Masonry Staining FAQ
Q: What is masonry staining?
A: It is the art and science of transforming the color of masonry with a sheer, maintenance-free professional-grade, custom stain.
Q: What masonry can be stained?
A: Brick, block, mortar, natural and manufactured stone, concrete, cast stone, precast, tilt-up precast, and more can be stained to look very natural. Porous masonry that will accept water should work with typical water-based, professional-grade stains.
Q: What is the difference between masonry stain from a store and professional-grade custom stain?
A: Professional companies manufacture their own, often proprietary systems, which should be specifically designed to achieve exact match results and not fade or change. The texture will remain unchanged while the color will be transformed to an exact match or the correct custom shade. Store-bought products are generally thick like paint, need maintenance, and have no guarantee of performance or warranty against fading or changing.
Q: How do masonry staining companies get an exact match for color?
A: Colors are hand mixed on site, tested and adjusted for an exact match.
Q: How is masonry stain applied?
A: The most flexible, high-quality product lines are applied by any typical means to achieve the exact match result. There should be no limitation on method unless the company's product line won't work with anything else but a brush, but this is not typical of the industry.
Q: Does masonry stain look like paint?
A: No. Professional masonry stain should be very sheer and natural-looking, and should not cause any future maintenance issues.
Q: Can I have just mortar stained?
A: Yes. Companies can stain just mortar, just brick, or both, for instance.
Q: Can masonry be stained lighter, or just darker?
A: Masonry can be stained lighter, darker, or any desired color.
Q: How do I locate a masonry staining company?
A: Check with MCAA or their online directory to find reputable member companies, and don't be afraid to ask for referrals within the industry. When needing color help with cast stone, for instance, ask the Cast Stone Institute for a staining company with expertise working on cast stone.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
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