Brick staining - fixing agent?

  • Chemical/Paint
  • Thread starter Stephen Tashi
  • Start date
In summary, there are commercial brick staining kits that use mineral paints containing metal oxides and potassium silicate as a binder. For DIY brick staining, metal oxide pigments can be purchased from places that sell them for use in cosmetics and paints. Potential fixing agents for the color include concrete hardeners, plant food, and concrete sealers containing water glass, which is also available in sodium silicate form. It is likely that sodium silicate will have a similar "silification" effect on brick as potassium silicate.
  • #1

Stephen Tashi

Science Advisor
There are commercial kits for renewing the appearance of brick by staining them. They use "mineral paints", which (it sees to me) employ metal oxides for color. They use potassium silicate as a binder that fixes the color in the brick by "silification".

For a DIY brick staining kit, it's possible to buy metal oxide pigments from places that sell it for use in compounding DIY cosmetics and artists paints. Is there a commonly available product that could be used as a fixing agent?

Some speculations:

1) Concrete hardener? - some concrete hardeners are based on potassium silicate
2) Plant food? - some plant foods advertise being a source of potassium and silicon
3) Concrete sealers?
Physics news on
  • #2
Water glass?
  • #3
Borek said:
Water glass?

Will sodium silicate have the same "silification" effect on brick as potassium silicate? I find "water glass" in the sense of sodium silicate for sale on Amazon as a additive for ceramics. The potassium silicate offered is for fertilizer.
  • #4
Stephen Tashi said:
Will sodium silicate have the same "silification" effect on brick as potassium silicate?

I would expect them to be similar, it is the silicate part that is most important. Sure, it is possible that potassium salt is in some ways better.

What is brick staining and why would a fixing agent be needed?

Brick staining is a process used to change the color of bricks through the application of pigmented solutions. A fixing agent is needed to ensure that the color remains permanent and does not fade or wash away over time.

How does a fixing agent work in brick staining?

A fixing agent works by creating a chemical bond between the pigment and the brick surface. This bond helps to seal the color in and prevent it from being affected by external factors such as UV rays, water, and weathering.

What types of fixing agents are commonly used in brick staining?

There are two main types of fixing agents used in brick staining: water-based and solvent-based. Water-based fixing agents are more environmentally friendly and easier to apply, while solvent-based agents tend to offer more durability and resistance to weathering.

Are there any safety precautions to take when using a fixing agent in brick staining?

Yes, it is important to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles when handling fixing agents. These chemicals can be harmful if they come into contact with skin or eyes. It is also recommended to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any fumes.

Can a fixing agent be used on any type of brick?

While most fixing agents are suitable for use on different types of brick, it is important to check the manufacturer's instructions to ensure compatibility. Some fixing agents may not be suitable for certain types of bricks, such as highly porous or glazed bricks.

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