Concrete is a cheap alternative to carpet, wood and other flooring materials. However, plain concrete lacks the aesthetic qualities of many of the more expensive options. A concrete stain can help to protect your concrete surface while simultaneously increasing the appeal of an otherwise plain floor.
Concrete shows signs of wear and tear readily. Staining or coating concrete surfaces can reduce the natural blemishes or even incorporate them into a pattern or design. Furthermore, staining concrete is easier and more cost efficient than painting or polishing, as both of the latter require routine touch-ups.
You may consider applying a concrete sealer to your floor before adding the stain. A sealer preserves the concrete and protects it against outside damage. To apply a stain to a concrete surface in or around your home, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Collect Your Materials
Concrete stains and sealers may be harmful to the skin. It is important to equip yourself with rubber gloves, a mask, goggles, a fan for ventilation and thick clothing. You will need cleaning supplies, preferably a sand blaster. Finally, gather the stain solution itself, a bucket, and various paint brushes. If you are designing an unusual pattern, consider using cloth, string, leaves, or other materials to aid in your staining.
Step 2: Clean and Prepare the Surface
Stain solutions will highlight any debris, dirt or blemishes to the concrete. Take the time before you begin staining to thoroughly clean the concrete surface. Concrete cleaner can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores for this task.
Step 3: Apply a Layer of Sealer
If you wish to use sealer before staining your concrete, apply the sealer now. Using a paint brush and paint roller to apply one coat of sealer evenly over the entire concrete surface. Sealers typically take several hours to dry. During this time, do not touch the sealer.
Step 4: Apply One or More Layers of Stain
Stain solutions may be diluted to alter the final color of the concrete. Additionally, you may want to add liquid soap or other agents to color the stain. Before staining your concrete, experiment with additives and application techniques to ensure that you will be happy with your results.
Concrete stain may be applied with paint brushes, by spray or by coating objects in stain solution and laying them onto the concrete in patterns. Work carefully to ensure a clean and attractive finished product. As with sealers, concrete stain solutions may be toxic, and protective clothing is essential. Allow several hours for the stain to dry, unless you wish to apply a second layer of stain for added color or effect.
A stained concrete surface can dramatically enhance a room’s aesthetic. However, a stain that is hastily applied may look sloppy and uneven. Take the time to think of and prepare a unique design for your concrete surface before applying a stain. The final results will benefit for it, and you will be pleased with a professional-looking and appealing floor.