.
Dave Pettigrew owns Diamond D Concrete in Capitola, Calif. The licensed Bomanite dealer does not use acrylics. “I don’t use them because I want to permanently stain the concrete, and I want to protect that stain with a top coat,” says Pettigrew. “If that acrylic stain wears through, the client has to call an applicator back to match the colors. With my system all it takes is some wax on top; if that wears through, the client can get anybody to come and clear coat the floor again before they wear through the finish.”
When Pettigrew wants to go beyond the limited colors available to him with chemical stains, he turns instead to a Bomanite system called Con Color. The permanent pigment coloring system penetrates the surface of the concrete.
“I hear a lot of nightmare stories [related to using acid-etch stains],” says Pettigrew. “Getting consistent color, getting the stain down right, making sure the slab is clean. There’s such a learning curve,” he says. “The acrylics are an easier system, and that’s probably why people are using them.”
But Pettigrew has found an alternative that works for him. “With Con Color I can go pink!” he says. “I can actually take a Pantone color chart, have the customer pick out the colors and match it just like I would a paint.”
Pettigrew applies Con Color with a brush or sprayer and protects his work with a top coat of urethane, acrylic or epoxy sealer, depending on the look he is after. “The fun thing with this Con Color is that I can get that mottled look,” he says. “I’m getting what I want this way.”