How to Apply Water-Based Stain to Concrete Floors

Many homeowners opt to stain concrete floors for a decorative effect. Water-based stains are a good alternative to acid stains. You prepare the stain at home and apply it to the concrete. This alters the color of the concrete. It gives your floor an opaque appearance which helps to prevent blemishes. Another advantage of water-based stains is that they aren’t harmful to vegetation around the concrete. This makes them an excellent aid in whatever landscape color scheme you want to achieve. Use the guide below to apply the stain.

Materials Needed

  • Garden hose
  • Wire brush
  • Mild detergent
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Concrete degreaser
  • Water-based concrete stain
  • Concrete sealer
  • Paint roller
  • Pressure washer
  • Plastic sprayer
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Masking tape

Step 1 – Prepare the Floor

If yours is a newly installed concrete floor, simply rinse the concrete with a garden hose. Older floors require to be thoroughly cleaned. A clean surface is vital for effective stain attachment. Wash the floor with a mild detergent. Clear heavy dirt and grime with a wire brush. Rinse the floor with plenty of water and mop dry. Should you encounter grease stains, use a degreaser to clear the stains. Use a pressure washer to give the floor a thorough wash. Allow 24 hours for the concrete to dry completely.

Step 2 – Attach Plastic Sheeting

Secure some plastic sheeting to the walls and doors next to the floor. Use masking tape to hold the sheeting in place. This will protect your walls and doors in the event that the stain splatters.

Step 3 – Mix the Stain

Place the required amount of stain powder into the plastic sprayer. Add the recommended amount of water. Place the sprayer cap onto the bottle and secure it tightly. Thoroughly shake the bottle to ensure that the contents mix properly. Be sure to obtain enough stain to complete all the coats for the entire floor. If you run out of stain midway through your project, you’ll end up with an inconsistent appearance which ruins the outcome.

Step 4 – Apply the Stain

Begin application in one corner of the floor. Use slow, smooth strokes to apply. Each section of the concrete should get adequate stain on the surface. However, do not apply so much that you get puddles on the concrete. It is best to spray from one end of the floor right across to the other end. You can then move downwards and spray the next section in the same way. Water-based stains require 2 or more coats for a successful outcome. Be sure to allow the required time for the stain to dry between applications. Allow 24 to 48 hours for the stain to cure completely after application of all coats is complete. During this period, keep all foot traffic away from the floor.

Step 5 – Sealing

Apply a concrete sealer to your newly stained concrete. This helps to lock the color pigments into the concrete so that it doesn’t fade. Use a paint roller to apply the sealer. You may find it easier if you apply the sealer in the same pattern as you did with the stain. Allow 24 hours for the sealer to cure before the concrete is used. Remove the plastic sheeting attached earlier and discard.