How to Stain Concrete: The Complete Guide

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Concrete staining is often confused with painting. Staining and painting are two distinct methods used in decorating and protecting concrete from damage. But concrete staining outshines painting by a wider margin. Whereas paint stays on the surface of concrete, a stain penetrates deep into the structure. If you are looking for a floor solution that is long-lasting, painting is not a great choice. It easily peels off over time and fades with use.


Staining, on the other hand, is one of the best ways you can use to protect your concrete from damaging agents. A flooring expert who knows how to stain concrete can transform your floor into a stylish and durable space. A chemical reaction takes place between the acid stain and cement to penetrate deep into the concrete. And the stain permanently becomes part of your concrete. The beauty of stains is that they come in a variety of colors, making it possible to achieve different styles.

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stained concrete process

How to Stain Concrete: Step by Step Guide

You can stain your concrete, whether it is a new or an old installation. But it’s worth noting that staining old concrete is a little more demanding. There has to be thorough surface preparation to remove anything that might hold back the stain from soaking into the concrete.

Here is the step-by-step procedure to follow when staining your concrete:

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Step 1: Surface preparation

If you have old concrete, remove any coatings, wax, or sealer from the surface. You can scrub it using a stiff-bristled brush. Remove oil, grease, dirt, and any stain from the surface. The pores must be open for the stain to penetrate the concrete evenly.

The next thing to do is wash the surface thoroughly with water. Use a hosepipe or pressure washer to ensure no residue remains on the surface. Allow the surface enough time to dry. 24 hours should be enough.

Step 2: Prepare the stain

You need protective gear when handling acid stain. So wear acid-proof gloves, boots, and safety goggles. Keenly read the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to mix the stain. Use a bucket to mix your solution. 

Step 3: Stain your concrete

Once the solution is ready, pour some into a sprinkling can and carefully sprinkle it onto your concrete. Let the solution etch for a maximum of 35 minutes and then, remove any excess acid from the surface. But first, you have to neutralize it using water. Use a broom to push the water off the surface. Let the concrete dry for 24 – 48 hours.

Step 4: Seal the concrete

Sealing acid stained concrete is not compulsory. But it is good to seal it because a sealer improves the appearance of your concrete. It leaves it with a glossy look that lasts long. You can use a roller to apply the sealer. Apply the first coat and let it dry. 

Once it is dry, apply another coat. This time push the roller in the opposite direction to ensure the sealer spreads evenly. Allow the sealer to cure for 48 hours, then apply floor wax.


Learn How to Stain Concrete the Right Way- Avoiding Acrylics

Learning how to stain concrete the right way starts with knowing the right stain to use. Acrylic stains are excellent when it comes to attaining color variations. They create beautiful glazing effects. However, the upside with them is they fade and come off the concrete surface with time.

 Acid stains bond with concrete and stick on it for a lifetime. That’s why they are good for outdoor use. Driveways with stained concrete remain attractive throughout the year when well maintained. Concrete driveway repair work is minimized when you choose to stain. Try staining next time you consider repairing your concrete driveway. And you can count on us when it comes to that. We are happy to help.

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DIY Concrete Stain Application: Do It Yourself Or Hire A Pro?

Concrete staining is a process that takes time to master. The skill doesn’t come overnight. You have to learn from someone who knows how to stain concrete and do a lot of practice. Note that whatever mistake you make permanently remains on your stained floor.

You don’t want to mess your patio, living room, or any concrete structure that is costly to replace. Let trusted concrete strainers handle your concrete staining project for a satisfying result.

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Benefits of Working With  Armor Coatings

Armor Coatings are flooring contractors with many years of experience in stained concrete solutions. Partnering with us to be your stained concrete service provider assures reliable and effective service delivery. When you entrust your concrete staining project to us, you rest assured it is in the right hands. Also, it will be completed within the schedule.

If you love designs, we allow you the freedom to choose the one that impresses you. It is your project, and you should be in control. We also involve you in setting the project schedule to ensure that the project doesn’t affect your everyday life. Plus, we advise you on better ways of maintaining your concrete after staining. When it comes to cost, our rates are competitive and easy on your pocket.

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