Concrete may be durable, but the color of it will inevitably fade over time. If you’re looking for a low-effort, low-cost way to improve the appearance of your concrete, opt for concrete staining instead of a complete replacement. Concrete stains can be used on their own or with other surface finishes. They’re also available in many colors, making it easy for you to find the right fit for your project.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to stain your concrete. With the right directions, you’ll finish this project in no time!
Brickform ARTesian Stain
Before we get into how to stain concrete…you’re probably what concrete stain is best to use. At Stamped Concrete, we recommend the Brickform ARTesian Stain.
The Brickform ARTesian Stain is one of the best concrete stains on the market today. Unlike many other stains, it is not made from harmful acids. In fact, it does not incorporate harmful chemicals of any kind. The stain contains organic carriers in the pigment and is non-chemically reactive, making it great for both indoor and outdoor use.
Additionally, this stain is transparent, but it enhances the natural color of your concrete. You can also apply this stain to both concrete and masonry.
If you have questions about this product, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our professionals. Now, if you already have concrete stain available—let’s move on to our step-by-step guide.
1. Surface Preparation/Cleaning
When staining concrete, surface preparation is a must. If you’re using a water-based concrete stain like Brickform ARTesian, you’ll need to check the porosity of your concrete. Thankfully, this process is relatively easy.
First, you need to spray some water on your concrete. Give it three or four minutes and check to see how much water has been absorbed. If most of the water has been absorbed, the slab only needs one or two applications of an etching solution to help open up the surface.
If most of the water is sitting on top of the concrete and hasn’t absorbed it, you will most likely need to prepare it with a one-part concentrated hydrochloric acid to five-parts water solution.
Once the etching solution or hydrochloric acid-water solution has been applied, you need to pressure wash the surface.
After you've prepared the surface, you need to choose the color of Brickform ARTesian stain that you want to use. Keep in mind that you can always dilute the stain with tap water (one part stain to one part water) if you don't want the color to be as pronounced.
You will need a sprayer to apply the stain. A small handheld sprayer will work fine if you are planning to stain a relatively small slab. However, you will want to use a larger backpack-style sprayer if you have a large area of concrete to stain. Remember to generously shake your bottle of stain before use.
As the ARTesian stain is a water-based solution, you can apply it even if the concrete is still damp from the pressure washing. In fact, you may see even better results if you spray down the stain on damp concrete.
How Much Stain Should You Use?
As a general rule, you should use about one gallon per 200 square feet of concrete. This will give you the boldest color possible. However, you can spray down one gallon for every 300 or 400 square feet if you want a lighter, more subtle color.
In general, you will only need to use one coat of concrete stain. However, if your concrete is very porous (remember how quickly it absorbed the water), you will likely need to use two or three coats. On the other hand, you should not use more than one or two coats if your concrete is very tight (non-porous). This will prevent excess stain from building up on the surface of the concrete.
If you want a unique look, you can apply a small amount of a second ARTesian stain color. This can help add highlights to your concrete. For best results, apply the highlight color while the first stain is still wet.
3. Wait & Dry
Finally, you need to let the stain dry. Use a sponge to lightly dab any puddles/ponding stain on the surface. Next, leave the concrete alone and let it slowly dry out. This will take about three to four hours outside (if it’s sunny) or 24 hours indoors. We recommend using fans to aid in the drying process. After your stain completely dries, we recommend applying a sealer for extra protection, especially if your concrete is outside.
Stain Your Concrete With Help From Stamped Concrete
If you have a concrete floor that needs staining, Stamped Concrete is here for you. We carry a large selection of high-quality concrete stains and other concrete supplies. If you have any questions about how to stain concrete floors, or you need help selecting products for your project, our friendly and knowledgeable team is ready to help. Contact us today, and let us know how we can help you!