Flagstone provides a unique and convenient means of walking smoothly by making the pave ways, driveways, and floors flat enough. The flat stones from where the flagstone is derived can be of many uses. Besides, its versatility leads it to do the job of roofing and fencing as well. As it can withstand hardship to a great extent than any other tiles or materials, many people adopt it just to have the proper service of it.
It can also be colored if you want your patios or walkways to look different. Therefore, many people wonder how to darken flagstone. However, flagstone provides its best service when you seal it with a quality sealant. It enhances the durability of the stone and prevents it from wearing too soon. Some of the sealers can improve darkening flagstone if you just enhance them.
A detailed process of the whole darkening flagstone might give you a clear idea. So, take a significant and thorough look at this article.
4 Ways to Enhance Flagstone Color to Darken:
Darkening flagstone has become a trend for people who want their pave ways, surfaces, or roofs to have a gorgeous black color. The exterior of your house brings the vibe of sophistication by the use of flagstone. Many people try to change the color of natural stone and paint to make it more appealing and striking at the same time.
However, darkening flagstone is not always a smooth job. You can adopt the following ways to darken it but they’ll come with their own malevolence along with benevolences. So, choose your way of enhancing flagstone color wisely.
a) Penetrating Sealer Additive:
Sealing is essentially important for flagstone. It’s because sealing can block the pores of flagstone. Also, a penetrating sealer saves the flagstone from tearing or spilling so easily. However, there are some penetrating sealers in the market that work for the color you want your flagstone to be.
These stone enhancers penetrate the stone and darken the color of the flagstone. Not all stone sealers come with the formula to darken flagstone. Some stone sealers have synthetic resin in them. And they are formulated to darken the stone over time. It can be found in any big home improvement store where you buy flagstone for your walkways or other patios.
b) Linseed Oil:
Linseed oil has a great traditional effect on making flagstone dark. Many people get confused if they should apply the raw or boiled linseed oil on the flagstone. However, you can apply both kinds of linseed oil. But raw linseed oil takes a hell of a time to be cured.
Therefore, boiled linseed oil is recommended by many professionals. It works tremendously in sealing pores and tiles. You can use linseed oil instead of using any sealant on your stones. But you may have to face some trouble while using this oil, as it can attract mildew. Besides, it requires a precise application to avoid the problems of excess oil on the surface.
c) Applying Heat:
Heat can be one of the fair ways to darken your flagstone floors. Using a blowtorch to accomplish the goal is a wise idea. However, this idea of heating flagstone goes right as long as you do this for the exterior beauty of your house. Otherwise, if you want to do this on your interior floor, a whole mess can happen.
Heating will darken flagstone but there is a chance that the sealer may get affected adversely. It will get melted if not taken care of enough. Besides, this heating application might cause unwanted accidents. Therefore, assistance from a professional is required for this application. In another way, you can apply the procedure right after you get off the sealer from flagstone.
d) Water-Based Stone Stain:
This might seem an artificial way to darken your flagstone but it’s totally worth it. Staining your flagstones black to bring back their same old glory only makes your exterior and interior look good. There’s nothing harm in it if you want to stain your flagstones black using water-based stone stain. But this is not a permanent solution as it will be faded over time again.
Though flagstone is a very reliable material to be the perfect and striking support for the floor like patios, driveways, and walkways, the aesthetic color of it can be faded in the exposure to the sun. However, staining flagstone requires some hardcore scrubbing with muriatic acid and it is quite laboring. It also requires some good attention to darken flagstone.
7 Steps to Darken Flagstone with Stone Enhancers / Penetrating Sealer:
If you want to have a dark gorgeous look of your flagstone, then you can do it by yourself. You just have to be determined in this case. Flagstone can be darkened in a lot of ways but choosing the most convenient and effective way should be your wise decision. Besides, it enhances the beauty of your house and strengthens the quality to a large extent. To get the right range of darkness of the color, you need to go through the following steps accordingly.
Step 1: Gather Materials:
Flagstones require some specific materials to provide a dark color. Most of the materials for this job can be found in any home improvement center or hardware store or store from where you’ve bought flagstones for your patios. However, let’s check out the materials at once.
- Stone enhancers or penetrating sealer
- Warm water
- Mop or sponge
- A dryer
- Masking paper
- Painter’s tape
- Safety suit including goggles, gloves, and knee pads
- Lint-free rag
- Vacuum cleaner
Step 2: Clean Flagstones:
The next that you have to do is to make flagstones ready for the stone enhancer. For that, you need to sweep them and make them free of any dirt. You can use a vacuum cleaner for the job. Then you need to mop flagstones to get rid of the minimal dust from them. Don’t ever think of using any cleanser that carries acid in it. This affects flagstone in a very bad way and damages their capacity.
If you apply your sealer without doing these majors, then the dust and debris will be sealed with the sealer and they will make terrible marks on your flagstones. You definitely want these marks to ruin your gorgeous-looking flagstones. Use a sponge or mop and make it damp with warm water. This will also make the light residue and marks vanish from the flagstones.
Step 3: Let it Dry:
The next job after giving a good wash of flagstones, you need to let them dry. It is always better if there is enough ventilation system where you do the darkening procedure of flagstones. That’s why most people use flagstone outside for a vivid and rigid service.
However, if still there is less ventilation system and if it’s taking a lot of time to be dry of the flagstones, then you can use a dryer. This will help to dry flagstones quickly. Places like pools with huge surroundings might not have a proper or natural ventilation system for the flagstones to dry quickly. In this case, use a dryer to be done with the job.
Step 4: Cover the Surrounding:
After the drying of flagstones, you need to cover up the surrounding properly. Adopt masking paper and wrap the surrounded baseboards with it. You can also use painter’s tape to cover the flooring. Covering these surfaces is important because sealing is a messy process.
It will destroy the baseboards and flooring, if you don’t wrap them properly. And masking paper or painter’s tape does the wrapping job effectively.
Step 5: Make the Place Clear and Get Yourself Ready:
Before starting the main job, make sure there is no child or pet around the area. If there is any, then remove it from the place. You can also make a light fence to keep the children and pets away from the destination. It’ll also help in preventing any intruders on the spot.
If there is no problem with children and pets or any intruders, it’s time you get yourself ready for the primal section of the whole process. A safety suit is necessary. Don’t forget to put your gloves and goggles on. Using a knee pad will also help you from any kind of accident.
Step 6: Apply the Stone Enhancer:
Now it’s time for applying the stone enhancer or penetrating sealer. You need to have a paintbrush to apply it on flagstones properly. A roller or sprayer will also work perfectly. Read the label on the can of penetrating sealant and learn how to apply the sealer properly on flagstones. However, it’s important to notice if the sealer is flammable or not. If it’s flammable, keep it distinctively away from heat and sparks of fire.
Must Read: How to Seal Flagstone Around Pool
For the excess application of the sealer, you need to remove it instantly. Otherwise, it will get cured and your flagstones will not look seamless and beautiful. Use a lint-free clean rag and wipe out the extra sealer from flagstones. To avoid more mess, you need to proceed to apply the penetrating sealer little by little of the flagstone area.
Step 7: Let the Application Dry and Recoat if Necessary:
After applying the stone enhancer evenly on flagstones, you need to give it a rest for some time. Observe the label of the sealer again and note down the time it requires to be cured completely. Within this time, the sealer will penetrate flagstones and bring the dark appearance you are longing for. Don’t touch it with anything until every flagstone is dried.
You can apply a second of the sealer until it brings your desired deepness of the dark color. Follow the same procedure for the second coat. Never apply the second coat of the penetrating sealer if the former coating is not dried yet. Also, don’t let anyone ruin flagstones by walking or throwing dirt on them. Once you accomplish those requirements, your flagstones are all ready with the desired black appearance.
Tips: [Examine Your Sealer before Applying It All over Your Patio:
The tough and important job is to find the right sealer. As not all the sealer is promising, you need to examine your sealer to get the fruitful result. To examine the perfect stone enhancer take a flagstone as a sample. If you do not possess any extra flagstone to examine the sealer then find a little hidden area of your patio that has the flagstone installed. To examine it, apply the sealant wait for it to be cured.
After applying the right amount of coating of the sealer, it’ll get cured if you leave it be for a required timetable. When it’s cured properly, pour some water on the surface of the flagstone. If the water beads up on the surface, then the penetrating sealer is workable and applicable.
But if the surface doesn’t react with the beading, then you need to change the sealer and look for another quality brand to get the right penetrating sealer. Also, make sure if the sealer is for indoor use or outdoor use. You can find the information by checking the labels on their body.]
Question: Can you change the color of flagstone?
Answer: Yes, you can change the color of the flagstone. For this, you need to use a stain of mild concrete. An equal ratio of water and mild concrete stain is enough for this job. Mix the two elements and spray them over flagstones and wait till it dries.
However, after changing the color, sealing the flagstone is important. Otherwise, the color will not last even for two years.
Question: Does sealer darken flagstone?
Answer: Not all the sealer is meant to darken flagstones. Some sealers only seal the pores of tiles or flagstones. But there are some specific penetrating sealers available in the hardware store. And these penetrating sealers are made for the purpose of darkening flagstone. These are also known as stone enhancers. Sealing your flagstones will not darken it alone. To darken it, you need to enhance it with a stone enhancer.
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