How to stain old concrete

Published On: February 10, 20210 Comments on How to stain old concreteTags: Last Updated: February 8, 20243.4 min read

“Can you stain old concrete?” One of the most frequently asked questions asked by property owners to flooring experts like The Concrete Guy. The answer is yes, an old damaged concrete pad can have a fresh look by applying a stain and sealer. Your concrete’s age should not deter you from staining it and giving it a luxurious richness. The process of staining old concrete is not distinct from that of new; this article will walk you through the steps involved to achieve great results.

How to stain old concrete

It is recommended to use real acid stains, and this is because acrylic stains are disguised paints and fade with time. Acid changes the chemical composition of concrete permanently, giving it a new colour.

Materials you will require:

  • Concrete stain
  • Pump sprayer
  • Concrete stain sealant
  • Broom
  • Low-nap roller
  • Bucket
  • Chemical etching agent
  • Electric buffer, sander, or concrete floor grinder

Step 1: Cleaning and repairing damaged concrete

Before applying the stain, the concrete should be free from paint, wax, dirt, and contaminants that may affect the chemical reaction. Inspect the concrete for cracks, pits, and gauges. Use the concrete patching compound to repair cracks, then use an electric buffer to level before staining. Vacuum the floor efficiently to remove debris, dust, and small broken materials.



Step 2: Etching the floor

Concrete stains adhere better on chemically etched floors. Buy a bottle of chemical etch, mix with warm water, and scrub the floor evenly. Not all staining materials require the floor to be etched, read, and understand the product’s instruction.

Step 3: Test the old concrete

Before staining the concrete, it is advisable to choose a sample area of a few square inches, stain it, and observe the results. Sample staining helps to; determine whether the etching material will react with the floor, the colour that will be produced and ensure the floor is well cleaned. Take a small, cleaned area, pour the stain, and observe the changes. If the stain does not produce satisfactory results, try finding another type of stain or acid etching the floor again.

How to stain old concrete - staining

Step 4: Applying the stain

Tape off the walls or concrete regions that should not have contact with the stain. Ensure the room you’re working in is well ventilated for your safety. Mix the staining agent according to its manufacturer’s instruction. Make sure you have protective gear on. Using a pump sprayer, start applying the stain from the back of the room toward the door to avoid being trapped and forced to walk on the stain. Older concrete tends to take a long time to accept the stain, so it is advisable to purchase extra stain. Spray the stain evenly with overlapping strokes and ensure the strokes are evenly distributed to avoid seamless lines. To have a uniform finish use a broom to spread excess stain evenly. Start from left to right, then top to bottom to remove darker areas. Allow the stain to dry for 3-4 hrs, then wet a small area to test the colour if it’s satisfactory.

Step 5: Sealing the concrete

While it’s not a must to seal your stained concrete, it is recommended because the seal will maintain the concrete’s appearance. Using an all-purpose cleaner; Clean the floor first before sealing to prevent dust from being trapped. Use a water-based seal; mix, then apply on the floor. Use a nap roller, apply one coat from north to south, let it dry up, then east to west for quality results. Don’t forget to remove the concrete or floor tapes after the sealant has dried. The most important part of this process is making sure that you acquire the right concrete sealant for your concrete floor. Make sure that you find the right product and steer clear from big box stores that try to sell you inferior products. Let not fear to stop you from staining your concrete following the steps given. Do test spots before setting out. You can also consult experts for quality services.


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