Stained concrete is becoming an increasingly popular way to add some flair to floors, walls and more. If you’re looking to make an impact statement with a concrete surface, staining it allows you to do just that and more. Staining concrete has become a popular way to enhance concrete at home, offices and buildings across the country. Let’s look at whether or not you should stain concrete yourself.

There are two types of concrete stains: Acid-based and water-based. Most acid stains utilize a base of water and other components, such as metallic salts and hydrochloric acid. From there, they work into concrete by penetrating the surface and them reacting to other chemicals in the concrete mix. This creates the look of stained concrete and makes it a truly unique experience. Most stained concrete can only come in earth colors because of the nature of the chemical reactions taking place during the staining process.

Water-based stained concrete can be applied to different types of concrete, new or old. Concrete straining increases the overall durability and reduces wear and tear on concrete, too. This is why you see concrete stains utilized on kitchen countertops, patios and other flooring in heavy traffic areas.

Whether or not you decide to concrete stain is based on the look you’re going for and the project at hand. Not all concrete projects will require a stain and it really comes down to what you want to get out of the space and the color scheme that goes with it. Concrete staining can be done by anyone, so long as you follow the instructions that come with it. For larger projects, you might consider hiring a contractor to take care of your stained concrete project.

Concrete can be used for a handful of projects at home. When you get creative with concrete, such as using stamps or a stain, you can do more with it.

Stained concrete can add a unique look and feel to any driveway, walkway or concrete surface. Not all concrete suppliers offer stained concrete, so it’s important to find one that does in your local area. While you can get stained concrete out of state, it’s more effective to have a company locally who can do it for you. Here’s how stained concrete is created if you choose to do it yourself.

How to Create Stained Concrete

Stained concrete can be pre-made or the stain can be done after the concrete is set. If doing the latter, you’ll want to remove all trim work from the area to avoid splashing or setting color to it. Removing baseboards and other trim is the best way to do this, even though you can cover these areas, too.

Once the trim work is removed, you’ll want to mask your walls to avoid staining them during the process. Use masking paper, not tape and other types of cover, to effectively do this and prevent splash back. Make sure the masking paper is taut against the wall for maximum protection.

Next, you’ll use an acid stain to start staining the concrete. You want to always mix this outdoors to avoid any spills and fumes. Wearing protective gear is essential, as most of these stains use hydrochloric acid to work. Make sure to always add stain to your water as opposed to the other way around. Since the acid will be corrosive, make sure you’re using a plastic drum to mix otherwise you’ll cause corrosion which will mix into the stain and potentially destroy the concrete. Follow the instructions that came with the acid stain. This will vary by stain type.

Once your concrete stain is mixed, you’ll want to spray it approximately 18″ above the concrete surface. By spraying randomly, you’ll get the desired effect of staining as it interacts with the lime in the concrete itself. This will give it a variety of colors similar to the primary color of the stain, which is your desired effect.

Let you first coat of stain dry, usually about an hour before applying another. Repeat the process until you have the desired color and effect.

When you’re finished staining, you want to neutralize your concrete. This is an essential step as it neutralizes the acid to avoid issues in the future. Use the recommended neutralizing agent from the manufacturer’s guidelines for the stain you used. Once the concrete is tried again, you can mop the floor to clean up any mess left behind before sealing the concrete from wear and tear.

Once again refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for sealing your particular stain. Use a paint roller is the easiest way to seal your concrete. Make sure to use thin coats, multiple times, for the best protection from every day wear and tear.

Give the sealant 24 hours to set before removing the masking paper, reinstalling your trim and wiping down the floor once more to see how your hard work paid off in creating stained concrete for your home, office or project.