How to Dye or Stain Concrete Slabs

Written by kristan hart
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Concrete is a versatile flooring option, but its grey colour leaves much to be desired. Using a little creativity, you can dye or stain concrete slabs to bring new life to this otherwise bland floor. When you choose the colour of dye or stain you want to use, remember the charts in the store are an example only. How the concrete stain reacts with your concrete will vary. Test an inconspicuous area first to make sure it's the colour you want before you commit to the project.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Broom
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic sheet
  • Concrete glue
  • Anchoring cement
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Water
  • Wet vac
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long trousers
  • Goggles
  • Face mask
  • Concrete stain
  • Sprayer
  • Baking soda
  • Paint roller
  • Sealer

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  1. 1

    Sweep and vacuum your concrete floors to remove any debris on the floor. Use painter's tape and plastic to protect your walls and door frames.

  2. 2

    Vacuum any cracks in your concrete, then fill the opening with concrete glue. When the glue sets, use anchoring cement to fill the crack. Allow it to dry completely, then sand away any uneven spots.

  3. 3

    Scrub your floors with a mixture that's 1 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) and 4 gallons of water. A wet vac used on your concrete floor can help you remove all of the dirty water and then rinse your concrete floor with clean water. Allow your floor to dry completely.

  4. 4

    Dilute the concrete stain. Mix one part water with one part concrete stain.

  5. 5

    Load the stain into a sprayer and evenly dispense onto your concrete slab. If possible, have someone follow you with a broom to help scrub the stain into the concrete.

  6. 6

    Spray a second coat of stain onto the area you swept with the broom to get rid of brush strokes and imperfections.

  7. 7

    Allow stain to dry. Drying time varies, depending on conditions and manufacturer recommendations.

  8. 8

    Clean the floor to neutralise the acid in the stain. Mix baking soda with water and apply it to the stained concrete slab using a mop. Use a wet vac to suck up the baking soda mixture. Allow to dry overnight.

  9. 9

    Apply a sealer designed to work with your particular brand and type of concrete stain. Use a paint roller to apply the sealer onto your concrete slab. Let dry, then apply a second coat. This helps seal in your concrete slab, and it brings life to the colour of your concrete stain.

Tips and warnings

  • You cannot stain concrete with a sealer on it.
  • Wear protective clothing when you stain or dye concrete slabs. Wear long sleeves, long trousers, goggles, and a face mask.

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