Changing the color of manufactured stone?

mareninglesSeptember 20, 2013

So they installed the stone on our house yesterday. Unfortunately, although the stone company absolutely insists that the color is the same, you can see from the photo that the color of the stone on our house (on the left) is in fact NOT the same color as the stone on the right (which is what we selected). I have talked to the stone company until I'm blue in the face, and they aren't going to do anything about it. It would cost us $2-3k to remove and then replace it - unfortunately, that isn't an option. This stone does not look good with the light green Hardie siding that is going up in the next few days - the green siding brings out the red in the stone and just clashes. I was going for a more neutral grey, like the sample board in the photo. So my only other option (other suggestions are certainly welcome) is to try and change the color of the stone they put on. The guy at the stone place said you can use a pressure washer to remove a thin layer (where the color is) and then restain the stones. It voids the warranty if they can tell you've used a pressure washer. I'm more concerned with the color being right than I am about the warranty. But has anyone here done this and been successful? Or is it just a disaster? Help, please!!

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niteshadepromises

I can see the stone being the same color, its the prevalent gray grout that really brings out the grey on the right. I think the stone on the left looks good as is and I'd be awfully hesitant to start voiding warranties on it when you aren't sure what it will look like after pulling a stunt like that. You could think it looks horrible now but it could *really* look a mess after trying to restain it. Probably not the answer you were looking for but, change your siding color is probably what I'd suggest if its not too late.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:49AM
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mareningles

Here are the paint swatches showing the colors of the lap siding and patterned shingles that will be just above the stone.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:21AM
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mareningles

We have a lot of extra pieces of the stone to practice on first. I definitely wouldn't do it on the whole house without figuring it all out first. I just am hoping there's someone else out there who has done it and been successful who can share pointers with me.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:23AM
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annkh_nd

I think the stone is beautiful, and I agree with niteshade - the grout in the sample has a big impact.

Maybe it would be easier to change the siding color, before that's installed? Both your stone and landscape (what I can see in the background) could support a darker color.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:16AM
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nostalgicfarm

I visited a stone place that had stone like on the right set in tan grout and grey grout....two completely different looks. I love your stone color, although I am not a fan of the limish green....I don't think that limish green would go well with the sample on the right either. If it were me, I would go to Dherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore and pull all the green cards you can...I bet you can find an awesome compliment to the stone. If your not keen on painting, you can paint the boards before they go up [I would personally have them put up first, but I'm use to painting all my own stuff].
For what it is worth, you can take your pictures and your color cards into the paint stores, and they can help you find a really great color. I would go a deeper version of the lime green. What a beautiful backdrop for your home :).

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:49AM
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mareningles

I really don't want to change the siding colors. I am beyond sick of brown houses, as that is what almost everyone has around here. NOT having a dark/brown house was half the reason we chose to build.

If the grout would make that much difference, I am not opposed to slathering grout all over the stone. However, the stone company just moved to a new showroom and they have new sample boards. Their new sample board is the same color as the stone on my house, even with the grey grout. So to me that says that the sample board I selected from (for whatever reason - fading, grout being washed over the surface, etc.) is not an accurate representation of the actual stone.

In my opinion, they should pay for the problem to be corrected. But so far there is no indication that that will happen. I am not going to change my entire house plans because they screwed up. I want to change the stone, but if that can't happen, then I am going to at least do what I can to alter the color. If I can't consistently get the pressure washer to work without damaging the stone on the samples/extras, then I will just try to stain the stones. I really just want to hear any tips/suggestions from anyone who has tried to change the color of their manufactured stone.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Oaktown

The stone on the right looks tumbled to me, is that just a result of the grouting technique?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:40PM
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DLM2000

I understand being sick of brown houses but there are a lot of other options for you between brown and the greens you have chosen for siding. I agree with nostalgicfarm and don't feel those greens would work well either siding - IMO they are too in your face bright for a large massing on a house. And that will be amplified as seasons change, light changes, sunny/cloudy days. I know from experience how that happens and had to live with an odd colored house for a long time. And for much the same reasons as you - I was sick of white or gray houses with black or gray shutters and wanted to be 'different'. I'd encourage you to leave the stone alone and find an earthier green to work with - I think that would be lovely.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:39PM
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niteshadepromises

The way that stone is laid probably wouldn't get you the results you hope for by adding grout now. I'm not a mason but would that be called dry stacking? Anyway its pretty clear on the sample board they left large gaps to allow for grout and yours you left next to none :(

Did you happen to request addresses where this stone was installed and go see them for yourself in the field? I've done this with a stone or two I was interested in and they almost always look totally different than the sample board they had in store.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 6:07PM
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estrella18

It looks to me like stone pic on the left is full sun and stone pic on the right is is shade. That's a blue/yellow difference no matter what the subject matter in photography. I would do a cream, light grey or off white house. The color you picked is not attractive to me.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I like green, but the only place that acid green will ever look good is in a climate with clear bright sunshine, closer to the equator. Like Miami or a beach house in Mexico. In a more northern latitude, greens need to be grayer or browner to not assault the eyes so much. Look at Sherwin WIlliams Sawdust for an earthy natural green that will look good with the stone. Greens and reds and grays from nature are a great color combo. The stone's the best thing about the proposed look so far.



    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:51PM
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galore2112

I know it's a matter of personal taste but I think your installation looks a million times better than the one where the stones are swimming in Mortar.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:35AM
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neroselover

Oh wow. I'd be upset as those are not the same stones at all. The shapes are different, the colors are different.

However, I will say for me personally, I do like how it is installed. I like the dry stacked look vs. lots of mortar.

While I like the colors you have picked, I don't care for them for the exterior of the house. I don't think they go with either the bricks you selected or the ones that got installed. I would look for a deeper shade of green or a beige.

This house looks similar in shade to the colors you have chosen.

If you do decide to power wash it, and it doesn't work you may need to be ready to spend the money to have it removed and changed.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 1:33AM
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allieboop

I personally love the color choice of your home. In Lunenburg Nova Scotia we have very colorful houses and they look great throughout the seasons.... but that's just personal preferance. Don't settle on a boring color if that's not you... go BOLD!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 4:38AM
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chibimimi

Is your siding already ordered? If not, Hardie has a moss green color that you might consider switching to.

I understand your frustration with the stone color, but even manufactured products have variations. The manufacturer probably had a disclaimer saying it was up to you to inspect it before installation -- that's why they won''t pay for reinstallation.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:38AM
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view_west

One factor to take into consideration is the clash between clean and earthy colors. The stone with grayish grout is earthy, the proposed siding color is a clean green.

The juxtapostion brings out the difference between these, as you noticed it all depends on the context. It might be better to stay earthy (or muted) with the siding color choice -- what Hollysprings described as an 'earthy natural green'.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 10:14AM
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mareningles

We didn't have a lot of options for stone to choose from - what I really wanted was not within our price range or the options our builder gave us. Everything the builder offers is from a company that, when it really comes down to it, only offers one color palette. There are slight variations that come from the way the stone is set, whether or not it is grouted, and also from the way the stone is formed (whether it is rough or flat and smooth).

The problem is that the person who was helping us choose the stone did not educate us about their stone, or about the variables that would affect the appearance of the stone. We chose the color of the sample that had the least rust and brown tones in it (it appeared that way because of the mortar color and because of the rough surface of the stones). Unfortunately, because of the style of the stone we chose and the way it was set, it most definitely doesn't look the same.

As I've mentioned several times, I was hoping to hear from someone who had experience altering the color of cultured stone by pressure washing, staining, or any other method. I am going to try and change the color of the stone because I don't like it. I don't want rusty red brown tones anywhere on or in my house. I am sick to death of brown/beige/tan houses. I don't want earthy, neutral colors. I am a designer and photographer with a lot of color experience. I want something that will stand out. Something different. Something crisp and clean and bright. I don't really care what color goes with the stone, because I am not under any circumstance going to keep the stone the way it is permanently. I am going to attempt to alter the color of the stone myself. And if that doesn't work, then I'll rip the stone off myself and replace it as soon as I have the money to do so.

Incidentally, we did change the paint colors. We are now doing a pale bluish grey (Sherwin Williams Krypton on the lap siding, North Star at 80% on the shakes, and Pure White on the board and batten and trim) similar to the home of our builder (see photo below) who actually has the same stone as we do. This was my original plan for colors, but my husband wanted green, so we went the other direction. I think this color scheme will still achieve the clean, bright, fresh look I'm going for, and will look fine with the stone until we can fix or change it.

It is irritating to make the change at this stage, however, because the sides and back of the house are off-white stucco (green stucco is awful). I definitely would've done a match on the stucco to the color we're doing now. But it's too late. Eventually we'll replace the stucco with Hardie anyway.

I'd still love to hear from anyone who has experience altering color on manufactured/cultured stone.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:21AM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

Although I too like the stone you currently have, I totally understand your frustration that it IS NOT what you envisioned nor something YOU like. It is your house so ultimately, only your tastes matter.

Wish I has some experience to offer you with respect to changing a manufactured stone's color but I don't. However, an internet search revealed that there are companies who claim to do exactly what you want done...so apparently it is possible. Below is a link to one such company's website. I'm not recommending them - I only just found them via the web - but at least this might give you a starting point.

Good luck with getting this fixed to your satisfaction

Here is a link that might be useful: Exact Match Stone Veneer recoloring

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:22PM
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geoffrey_b

@mareningles: " I am going to try and change the color of the stone because I don't like it."

Well the stone/masonary is pretty dark. I don't see any way to change the color unless it's painted. Ugh!

IMO the green you had chosen didn't go with the original blue/gray stone either.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:08PM
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geoffrey_b

@mareningles: " I am going to try and change the color of the stone because I don't like it."

Well the stone/masonary is pretty dark. I don't see any way to change the color unless it's painted. Ugh!

IMO the green you had chosen didn't go with the original blue/gray stone either.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:09PM
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neroselover

Love the picture of your inspiration house. It's our inspiration house too. We traveled to see that house in the Parade of Homes 2 years ago. It's gorgeous. I'm jealous of your builder!

We tried to talk him into coming to build our house, but no dice, though. :(

However, the stone from that house is not the stone on your house. This is the stone used on your inspiration picture house.

If you selected the stone from that house for your build, then they should replace it. It is not the same.

Here is a link that might be useful: Millhaven Home Stone

This post was edited by neroselover on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 3:04

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:55AM
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chibimimi

Here's a link to a product someone mentioned once on GW. Unfortunately, it apparently cannot lighten the color, but you could certainly make it grayer. This is a British product, but you may be able to get it in the US.

Back to actual experience: The wall caps on the porch of our remodeled home were very bland cultured stone. It didn't match the variagated wall stone at all well. I used concrete tint, very thinned out, to add some grain to wall caps. It has held the color for six years now. However, I don't know how this would work over a large area that is out in the weather -- our wall caps are under the porch roof. And again, you can only add color, not lighten the stone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dye brick

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 8:08AM
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Kathy Harrington

I personally haven't altered the color of stone, but talking with our mason, he has suggested that acid washing rather than rinsing with water brightens and highlights the colors more rather than less. My suggestion would be to overgrout over the brick, that might neutralize the color. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Kathy Harrington

I personally haven't altered the color of stone, but talking with our mason, he has suggested that acid washing rather than rinsing with water brightens and highlights the colors more rather than less. My suggestion would be to overgrout over the brick, that might neutralize the color. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:13AM
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live_wire_oak

Mortarwashing it would mute the colors, but it won't change the color. Even a dye meant for coloring concrete has issues unless it's integrated into the pour of the stone itself.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:32PM
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ChrisStewart

I suppose you could take a few sample pieces and see if you can alter them successfully -if the color is that superficial I wonder if bleach would help?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:09PM
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