Update: Tips for Applying Stains to Concrete

There are lots of reasons why business owners choose concrete flooring for their space. The biggest two are durability and maintenance. Concrete floors are awesome in places with high traffic because they can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. The maintenance of concrete floors is also pretty low, which makes cleaning super easy. 

A lot of times, business owners do not choose concrete because they don’t want to sacrifice looks, but with stained concrete, you don’t have to! Stained concrete is a great way to add some color to your space and give it a unique look without having to choose something less durable that you will have to replace quickly. 

Staining concrete isn’t the toughest job to tackle if you have all of the right tools and as long as the surface has been properly prepped; however, there are some basic rules that should be followed to ensure the results you want. Also, keep in mind that if the job is complex or large that hiring a contractor is suggested. Let’s review some tips for staining concrete.

It is a good idea to use a small test area before staining the entire area. This is important to do because there are many variables that impact the final appearance, so doing a test area is the best way to preview the final appearance.

When planning to stain newly laid concrete, make sure to wait at least four weeks after the concrete has been laid before applying chemical stains. If stain is applied prior to four weeks after the concrete has been poured the color may not turn out as desired due to the moisture that is still in the concrete.

One of the best tips for staining concrete is that it is most important to follow the manufacturer’s stain instructions when applying stains. Acid based stains instructions differ from water based stains instructions. An acid based stain will only interact with the surface of the concrete, which means that it requires less preparation. A water based stain will need to penetrate the concrete, so it will need some prep to ensure that it is super dry. Manufacturers also may recommend specific tools and coverage rates for each product.

To avoid start and stop lines ensure that the applicator’s edge is always wet when applying the stain. A good way to do this is to split the floor up into small areas, utilizing the floor joints as your starting and stopping points.

When using a sprayer to apply the stain it is best to use a sprayer that sprays in a cone pattern so that the stain disperses evenly, as opposed to a sprayer that sprays in a fan-like pattern which is difficult to avoid showing spray patterns. The best sprayer you can use is a pump-type airless sprayer or a high volume, low pressure sprayer. Hand spray bottles are great for small, detailed areas. 

Ensure that when spraying the surface of the concrete with stain that the tip of the sprayer stays at least 12 inches away from the surface. If the sprayer gets too close, darkened areas can result from the stain reacting too fast.

It is important to avoid over applying the stain. Over applying stain is especially problematic on less porous concrete and when darker colors of stain are used.

Make sure to neutralize the surface after using an acid-based stain.

Make sure you are not expecting perfection or consistency when using stain, there will be variations that are inherent in the staining process.

Apply a sealer after the staining process is complete to preserve the finished appearance of the stain. Protective coatings may need to be reapplied as needed.

We hope these tips for staining concrete are helpful but remember that it is important to have a good base! At Custom Concrete Creations we have state of the art equipment and a properly trained team with years of experience. Custom Concrete Creations is a premier contractor serving the Omaha area as well as the Midwest. Give us a call or send us an email for your custom concrete finishing needs today!