Asked on Oct 10, 2017

Light Acid Wash Driveway vs. TopCast #3?



Hello from Houston!
For any concrete/driveway contractors out there -- we are about to pour a new, large, circular driveway with brick banding. I'm using Davis integral color "light gray" made with 860 iron oxide. When the concrete 3" square sample was sanded, I love the overall color - which has some of the aggregate exposed. Changes the color slightly and driveway looks more "soft" and not that flat "painted concrete look." So how to best accomplish this is my question. Contractor will do a light acid wash and scrub with broom. But they will also use Top Cast #3 if I want, and the local rep for that company will come oversee the job site to ensure proper application and removal for the best #3 finish. Wanting a light sand-wash finish. In the picture below you see a sample they poured of a different color for me, smooth one side, light broom on the other. Cured a week in the heat. Then they used a fairly heavy amount of muriatic acid and scrubbed with broom on one side to help me see how the color would change. Note the splotches. That is a result of the inconsistencies in the aggregate, correct? So my question is, if Top Cast #3 is used, then consistent pressure wash takes it off several hours later, should I expect the Top Cast to produce the same splotchiness? I don't mind soft irregularity and an antiqued sort of look overall, but soft is the key -- I don't want splotches and dabs and dots like a leopard all over. This is a huge circular drive and just walk calm gray that has some interest in the color so it doesn't look so "flat" -- which is why I liked a soft sand aggregate exposure. Can anyone speak to these 2 choices or what I should do? Thanks sincerely!
light broom finish on the right (note it looks more blue and didn't want this).
same concrete on left but with smooth finish and they acid washed/scrubbed with broom.
3 answers
  • Wendy
    on Oct 11, 2017

    I say if you want the softer look, go for the one to the right (blue tones) Good luck!
  • Artemis
    on Oct 11, 2017

    This is just my opinion, but I think the bluish finish may come across as rather stark (and bright in full sun), especially covering a large circular area. Also, how is that going to look against your house color? I also prefer a finish that's not so smooth that it becomes slippery when wet.
  • Lis10807037
    on Oct 12, 2017

    I did my driveway with the exposed technique. They used nice uniform pebbles so it looks even and not slippery at all. Still waiting for them to come back and acid wash it and apply the clear coat protectant. Thought shoveling snow all winter would chip out some of the pebbles but it didn't. I'm quite happy with it and will be even happier when its clear coated and shiny. My house is tan so the pebbles match perfect with some darker to match the dark brown trim. A very rich and natural look. Labor is more as they have to brush and hose off the top layer to expose the pebbles but the concrete will be the same cost.
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