Do It Yourself Interior Concrete Staining

The concrete floor no longer has to be a simple gray, rough surface that is impossible to wash. Stained concrete adds a rich luster to any concrete floor. Colors are available to enhance any décor--including a garage. Concrete paint sits on the surface of the concrete, will eventually chip or peel and need to be stripped and repainted. Concrete stain penetrates the concrete. The surface will maintain its beauty for a very long time with a coat of wax to protect the surface. Allow new concrete to cure for at least 28 days before staining.

  • Painter's tape
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Hot water
  • Dishwasher soap
  • Floor buffer
  • Black scrubbing pad for floor buffer
  • Wet mop
  • Bucket
  • Acid stain for concrete
  • Sprayer rated for acid with no metal parts
  • Two 4-inch paint brushes
  • Concrete sealer or wax
  • Red buffing pad for floor buffer

Surface Preparation

Remove all items from the entire floor.

Apply painter's tape on trim and appliances that cannot be removed from the floor.

Wash the floor with hot, soapy water and the floor buffer with the black pad. Start from the farthest corner of the room. Scrub in sections until the water does not bead on the floor. If the water beads, or makes little droplets on top of the floor it shows there is still a contaminant on that area and the area will not allow the stain to penetrate into the concrete. Scrub until there is uniform wetness and water does not bead.

Use the wet/dry vacuum to remove all remaining scrub water from the floor.

Rinse with clear water and a wet mop. Use the shop vacuum after rinsing to remove all rinse water from the floor. Vacuum thoroughly to help dry the concrete.

Stain Application

Shake the container of stain well to ensure it is thoroughly mixed before pouring into the sprayer.

Fill the sprayer with concrete acid stain. Spray evenly across 4-foot by-4 foot sections. Brush each section with the 4-inch paint brush. Feather the edges into the next section by gently brushing the stain a few inches past the edge of the section.

Allow the stain to dry according to the manufacturer's directions on the label of the stain. Apply a second coat. Clean the sprayer according to manufacturer's directions printed on the label of the stain.

Allow the concrete stain to dry before applying sealant or wax. Do not apply both sealant and wax.

Seal or Wax

Seal with two coats of clear, non-yellowing sealant. Use the sprayer to spray two light coats of sealant on the floor. If waxing, do not use sealant.

Wax by applying a very light coat of wax to 4-foot by 4-foot sections of the floor with a soft cloth. Wax only if the floor was not sealed.

Buff with the red buffing pad attached to the floor buffer. Evenly spread the wax applied in the last section across an 8-foot by 8-foot section. If the wax is creating balls of wax on the buffing pad, there is too much wax on the floor. Spread the wax thinner and apply less for the next section.

Flip the red buffing pad over. Buff the entire floor a second time without adding more wax to even out the wax on the floor and to increase shine.

Vacuum the floor to remove wax dust. Remove tape from trim and appliances that could not be removed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Acid staining concrete is a chemical reaction and color may not show immediately and may not be as dark when first applied as when it has dried.

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