Staining Concrete: How To Do It

by Admin on September 23, 2014

Not everyone is enamored with the natural light gray/white color of concrete, especially when it comes to concrete floors in their home. Fortunately, it’s possible to give your concrete floor a completely different color and look by staining it. That way, you’ll still have the great durability and long life span of concrete but with a more personalized, finished look.


To make sure your concrete floor comes out looking the way you want, it’s best to work with a professional. When you’re hiring someone, be sure to ask them about past concrete staining projects they’ve worked on, and visit some of their previous work sites if possible. You should also familiarize yourself with the steps of the staining process ahead of time so that you know what to expect.

Fortunately, KSI Kitchens has put together a convenient step-by-step guide for staining a concrete floor. Check out the original guide here from the kitchen design experts at KSI Kitchens, and learn the basic steps below.

Step 1: Choose Your Workspace

You can stain any concrete floor, whether it’s inside or out. Many people already have concrete floors in their basements because the material holds up against flooding, so this might be a good space to stain.

Step 2: Clean the Surface

Your floor should be carefully cleaned before you start the staining project, as any blemishes will show up in the stain. Your professional needs to make sure there isn’t any waxy material on the floor, as this can leave untreated patches. He or she should also check for cracks and discolored areas of the floor, as these issues will also need to be taken into consideration. Some homeowners choose to leave cracks because they add character, but others have their contractor use an overlay to get a smooth surface.

Step 3: Pick Your Stain

There are two basic types of stain: acid and acrylic. Acid stain tends to be the best choice if there are any discolored areas or other blemishes on the floor because it does a better job of disguising these issues. It only comes in eight colors, but these colors can be blended to get new ones. Acrylic stain tends to highlight blemishes, but it comes in a wider range of colors and doesn’t involve a chemical reaction (it’s water-based). You can also blend two or more acrylic stains to get a new look (you can even get your stain to resemble natural stone).

Step 4: Apply the Stain

Make sure your home professional tests the stain on a small, out-of-the-way patch of the floor first, as the color will look different on the floor than it does in its original container. If you’re happy with the color, have the professional go ahead and apply the stain to the entire floor. The professional will likely use some combination of a plastic pump sprayer, mops, rollers, and squeegees. He or she should move the mop or roller with a natural flow rather than just going in straight lines in order to avoid leaving obvious streaks.

Step 5: Neutralize the Acid Stain

If you use an acid stain, your professional will need to fill up a clean plastic pump sprayer with a mixture of one part ammonia, four parts water, and spray it over the entire stained floor. Once the floor dries, he or she should vacuum up any remaining water and use a wet cloth to blot the surface to remove any prints or splotches.

Step 6: Seal the Stain

The final step will be to seal the stain using a densifier and a stain guard. Your professional will use the densifier first to penetrate the concrete floor and dramatically increase its abrasion resistance so that it won’t be easily scratched. He or she will then apply the stain guard to increase the floor’s shine and—you guessed it—keep it from getting stained. Not only will sealing the concrete prevent your floor from showing obvious wear, it will also help the floor last for longer so that you don’t have to worry about replacing it.

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