Techniques for Concrete Stain Faux Finishes

What You'll Need
Painters tape
Concrete paint
Mild dish soap
Scrub brush
Paint trays

Concrete is not a particularly nice looking material but it can be livened up by creating one of several faux finishes on its surface. Concrete is very hard and resists cracking but it is drab and unpleasing to look at. Faux finishes can be applied to the concrete to change its drab appearance. A faux finish is meant to make one material look like another. Applying faux finishes to concrete could make it look like granite or marble. The article below will provide a general walkthrough on how faux finishes are applied to concrete and how you can create certain looks. 

Step 1 – Choose the Faux Finish

When working with concrete the faux finishes are limited because you do not want to make concrete look like wood or bamboo. The safest selection is to change concrete into some other type of stone material. Slate is by far the easiest because the color of slate is close to that of concrete with minor differences in color. To go with slate you will want to use black paint along with dark gray and standard gray. If you would like the appearance of soapstone you would choose white, light gray and dark gray paint. You can even make it look like limestone by using pastel pink, light gray and cream paint colors. Examine several styles of stone and choose paint colors that match the colors of the stone. The process to create faux finishes is the same regardless of the stone you wish to create.

Step 2 – Clean

In order to paint concrete you first need to clean it. Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with a gallon of warm water. Use the scrub brush to clean the concrete. Rinse the soap away with clean water and then let it air dry.

Step 3 – Base

Since concrete is dark in color it needs to be toned down in order for faux finishes to be used. Once the concrete is dry you can then apply a coat of latex enamel to it. Choose either eggshell or white as the base. Wait for the base to dry prior to moving forward.

Step 4 – Layout

When you use limestone, slate or other materials the stone is often placed and not poured like concrete. Examine pictures of walls and floors that make use of the materials you plan to make the concrete resemble. Use the pencil to create the pattern directly to the concrete. Make use of painter’s tape no wider than ½-inch to mark grout lines of the simulated rock.

Step 5 – Faux Finishes

Mix the paint together until you achieve the desired tone of the material you wish the concrete to look like. Application of the paint is a technique known as “sponging”. It creates the texture of stone. Dip a sponge in the paint and begin dabbing it on the wall between the tape. Apply thicker amounts around the edges for definition. Once the paint is dry you can remove the tape.