QC Patina Stain: Product Information Bulletin 5.402

QC PATINA STAINS produce a rich but variegated finish unique to each surface. Instead of covering up the concrete like a paint or coating, stains infuse colour into the surface while also showcasing the character of the substrate. The translucent effects and the broad drifts in colour—considered hallmarks of the stains—give surfaces the appearance of a timeworn patina finish.

Uses And Benefits

  • QC PATINA STAINS are combinations of metallic salts in water-based solutions that are slightly acidic. By reacting with the free lime available after concrete has fully cured, stains penetrate and etch new or existing concrete that is free from sealers, paints, and other forms of resists. Stains form permanent precipitates, becoming part of the concrete. Colour remains in the concrete pores which means colour won’t chip, crack, fade or peel.

  • QC PATINA STAINS do not “cover up” the concrete surface but rather work in conjunction with the finish character of the substrate. QC PATINA STAINS produce a variegated finish and beautiful patina, an “old world” surface effect, similar to the patination of bronze or the natural oxidation of copper. The broad drifts of colour and mottled surface effects are not considered defects but rather architectural hallmarks of this concrete colouring method. (There are no pigments in QC PATINA STAINS. The stains are reactive in nature—stains are not paints or coatings.)

  • Available in eight standard colours, QC PATINA STAINS create expanses of rich colour and marbleized hues from plain, gray concrete.

  • Inside or outside, QC PATINA STAINS can be applied to walkways, driveways, pool decks, patios, plazas, street pavements and more.

  • To expand the colour palette on new projects, QC PATINA STAINS can be used over all QC COLOUR HARDENERS, QC INTEGRAL COLOURS, and COLOURTECH by QC colours to further enhance the tone of coloured concrete. To produce enhanced and richer effects, white-based QC COLOUR HARDENERS can be excellent base choices for the application of QC PATINA STAINS.

  • Stain can also be applied over another stain to expand colour possibilities.

  • A wide variety of artistic and graphic effects are possible with this product, and QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS can provide an experienced contractor or artisan reference.

  • These stains may also be used to treat other cementitious materials (such as terrazzo, gunite, shotcrete, stucco, cement plaster, and certain self-leveling toppings) as well as any lime-based natural stone that has a chemistry similar to concrete (for example, limestone).

Before Any Application

1. QC PATINA STAINS should be applied to concrete that has fully cured. Concrete should be cured according to ACI standards. For optimum results, allow concrete to cure for 28 days. If stains are applied to concrete that has not fully cured, unpredictable results may occur.

2. If a curing compound is needed for freshly placed concrete that will later be stained, QC SURE CURE may be considered. QC SURE CURE is a specialty curing compound formulated to cure, preserve and protect freshly placed concrete. Unlike other curing compounds, QC SURE CURE does not form a film or membrane. Designed for use on non-coloured concrete, QC SURE CURE, unlike common sodium silicate curing products, will not interfere with the reaction of chemical stains. Because there is no membrane to remove during preparation, QC SURE CURE is an excellent, cost-saving, alternative curing method when properly applied.

3. Before applying QC PATINA STAIN, your surface must be dry, structurally sound, and clean—free of dirt, grime, and any other material that would act as a resist to the stain. If surface is not structurally sound and is found to be dusty/soft from improper curing, apply QC CEMGUARD. QC CEMGUARD is a clear, penetrating water-based sealer designed to harden, water proof, protect and preserve concrete, even in the most adverse environments. QC CEMGUARD will also prevent potential problems due to subsurface moisture.  For complete application instructions consult the QC CEMGUARD Product Information Bulletin.

4. For interior surfaces, a QC MOISTURE TEST KIT should be used in accordance with ASTM D 4263 standards to determine the amount of moisture movement in the concrete prior to the application of QC PATINA STAIN. If moisture levels exceed four pounds, apply QC CEMGUARD according to the instructions in the respective Product Information Bulletin. (Contact QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS to order an individual QC MOISTURE TEST KIT or a three-pack kit. Contact information for QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS can be found at the end of this bulletin.) 

For exterior surfaces, there is no method to effectively test for moisture movement and related problems. If moisture problems are suspected, pretreat the surface with QC CEMGUARD according to the instructions in the respective Product Information Bulletin. Important Note: QC CEMGUARD should not be used after stain application.

5. Before applying QC PATINA STAIN, a job site sample is strongly recommended.

To test the surface (to be stained) for the presence of sealers, curing compounds or release agents, mist the surface with water from a hand-held spray bottle. Potential problem areas will not “wet out” uniformly. Extremely dense or burnished surfaces should be slightly abraded to better accept QC PATINA STAINS followed by recommended finish sealers. 

To test the surface for colour, a sample conducted with the proposed QC PATINA STAIN, application procedures and sealing products should be done prior to application to better anticipate results. For existing slabs, it is strongly recommended that a sample be done in an inconspicuous area on the actual surface to be stained.


1. QC PATINA STAIN is best applied with an all-plastic pump-up sprayer at a rate of 200-400 square feet per gallon per application depending on surface texture. Smoother surfaces require higher coverage rates.

2. Once sprayed onto surface, use a stiff nylon-bristled brush to massage stain in a circular motion into the surface.

3. As stain is applied, various degrees of acidic reactions, such as fizzing and foaming, will occur. These types of reactions are generally signs that the substrate is accepting the stain.

4. Stains should always be applied in two or more applications. (Important Note: Two or more applications are typical for concrete flatwork. Consult QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS for questions regarding applications.)

5. Do not rinse stain between coats.

6. After the first coat has dried (five hours minimum), additional coats can be applied. To avoid any unevenness, brush out any excessive puddles.

7. Any modifications to the product or application procedure or applied combinations of QC PATINA STAIN are done at applicator’s risk.

8. Allow final coat to dry. Recommended minimum dry time for final coat on many surfaces is 10 hours. Dense or burnished surfaces will require a minimum of 18 hours dry time. Important Note: For drying times on Adobe and Blackfoot stains, please see “Limitations” section.

9. Remove salty residue by spraying with water and agitating with a stiff nylon-bristled brush. (A rotary floor machine with a pad driver and soft pad may also be used with care.) Rinse until rinse water runs clean. Rinse water may have an additional colouring capacity. Control and/or collect run-off to keep from discolouring surface not designated for stain. Under normal circumstances, rinse water should be collected and disposed of properly. (Always consult Material Safety Data Sheets and appropriate agencies for disposal information.)

10. Be sure all surface residue has been removed and no dusting is present prior to sealing. Squeegees and/or wet-vacs are recommended for removing residue.

11. To assure lasting protection of stained surfaces, QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS offers a full range of sealers, from medium-grade to high performance coatings. QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS recommends the following sealers:





  •  QC INTERIOR FLOOR FINISH (for maintenance top coat only)


  • Maintenance will vary depending on a number of factors, including volume and intensity of traffic, geographic location, ultraviolet light exposure and weather conditions.
  • It is strongly recommended that a routine maintenance schedule be followed so that surfaces maintain a high quality appearance. Periodically and as required by volume and intensity of traffic, stained surfaces should be inspected, cleaned and resealed.
  • Stained surfaces should be routinely swept and damp-mopped of dirt/loose debris to avoid unnecessary wear to the surface.



  • Inconsistencies in job site conditions, base colour, concrete mix design and slump, curing methods, finishing practices, stain application, surface porosity, and age and condition of concrete in existing slabs may produce variations in the colour of the finished product.

  • On the QC PATINA STAIN Colour Chart, standard QC PATINA STAIN colours are shown applied to both uncoloured (gray) concrete and to a QC COCONUT colour HARDENER base. However, QC PATINA STAINS produce unique effects to each individual concrete substrate and may differ significantly from the colours shown on the chart. There is an element of uncertainty and unpredictability inherent in the use and final appearance of QC PATINA STAINS including uneven, mottled or translucent effects. Product literature photos and sample colour chips provide a good representation of the palette, but the actual colours achieved may differ significantly.

  • In particular, Adobe and Blackfoot are high-solid QC PATINA STAINS that work best in very thin applications. For these stain colours, two thin applications are recommended with the longest possible drying times in between coats. The recommended dry time after each coat is a minimum of 10 hours with 18 hours being the optimal dry time if possible. Allowing adequate dry time is especially important if applying these stains to hard-troweled surfaces. As stated in the “Before Application” section, a job site sample is highly recommended whenever you’re applying stain. Producing job site samples is of particular importance for these two colours.

  • Neptune, Bluegrass and Jade stains (the blue and green stains) react to the presence of moisture and can create a black, spotty effect. When working with these stains, 24 hours of dry time is recommended to assure rinse moisture has left the slab before sealing. When using these stains, it is especially important to follow instructions outlined in the “Before Any Application” section.

  • Concrete that has been extremely hard-troweled may be difficult to stain. Allowing adequate dry time in between application coats is especially important if applying stains to hard-troweled surfaces. The recommended dry time after each application on hard-troweled surfaces is a minimum of 10 hours with 18 hours being the optimal dry time (if possible).

Coverage Guide

  • Note – Actual coverage may vary depending on the texture, porosity and condition of the concrete, application method, and other local conditions.

  • Material usage is approximately 200-400 square feet per gallon per coat.

  • If the slab is hard-troweled and highly polished, material usage will favor the high side of the suggested coverage rates (400 square feet per gallon per coat).

Package Sizes

QC PATINA STAINS are available in 1-, 5- and 55-gallon units in eight standard colours.

Technical Data

Colour Available in eight standard colours—refer to the QC PATINA STAIN Chart for selection. Stains can be diluted to yield a variation of standard colours.

Shelf Life

QC Patina Stains are under warranty for one year. Keep at minimum temperature of 40 ºF.

Product Handling

For handling and use, consult the corresponding Material Safety Data Sheet before using product.


QC PATINA STAIN, a proprietary product, is warranted to be of uniform quality within manufacturing tolerances. Since control is not exercised over its use, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the effects of such use. Seller’s and manufacturer’s obligation under this warranty shall be limited to refunding the purchase price of that portion of the material proven to be defective. The user assumes all other risks and liabilities resulting from use of this product. If you have any questions, please contact QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS.

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