Staining cinderblock sides of raised concrete slab patio

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by DebbieG, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. Sep 3, 2010 #1

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

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    Hi all...Need a professional opinion....I recently had sagging slab removed from existing raised concrete patio built on cinderblock. (See attached photos)..It was replaced w/a colored/stamped concrete slab. The top course of cinderblocks was replaced but the lower old ones were left in place to save $$.
    The old top used to sag toward house and rain would puddle outside of doorwall so we would sweep it off onto the driveway and it would stay against the block until it dried for awhile. (That part of the driveway has also been replaced to drain away).
    Problem now is we would like to stain the cinderblock to match the stamped top but the side where we used to sweep the water off has some blackened blocks (see photo)..There are a few other areas where the blocks are darker also. We had talked to the contractor who did the new work about staining the cinderblock to match the new slab and he recommended we go to Sherwin Williams. I asked the Sherwin Williams guy what the best type would be and if we should use a type that seals the block, or one that allows it to still breathe since water can still come up though the ground and will try to escape through the block...(I'm thinking that sealing it may hold all moisture and water in and that might not be a good thing)....He just said "thats a good question... I don't know the answer to that one". ??
    I can't seem to find anything about it online either.
    He recommended starting out scrubbing it with Dawn dish detergent and powerwasing to get the black off no matter what we used after. I did that but it hardly removed anything. I also tied a 50/50 mixture of bleach/water on the black parts but that did nothing either. Im afraid to use anything more powerful because it will be rinsing down onto new ground level slab and I don't want to risk it ruining the sealer on that.
    Im now to the point in thinking that, if I can't get the black off, I'm going to have to go with a very dark brown instead of a matching color just to hide it.
    I'm hoping to get a professional opinion on:
    A. Do we need to use a special type of stain so that concrete can still breathe and release moisture or is it ok to seal it?
    B. Is there something I can use to remove the black without worrying about it ruining the sealer on the lower part as it runs down or when I rinse it off?
    (While I'm at it....I will be building a Pergola over the top soon too. Any advice on the best brackets to use the keep moisture from wicking up into the post? Home Depots weren't raised to prevent this)?
    Thanks !

    patio blocks 042.jpg

    New picture.jpg
     
  2. Sep 3, 2010 #2

    mudmixer

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    You are going to have to cover up the mistake of using two different products in a visually critical situation.

    You use the term "cinder block" when they are probably not those and were just two different concrete block of different ages that were purchased at much different times and sources and subjected to different condition due to the different properties and exposures.

    Dick
     
  3. Sep 5, 2010 #3

    DebbieG

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    Ok...my bad?....That being said I still have the same questions? Should I use a sealing type concrete stain that will trap moisture within or find one that allows the block to breathe so moisture can escape? Also...is there something I can use to clean the black off of the blocks without worrying about it being rinsed onto the lower part of patio and ruining the sheen of the sealer?
    Thanks
     
  4. Sep 5, 2010 #4

    CSmith

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    Hi Debbie you want a breathable stain.

    After pressure washing and scrubbing unfortunately no, your bottom course is stained. To lighten that up would take some heavy duty chemicals which is not an option at this point, it would kill your new patio. If it were, you probably would never get them looking the same anyway for the reasons that Dick stated.

    If your dead set on a lighter, semi transparent stain there is another option but probably out side of most DIYers wheelhouse but worth mentioning is a portland stucco plaster. The materials are cheap and you can create any texture you want, after it cures you can stain it. You could also use color dye in the mix but thats much harder and takes some experience to color match.

    CS
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  5. Sep 5, 2010 #5

    erndog

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    Hi I am just an amateur( so take my advice with a grain) but I feel if you just stain the block you will still see the grid pattern of the blocks. I put up a retaining wall and slapped a product called quikwall on it. I put in a stain that also came from HD. I think mine came out nice, so it might be an option for you. Good luck and the stamped concrete looks great.

    wall done small.jpg
     
  6. Sep 6, 2010 #6

    DebbieG

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    Thanks guys! I have been considering the stucco from day 1 and may just go back to that because I too wasn't sure if I really wanted to see the mortar lines of the block anymore or not so we waited to see the finished top to decide.
    Also, we were thinking that if we didn't like how it turned out after staining, we could go this route to cover it and start over. (not sure if you can stucco over a stained surface yet though).

    CSmith - I don't think the Portland stucco plaster is outside of my abilities and I guess as far as color matching...I can show the colors that were chosen for the patio for some help on that and if it doesn't turn out well, I can just darken more for contrast. Do I have to find a concrete supplier for this product or is it at HD or Lowes?
    (ps..Do u do this for a living?)

    Also, if I was right in thinking that the block still needs to breathe, which is the better material for the job...the Portland Stucco or the Quickwall that "erndog" mentioned? Also, will these products just adhere to the block or do I have to put up some mesh first?
    Thanks again!
     
  7. Sep 6, 2010 #7

    erndog

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    Hi the quikwall is from home depot. It is designed to adhere directly on block. It's made to be the only support for wall, you just drystack the block and apply this over the top. But it will work for you, there are fibers in it which some stick out when you're done but they wear off after a while. I just used the concrete stain that HD sells, I believe it was "buff".
     
  8. Sep 6, 2010 #8

    CSmith

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    Yes I do, I specialize in brick/ block construction and restoration.

    QuickWall is a type of portland stucco which would work fine. However I’ve never used QW I batch my own and can't comment on how the fibers would affect the finish, might be a little hairy. The fibers added to QW are for flexural strength needed for drystack mortarless walls like erndog built. The plus side of QW or something similar in a bag it will save you the trouble of having to batch your own stucco and buying all the components separately. You just pair it with there fortifier admixture

    If you give QW a go do a test spot in an inconspicious area or on a leftover block to make sure you like the texture it may or may not bother you if it is a little hairy

    Lastly read the directions and follow there recommendations for things like coat depth. You don’t want apply a coat to thick at one time or it will promote cracking. The walls must be clean and you want to apply your stucco to a dampened wall(not wet). This prevents the block from sucking to much moisture out of the stucco insuring a proper cure.


    Regards,
    CS
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  9. Sep 11, 2010 #9

    DebbieG

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    Thanks to both of you. Erndog, your wall looks great...I guess the fibers shouldn't be that noticeable unless you get up close so I'd be ok with that...especially if they wear off.
    CSmith...thanks for your expertise...so if I use this quickwall, it will still allow the patio to breath as long as I can find a stain that doesn't seal?
    Glad I even asked that because the guy at Sherwin Williams was ready to sell me a sealer and I try to make sure to bow to the experts on things like this.
     
  10. Sep 11, 2010 #10

    DebbieG

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    Oops....forgot to ask one more thing....if we were to go ahead and stain it as is, and still didn't like still being able to see the outlines of the block, could we use this stuff over top of that?
    Thanks again
     
  11. Sep 11, 2010 #11

    mudmixer

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    QW probably not be guaranteed by anyone if it was applied or a stain/coating. Nothing good to bond to.

    Dick
     
  12. Sep 11, 2010 #12

    CSmith

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    You would need wire if you were to go that route..
     
  13. Sep 17, 2010 #13

    DebbieG

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    Darn, sounds like I'd better get it right the first time then.
    Thanks for all your help everyone.
    CSmith....since your a pro, maybe you have some knowledge about attaching a Pergola to this patio?? I wish we had considered this when we had the patio done. Now that it looks so nice we got new patio furniture to put out there but it just looks weird, not to mention that covering it gets old. If you can help, please see my other post "attaching a pergola to a raised concrete patio". I really didn't get much advice on that one yet.
    Thanks again!
     
  14. Oct 7, 2010 #14

    DebbieG

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    Ok...I'm back.....If I can get the materials early enough today, I'm hoping to get working on this today. I went to a masonary supply company to see what they had. He didn't know anything about the quickwall at HD, but said they had something called CSC-4 that can be mixed with color additives but problem is that even without color, its already a pretty dark grey so I wouldn't be able to lighten it. It may look ok without any color, since the release agent used on the stamped top looks grey anyway....if not, then I guess I will have to use a concrete stain over top. (will a lighter color than the stucco work?)
    The biggest concern I have at this point it that it seems that all of the stains I've seen say that they also seal.....As CSmith stated....I want this to still be able to "breathe".
    If there is a certain brand that I should use that (or stay away from), please let me know.

    ....ok, I took a break from this post and spent the last hour calling local building and concrete suppliers in my area and can't seem to find anyone who has stucco type products that I can add color to, which really surprises me??
    The Quickwall at home depot is very limited with color options.....any suggestions?
    Not looking good for getting this going today.
    Looks like quickwall at Home Depot may be how I have to go. Lowes was no help either.
     
  15. Oct 8, 2010 #15

    CSmith

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    Ask for mortar dye at the builders supply, it comes in all colors and you can add it to any portland mix to achieve the color you want. You may have to call around to find it. If they don't have quite the shade you want, create your own with the appropriate colors.
    Get it in powder form, liquid dyes fade fast.
    Measure the amount of dye you use in each mix and keep it the same or you will have different shades with each mix.

    regards,
    CS
     
  16. Oct 8, 2010 #16

    CSmith

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    PS: Keep in mind your mix will dry a shade or two lighter than when it's wet . All you have to do is smear a little on a block and let it dry to make sure your happy with the shade before you continue, adjust it from there if necessary.
     
  17. Oct 10, 2010 #17

    DebbieG

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    Thanks.
    Ended up getting the Qucikwall from HD, then found a local masonary supply store that had about 10 of the Solomon powdered colors available. Problem is, looking at the color chart isn't going help me since they are shown using grey cement and the Quickwall I'm using is white so will be a little different. I bought 2 colors that I will have to mix and play around with a little to get as close as I can. I wanted to make some small batches to test on some sample blocks I bought, and realized the bag of both products didn't provide a ratio of parts to parts, but only how much water "per bag"...not as easy a conversion as u would think....Figuring out how much color to add was even trickier. I called a rep from Solomon for advice and he explained that unless I'm measuring by weight, it will be very difficult to make the same color twice. Because this is such a fine powder, measuring, for example, a 1/2 cup per batch will not end up the same due to air content and nature of the product. After doing a little research on making small batches of the Quikwall, I found that a ratio of between 4.5 to 5 parts Quickwall to 1 part water worked out well. I made just enough to cover 1 block and used about 1/4 teaspoon of color. I made 4 different sample colors using a measuring spoon to mix a little from each color and guess I'm going to have to use my judgment from how it looked wet vs dry to determine how much to add to my big batch when ready to go on this.
    He suggested trying to make one big batch for the whole job to avoid color variations but with the set time being under an hour....I'm not so sure I can go that fast. I think I'm going to try for 2 batches and just mix the color in the water for both batches at the same time in separate buckets and pray they come out close enough....Scary!
    Anyway....hope to be getting this done by next Wednesday (my day off) so stay tuned for photos of how it turns out!
    Thanks for all the advice!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  18. Oct 11, 2010 #18

    handyguys

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    Yes debbie - you can stucco over a stained block wall.

    My first thought was stucco as well. I would have someone do it. There is a technique to getting a consistent texture. Also, not a synthetic stucco. Real stucco. It should be relatively inexpensive to have done.

    As for the pergola brackets. I did one where I used the green 4x4 post brackets and just didn't set the posts all the way to the bottom of them. I also had someone fabricate custom joist hangars.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Oct 18, 2010 #19

    resurfacer

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    DebbieG, the quick wall product was originally designed as a waterproofing system, used in concrete block water tanks.

    U can apply an acrylic pigmented penetrating sealer to add color, it will not block the moisture, it breathes.

    If you apply an acrylic sealer and do not like the look, most concrete overlay products would not adhere to the sealer.

    Cover with steel stucco mesh to overlay.
     
  20. Oct 19, 2010 #20

    DebbieG

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    Handyguys - I like your joist hangers...wish I could afford to go custom with mine but not sure how I'm going to handle that yet...I originally wanted to notch the rafters, but due to needing a little slope to drain the clear roof I'm planning to add, I decided against it.
    I'm sure your post mounts are fine since you used a ledger board too, but I'm shooting for freestanding, hence my concern.

    Resurfacer
    - You said the Quickwall was designed as a waterproofing system and that the sealer will not block moisture....
    The Quickwall does though??
    I really didn't want to trap moisture in the patio and did go ahead with the Quickwall already and will add photos as soon as I get a chance. Problem is, the color turned out a little too orange so now I do plan to cover that with a paint or concrete stain before sealing.
    3 questions.....what is the best paint or stain to use on this and is there any point in worrying about a breathable paint and sealer if the Quickwall isn't breathable?
    Also, since I'm here in Michigan where it's dropping down to around 35 degrees at night and 50s to 60s during the day, I assume that I am going to have to wait until next spring to paint & seal the Quickwall?
    Thanks all!
     

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