Tips and Tricks for DIY Concrete Staining
If your concrete flooring is over a year old, most of the VOC (volatile organic compounds) will have dissipated already, which means it's time to stain again. This time, however, you'll want to use a VOC free stain. Concrete staining is important for many reasons. In addition to giving the room an attractive finish with a gloss varnish, concrete staining is ideal for keeping maintenance costs down.
Doing a masonry stain on your own can be tricky. Stain and paint coverage needs to be applied properly to ensure an even finish. Additionally, it is important to use stains that are appropriate for the type of concrete underneath.
How to Apply Concrete Stain
The first step of staining concrete is to prep the area. Wash and dry the concrete floor that will be stained. The floor must be free from all debris, paint, oil, wax, and dirt. While the floor is drying, seal and tape off any walls for about 12 to 18 inches above the concrete to prevent the stain from splashing up accidentally. Now the real work of staining concrete begins.
Using a garden sprayer or other similar sprayer, apply the stain. First, fill the container of choice halfway with water, then slowly add the stain. As you add the stain, be careful to avoid splashing or spillage. Holding the spray nozzle around 18 inches away from the floor, begin spraying the mixture in sweeping motions across the concrete. Be generous with your application of the stain. Remember the concrete might absorb a little bit of the liquid stain. The coat should come just short of forming puddles on the concrete.
Allow the coat to completely dry. Once the first coat is dry, repeat and add another coat. Once the second coat has dried, use a mop to wipe up any remaining residue that may have puddled slightly.
Next, get ready to apply the sealer. When staining concrete, you want to use a water based sealer with a gloss finish. When applying the sealer, spray a lighter coat than what was used for the stain. Once the first coat has dried, apply a second coat. For an extra high gloss, you can apply a third coat of sealer after the second coat has finished drying.
And that's it! Well, the basics anyway. Concrete staining isn't as complicated as it might seem, though it is a bit time-consuming. Waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next can take a long time. Of course, while the coats are drying, make sure that nobody is walking across the stain or the sealer.
Benefits of Concrete Staining
Now that you know how to perform a basic concrete stain, here are some of the main benefits you will notice from a nice concrete stain finish:
Increased Durability: Concrete stains help increase the durability of the concrete underneath. Because the stain and finish will not chip, fade, or peel, it creates an excellent barrier of protection. The flooring can further be sealed with some type of epoxy coating to preserve the finish. However, even without the epoxy finish, it will last a very long time.
Extra Savings: Compared to other floor treatments, concrete staining is relatively cheap. Especially for staining large areas. The cost-effectiveness is one of the largest benefits to staining concrete.
Beautiful Finish: A concrete stain can really tie a room or area together. Ordinary concrete slabs are transformed into aesthetically appealing surfaces that can resemble expensive alternatives such as glazed stone and marble.
Easy Maintenance: Because they are so easy to clean, it requires very little maintenance to keep concrete stained floors looking great. Additionally, concrete stained floors do not trap mold, dust, or other allergens which can greatly improve the quality of air in buildings.