If your patio is looking the worse for wear, or if you just want a new look, you can stain concrete floors to give them new life. Using stain on concrete has the added bonus of allowing the surface to breathe, preventing moisture buildup that can cause cracking and other damage, while still freshening it up. The variety of patterns you can use is limited only by your taste and imagination, from simple to multi-color murals.
Materials needed to stain concrete floor
To get started, you’ll need:
You might also choose to use chalk to draw out your design if you want to make something complicated, or to lay out your pattern before applying the stain. This will help to visualize how it will look once the pattern is in place and provide a guide for your design.
How to apply stain to concrete floors
First, you need to prep your floor. Remove any furniture and decor from the area and sweep up all dust and leaves. Use a hose and scrub brush for any stubborn dirt to make sure the concrete is clean. After using water to clean the floor, you should allow the surface to dry for 24 hours so excess moisture doesn’t seep into your stain as it dries.
Once your area is clean and dried, you can apply your stain. Pour some stain into the paint pan and use your paint brush to cut in along edges and cracks. If you’re working with a pattern, use the brush to make your outlines or any areas that require precision. This will allow cleaner lines and less accidental staining than using a stain pad. Once all the edges are taken care of, use the stain pad to apply your color section by section.
If there are any seams or delineated areas of your pattern, do each divided area one at a time so the stain goes on in one coat and dries evenly. Going over the same area more than once after the stain begins to dry will cause blotchy, uneven color and will show streaks and brush strokes.
Keep in mind that concrete will absorb paint at different rates in different areas, and unless the floor is perfectly flat, any dips will accumulate slightly more stain than other areas. Also, patches probably won’t come out exactly the same color as the original concrete. Using an even, thin layer of stain without excess or drips will give you the most even finish, but part of the aesthetic of stained concrete is that you can see the flaws and imperfections of the concrete once it’s finished. If you want a solid, more perfect looking aesthetic, staining isn’t the right finish for you.
It’s fine to walk on the floor as soon as it’s dry to the touch, but avoid scraping and any moisture. Leave your patio empty to dry overnight before placing furniture and enjoying your new floor. If you used chalk to line your pattern, you should let the stain dry for at least 24 hours before hosing the chalk off of the surface.