Create a Statement with Stain

A concrete patio, stairway or entry is a bold focal point to any exterior. However, it needs care and attention to make sure it lasts and it doesn’t chip, break or show pitting before its time. Staining and sealing your concrete are one of the best ways to protect your investment and save you time and money in the long run. Staining concrete makes clean-up of dust and debris effortless, and it adds a huge visual impact to any room, entry or patio surface.


Tools You'll Need


String Mops
Paint Roller
Pressure Washer
Cleaning Pails
Push Brooms


Paint Roller
Airless Paint Applicator
Paint Brushes
Floor Scrubber
Concrete Stain


Concrete Stain
Concrete Sealer
Safety Glasses
Painter's Tape

Clean Up

Broom or dusting cloths
Mineral spirits

Tutorial Steps

This 5 step tutorial outlines all the steps that need to properly stain the concrete of your home or exterior patio.

Choose the concrete stain that suits your needs 

Before you start this project, you must first choose a concrete stain that fits your needs. There are two types to choose from: acid-based and water-based. Acid-based formulas are long-lasting and resistant to fading. They are also less likely to peel or chip and feature a natural-looking finish. Water-based stains are available in a wider variety of colors and are often easier to apply. If you feel limited by the concrete stain colors available, concrete paint is a great alternative. For garages, driveways and porches, choose high-performance options that will withstand hot tires, automotive oil and UV rays.

Prepare the Surface

Begin by removing all items from the floor and cleaning the area thoroughly. Sweep and mop to remove all dust, dirt and debris, as these will show through the stain and can impact the finished look. If needed, use a pressure washer to clear stubborn marks and discoloration. This is also a great time to repair cracks in the surface. Use a concrete crack sealant to fill any gaps along the floor, and allow at least 24 hours for the product to fully dry. Then, use a floor scrubber to buff away any uneven patches. Once the area is clean and properly prepped, you’re ready to apply the stain.

Patch & Fill

After the sanding is done, it’s time to fill minor cracks and dents, repair any rot, and replace any pieces that are too far gone.

Apply the Stain 

Use an airless paint sprayer to neatly and evenly apply the stain. You may also use a paint roller or handheld brush for smaller areas and tight corners. Work in sections as needed, and go over each sprayer coat with the paint roller for a smooth and uniform finish.

Wear safety gear to protect your skin, face and lungs from solvent emissions, and make sure the area is well-ventilated.

Remove Excess residue 

If you’re using an acid-based stain, remove the residual acid with a neutralizing 4:1 solution of water and baking soda or vinegar. Make sure to use a separate sprayer for this task. After it has dried for at least 1 hour, mop it clean and clear the area of all excess water. Then, assess the finish and decide if you’d like to apply another coat. Water-based stains do not generate excess residue. Review the label instructions for the correct drying time, and apply a second or third coat as needed.

Apply a finishing sealant 

Concrete sealers protect the finish of your stain and are designed to repel dirt, water, environmental wear and more. Choose one that offers the right amount of gloss and durability for your needs. Allow the stain to cure for a full 24 hours, then spread the sealer along the floor as directed on the label.

Tip:For added scratch protection on decorative concrete, use a floor polish or wax.

Staining TIPS

  • Test a small section 1-2 days before staining the entire area. Preview the finished look and decide if the color is a good fit.
  • Use painter’s tape along the bottom of each bordering wall to avoid stain splatters in unwanted areas.
  • Allow fresh concrete to cure for at least three full weeks before applying a stain.
  • Use a plastic airless sprayer for acid concrete stains. Metal parts are prone to damage and corrosion.
  • For water-based stains, spray the area in circular motions to avoid pooling.
  • Remove any existing concrete sealer before applying a new stain.

CPCA Member Products
Buy from the Best

CPCA Member Companies and their products comply with ALL Canadian regulations – making them the most sustainable products available on the market. When you choose paint and coatings products manufactured and sold by our members you are choosing quality paints with product formulations that have been engineered to the highest standards. Take a look at what our members have to offer.

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