H&C® Semi-Transparent Decorative Stains

H&C Semi-Transparent Decorative Stains are the revolutionary way of creating the look of acid stains without all the time and labor. Our Semi-Transparent water-based stains penetrate into the concrete for the faux, layered look so many people desire in the market today.  These stains are DIY-friendly, yet have a professional looking finish with 16 trendy colors to mix and match, dilute with water if necessary, for a unique look all your own.


*Always perform a test area before final installation, and always include a clear topcoat because it will alter the final appearance of the stain as well. 

*Please be advised: the colors are a representation, and will vary depending on the substrate, the age of the concrete, and dilution rate of the stain.

**These colors are on a gray concrete background and diluted 1:1 with water.

Where to Use

  • Patios and Walkways
  • Pool Decks
  • Driveways
  • Garage Floors
  • Interior/exterior (residential, commercial/retail)
  • Lanai

Key Advantages

H&C Semi-Transparent Decorative Stains are a great alternative to acid staining. Since no chemical reaction is taking place, there is no extended  waiting time for color penetration, so no need to neutralize.  With this advanced formulation, it allows color to reach full potential almost immediately upon application.  Color may be built up without the worry of spending the alkalinity of the concrete as with acid stain. Numerous coats can be applied instantly, no need to apply then wait an extended period of time.


Our Semi-Transparent Stains can be used outside or inside - on numerous projects. 


Apply either a solvent-based or water-based sealer (or a urethane or an epoxy clear if one is available) over the stain to make it "pop" and become more vibrant, so keep that in mind when determining color potential. 

Product Data Sheet

  1. Product Supplies

    1. H & C® Etching Solution
    2. Plastic water sprinkling can
    3. Water hose for clean up and dilution as necessary
    4. Pump up sprayer
    5. Plastic sheets to cover walls/foliage
    6. Blue painters tape


  2. Product Preparation

    New concrete must cure for a minimum of 28 days. For new concrete, use H&C Etching Solution and rinse thoroughly to ensure a clean, dry and residue-free substrate to be stained. 


    With all Semi-Transparent Stain projects, use H&C Etching Solution prior to application to open up the pores of the concrete.  As always, use plenty of water to rinse the prep products off. 


    When staining very aged and pitted/porous concrete apply one coat of H&C Paver Sealer Natural.  This will prevent the stain from penetrating too deeply into the concrete and will help with color distribution.  Allow to dry 1 hour then apply the Semi Transparent Decorative Stain. 


    *Due to the nature of these stains, the final color may vary throughout the installation depending on the age, texture, finishing techniques (trowel method), and other variables within the concrete. 


    *ALWAYS perform a test area before final installation, and ALWAYS include a clear topcoat because it will alter the final appearance of the stain as well. 

  3. Product Application

    For best results apply using a pump-up sprayer, avoiding track lines.  A circular motion with the wand works best. Additional coats can be applied right away, no need to wait for the stain to dry.  It's also common to use mops, sponges, rags or other faux techinique tools to achieve the desired look.


    H&C Semi-Transparent Decorative Stains can be diluted with water up to 4:1.  Dilution simply allows for more color options, a much lighter brown than offered, for example.  But don't dilute any more than 4:1.  Lighter colors should be applied first if "layering" the colors (for example if a gold color with browns is desired, apply the gold first, the darker color will be easier to see/apply rather than light over dark). You are in charge of your color options here; be creative! 


    Start by diluting the colors a bit, and if you decide you want the color darker, it's easier to go that route.  To remove a color, rinsing it or wiping it off will work only to a point.  You may have to use H&C Etching Solution to open the pores of the concrete again. 


    Allow the Semi-Transparent Decorative Stain to dry a minimum of 4-6 hours before applying a clear topcoat.  Use a water or solvent-based sealer (H&C Wet Look Sealer Water-based, or H&C Concrete Sealer Clear Gloss Oil-based, formerly Clear 23®); whichever is desired and approved.  Keep in mind the solvent-based sealers will darken the final appearance of the color/project; be sure to include this step in your sample/test area.  Two coats of any clear coat is recommended.  Commercial and Industrial Sealers can also be used over Semi-Transparent Decorative Stains.