Do you need to prep concrete before staining?

Author: Allene Ebert  |  Last update: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Preparing the concrete surface is the most crucial step to a successful concrete staining project outcome. Familiarize yourself with the condition of your concrete as knowing what contaminants to remove will guide you on which cleaning technique to follow.

How do you prepare concrete before staining?

Basic Process Overview
  1. Start by cleaning the floor thoroughly with a concrete degreaser and water. ...
  2. Next, use a concrete grinder to etch the surface of the floor. ...
  3. Once the grinder is finished, use a mastic remover to get rid of any unwanted residue remaining. ...
  4. Acid Stain. ...

Do you have to clean concrete before staining?

Because many oils and petroleum based contaminants can be hard to see until after the stain is applied, we recommend that you first scrub the area with a concrete degreaser. Our Concrete Stain Prep and our Wax Remover are both excellent concrete degreasers.

Do you have to use muriatic acid before staining concrete?

Concrete surfaces should be acid etched before staining. This is especially true of new concrete. Carefully prepare a solution of one part muriatic acid to three parts water, using one gallon per 100 square feet of surface (a 10 x 10-ft. area).

What happens if you don t neutralize muriatic acid on concrete?

Any concrete that is not properly neutralized will begin decomposing immediately. It may take time for the damage to reach the surface where you can see it, but it is happening and is usually irrepairable.

How to Properly Prep Concrete Floors Prior to Staining and Sealing

Is it better to spray or roll stain on concrete?

Water-based stains seep into the porous concrete and create an exterior coating in the color of your choice. You can stain concrete with a roller or brush, but for the best results, it's recommended to invest in a paint sprayer.

Do you wet concrete before acid staining?

To help prevent this, it's a good idea to slightly dampen the surface of the concrete before applying the acid stain. This will help ensure that the stain has enough moisture to react properly with the concrete.

Can you stain existing concrete?

Your existing old concrete should be fine to stain, so long as it is not contaminated with glue, paint, oil, grease, sealers, waxes, or anything else that would prevent the stain from soaking into the pores of the concrete.

Can you stain over stained concrete?

Concrete stains can be a great option for changing the color of your concrete without having to completely resurface it. EasyTint solvent-based tinted sealer is a semi-transparent stain that can add a new color to your already stained concrete.

What are the cons of concrete stain?

Cons of Outdoor Concrete Staining

Transparent: The semi-transparency of most stains will fail to hide the existing imperfections in the concrete surface. DIY is not easy: Staining concrete is the not the easiest job for the amateur weekend warrior. Using a professional contractor ensure best results.

How long do you leave stain on concrete?

Concrete Staining would be done the same day as clean & prep after it has dried. Apply the stain and allow to dry overnight and up to 24 hours.

What happens if you don't seal stained concrete?

An unsealed, decorative stained concrete surface will show faded colors in a matter of a few months. You could advise your customer that's what happens with an unsealed project and let them make the decision about sealing, but rest assured that an “I told you so,” from you when the fading happens will not comfort them.

What is the best stain for concrete?

There are several brands that are highly regarded among concrete stains, both for their beautiful results and ease of use.
  1. VIVID Acid Stain. ...
  2. Kemiko Stone Tone. ...
  3. Concrete Resurrection. ...
  4. Surecrete Ecostain.

What are the steps to staining a concrete floor?

How to stain interior concrete floors
  1. Prepare the surface. Before anything else, you want to make sure you're working with a clean slate. ...
  2. Clean the surface for optimal results. Once the concrete is smooth and free of any previous coatings, vacuum or wash away dust. ...
  3. Mask the design. ...
  4. Apply the color. ...
  5. Seal the color.

What must be done before applying any concrete paint or stain?

How to Stain Concrete
  1. Step 1: Sweep. Start by using a broom to sweep the concrete off, removing leaves and debris. ...
  2. Step 2: Scrub the Patio. ...
  3. Step 3: Pressure Wash. ...
  4. Step 4: Apply Concrete Cleaner. ...
  5. Step 5: Let it Dry. ...
  6. Step 6: Apply the Paint or Stain. ...
  7. Step 7: Add a Sealer.

Can you stain concrete without sanding?

Do I Need to Sand Concrete Before Staining? You only need to sand concrete surfaces if you cannot remove paint stains or carpet glue manually with mastic remover. For acid staining smooth surfaces, there are other less intensive alternatives to sanding such as simply applying CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher.

Is it hard to stain concrete yourself?

– staining one yourself is a surprisingly easy task (although you'll want to avoid one major pitfall we fell into). So anyone with a garage, sunroom, basement, porch, or patio with a concrete floor should seriously consider this super simple process that you can do without any fancy tools or equipment.

Does staining concrete make it slippery?

Like any hard, smooth surface, stained concrete can become slippery when wet, especially if it has been coated with a high-gloss sealer. For concrete floors or walkways exposed to moisture or in areas with a lot of foot traffic, there are ways you can increase the slip resistance without affecting the color.

How soon after pouring concrete can I acid stain it?

The concrete must be 28 days old or at least have cured to one uniform color prior to acid staining.

How many coats of acid stain on concrete?

Though new concrete may not always require a second coat of acid stain, older concrete does require two coats of stain for complete coverage. For a more diffuse look, spray the stain onto the surface without brushing.

Can you stain moist concrete?

Prestained concrete must be unsealed, and I recommend testing the surface with a small amount of water to make sure the concrete is porous. Be sure to pressure-wash the surface so that pores are open and stain-ready. It is usually best to let the surface dry overnight before staining.

Should I use solid or semi transparent concrete stain?

A solid stain will have a more paint-like finish, whereas the semi-transparent will let the color variation of the concrete still show through. So consider the condition and appearance of your existing concrete floor, as well as the final look that you are hoping for when making your choice.

Is stained concrete worth it?

The durability of stained concrete

This applies to both interior floors as well as outdoor surfaces, so any concrete floor will benefit from a stained concrete finish that beautifies, seals, and protects against cracking, peeling, chipping, and fading.

Is stained concrete easy to maintain?


Acid-stained concrete is easy to maintain and will last indefinitely. You just need to follow several basic principles: Dust mop or broom sweep weekly to prevent dirt accumulation. Damp mop monthly to remove smudging, scuffs and water marks, and to restore gloss.

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