wikiHow to Stain Concrete

Four Parts:Stain ChoicesPreparationStainingSealing

Staining or coloring concrete is a great way to enhance the look of a porch, patio or driveway. You can learn how to stain concrete yourself, using a similar process to painting or staining floors and walls.

Part 1
Stain Choices

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    Assess the current state of your concrete. Stains tend to pick up and accentuate flaws in the surface, just like wood stain does with wood knots. Keep in mind that staining is not the same as covering.
    • You may consider laying new concrete, if the surface is cracked and deteriorating. Hire professionals to pour the concrete.
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    Go to any hardware store that has a large paint section. Cement stain is semi-transparent and color is added and mixed just as it is with traditional house paint.
    • You can also buy acid stain; however, it can be more difficult to apply yourself than other concrete stains. It will also take longer to apply because you must neutralize the stain after it sets.
    • You can choose 2 different colors of concrete stain to create a marble effect. Use a lighter color as your base coat, and a darker color on the second coat.
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    Bring home a sample of the color you would like to test out. You should always test the color before applying to an entire section of concrete.
    • Clean the section of concrete with an industrial washing product, like TSP. Apply the stain according to package directions, usually by wetting the concrete and applying with a roller.
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    Measure the square footage of your concrete section.
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    Buy enough concrete stain and sealant to cover your concrete. One gallon of paint will cover 200 to 400 square feet. Buy enough to do 2 coats, if you want darker, more even coverage.

Part 2
Preparation

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    Wash the surface of your concrete with water and a heavy duty cleaner. Work in 4 x 4 foot sections.
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    If you have grease or oil stains, find a product that is specially formulated to remove them before you wash. These will show through the concrete stain.
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    Spray the area with a high pressure spray nozzle until there are no more soap bubbles. Move on to the next section, working across the section of concrete you need to clean.
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    Put on clean, dry shoes once you wash the concrete. You need to be careful not to track on any dirt, or the stain will not be even.
    • Consider setting up tape or barricades during the cleaning and staining process, if you are near a public area, such as a sidewalk.
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    Throw plastic drop cloths over decks, stairs, flowers, grass and other pathways. Tape it down with painter's tape, if possible.

Part 3
Staining

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    Rent a paint sprayer, if you do not own 1. You can also apply with a roller, but the paint sprayer will apply even coverage.
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    Wait to apply the stain when there is partial or full shade. Days without wind are also best for using paint sprayers.
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    Spray the concrete with water, using your garden hose and spray nozzle. It should be a mist of water, light enough so that water does not gather and run, leading to an uneven application.
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    Spray the cement with the stain using the paint sprayer. Spray sections of 4 feet (1.2 m) by 4 feet (1.2 m) and then move on to the next section.
    • If you are using 2 different colors to create a marble effect, do not wait to apply the second coat. You can apply it immediately after the first coat.
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    Allow your first coat of stain to dry according to package directions. This is usually 24 hours.
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    Decide if you want to do another coat to achieve a more vibrant color. If so, wet the top of the stain with water and apply a second coat just as you did the first.
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    Pour some stain into a plastic spray bottle. Check the surface for any sections that were not fully covered. Spray them by hand.
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    Dab the sprayed stain with a wet paper towel to incorporate the hand-sprayed section.

Part 4
Sealing

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    Wait 24 hours after your last coat before sealing it. Choose a time when the concrete patch is shaded.
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    Apply the sealer with a 3/8-inch-nap paint roller. Use a roller with a very long handle for floor application.
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    Roll a coat of sealer onto the surface. Move in 1 direction. It will be white when it rolls on, but it will dry clear.
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    Wait 2 hours.
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    Apply a second coat of sealer perpendicular to the first.
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    Allow it to dry. Your surface is ready to use.
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    Wash the surface of the cement every year with a heavy duty cleaner. Apply new coats of sealer every 3 to 4 years.

Tips

  • Keep in mind that the thoroughness with which you prepare the area will determine the look of your finished product. Take time to wash it well, remove stains and apply during a cloudy, still day.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Spray nozzle
  • Heavy-duty cleaner
  • Spot cleaner
  • Concrete stain samples
  • Plastic drop cloths
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint roller
  • Roller tray
  • Roller sleeve (3/8 inch nap)
  • Plastic spray bottle

Article Info

Categories: Concrete | Home Improvements and Repairs