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How to Stain Concrete Floors

If you have a plain concrete sub floor in your home, a boring concrete walkway, or an uninspiring patio, consider staining it to bring out its beauty. 

Here are the steps for how to stain concrete floors.

 

Tips and Tricks for How to Stain Concrete Floorsphoto courtesy of SupremeCrete flickr.com/photos/decorativeconcrete/5285816682/Repair
Repair any cracks or holes in your concrete floor. 

Keep in mind that concrete stain is semi-transparent, so any coloration differences will be slightly visible after staining.

 If your floor is not level, consider using a leveling compound. 

One tip is that you may need to rent a floor grinder to get your floors level and smooth. 

If your concrete floor is not in good condition, consider using a solid color concrete stain or painting it instead

If your concrete is new, wait for it to fully cure before staining. 

The cure time can be anywhere from 1 month to 1 year. 

If your concrete is painted or stained, you must remove the paint or stain before applying new stain. 

You can use a concrete paint stripper to remove an old finish.

 

Optional - Score the concrete
Scoring the concrete is completely optional, however is a fun trick to make your stained concrete look less like concrete. 

If you want the concrete to look like it has grout lines, to give it a wood plank look, or to add a bit of traction to the surface, you can score it with a saw using a diamond blade. 

Score the concrete approximately 1/8" deep and 1/4" wide. 

This step is very tricky and can be very dangerous, so use caution. 

Dust and dirt can get trapped in the scored concrete, so this option might not be good for everyone.

 

Clean
Make sure to read the cleaning directions on your particular can of concrete stain as it may be different from the method listed below. 

Remove anything stuck to your concrete floors, such as carpet pad adhesive or any over spray of wall texture using a wire brush or scraper. 

Clean your concrete floor by sweeping and/or vacuuming it. 

Pay close attention to the edges and corners of your room. 

Mop the floor afterward using soap and water and wait for it to fully dry. 

Do NOT use bleach to clean your floor, else it may create a deadly gas when reacting to the chemicals in the staining process. 

Do NOT acid wash.

 

Tips and Tricks for How to Stain Concrete Floors - diy, cheap, easy, house, home, slab, sidewalk, around pool deck, garagephoto courtesy of Decorative Concrete Kingdom flickr.com/photos/decorativeconcrete/5285218303/Stain Application
You should use specialty concrete stain to stain your concrete.

You can spray, brush, or roller the stain on your concrete floors, however they need to be completely dry. 

If there is any moisture present (or expected in the next few hours for an outdoor project) make sure to remove all moisture before proceeding or wait until the threat of moisture has passed. 

Read the back of the stain you purchase for their suggested application method. 

If you brush or roller, make sure to apply the stain going left to right in the first application and front to back on the second application to minimize the brush strokes. 

If you spray on the stain, make sure to mask off the bottom half of your wall and baseboards to protect that area. 

Apply a second coat of stain after the first coat of stain has completely dried (typically several hours later). 

Make sure you start painting the concrete stain on the opposite side of the room from your exit door so you don't have to walk on the stain to get out of the room.

 

Clean Again
After the concrete stain has dried, scrub off any extra stain using a bristled brush. 

Wash down the floor using ammonia and baking soda to neutralize the stain. 

Use a wet vacuum to remove the moisture.

 

Wax or Seal
Use a wax or seal to make your stained concrete floors shiny and protect them from everyday wear and tear. 

Follow the directions on your wax or sealant to get the best results. 

Be aware that waxed or sealed concrete can be very slippery, so use caution.

 

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