9 Steps for Staining Concrete Like a Pro

ECOS 04/15/2024

Staining concrete is an easy and affordable way to transform a space – indoors or out – and the results are amazing. It wasn't terribly common even a decade ago, but these days it's a total trend due to the fact that you can so quickly turn something drab and dingy into something artistic and attractive. Plus, it's a relatively easy DIY project. Interested in tackling it on your own? Here are 9 steps for staining concrete like a pro.

  1. Choose a color (and design, if you wish). Some concrete stains are opaque, almost like paint and others are semi-transparent to let the concrete's color variations show through. Look through our Pinboard of ideas below to get some inspiration for your project.
  2. For best results, patch and repair cracks and crevices. Make sure that patching compounds will not show through the coating. New concrete must first cure for 28 days.
  3. Clean the surface. Surfaces should be clean, dry, sound and free from dirt, dust, grease, sealers, curing and release compounds, and surface contaminants. All horizontal concrete (new or old) must be etched, sand/water blasted, or deep cleaned first - any residual liquid must be completely removed and the concrete allowed to dry thoroughly before sealing.
  4. If you're doing any design elements that require taping, now's the time to lay it down.
  5. Stir the stain gently and thoroughly before use. DO NOT THIN.  If in doubt about the suitability of the product, first test an inconspicuous area for adhesion/compatibility.
  6. Apply using a good quality synthetic brush; or roll using a shed resistant 1/2”-3/4” roller cover; or apply using an airless spray 0.013” – 0.015” tip at 1800-2500 psi.
  7. “Cut-in” corners, or edges with a brush, then evenly apply with a roller over the remainder of the surface, working in one direction. Do not overwork the product.
  8. Maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks.
  9. Two coats are recommended to achieve maximum performance and protection. Allow 4 to 6 hours for the product to dry before applying a second coat (if necessary) perpendicular to the first coat. Avoid applying in temperatures below 50°F (10°C) and if rain is anticipated within 12 hours of application. Also, don't apply the stain in direct sun as it dries the stain too quickly and makes it difficult to keep your edges wet for a smooth finish. Dry to touch: 15 minutes. Light foot traffic: 1 hour. Recoat: 4 to 6 hours. Heavy traffic: 72 hours.

Not quite sure what direction you'd like to go with the aesthetic? Check out these ideas for inspiration!

Follow ECOS Paints's board Painted & Stained Concrete on Pinterest.

For a durable, safe surface – choose ECOS Concrete Stain! What makes ECOS different? We make the only zero-VOC*, non-toxic** concrete stain and sealer in the world. It's healthy stain without performance compromise. ECOS finishes are non-toxic**, non-allergenic, asthma-friendly, zero-VOC*, and safe for the environment. Check out our products and see what you think!

*Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom and office use). Learn more about VOCs and our commitment to healthier paints here.

**Conforms to ASTMD-4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.

CATEGORIES Tips & Tricks