DIY Network

How to Stain Concrete

By properly cleaning and preparing your patio for staining, you'll spruce up your drab surface and admire your artistry for years to come.

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prepared and stained concrete patio finished


Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Scrub the Area

Begin by removing dirt, grease or mildew with a non-residue cleaner and a stiff-bristled brush. For stubborn oil and grease stains, a pressure washer and a degreaser may be needed.

clean concrete with non residue cleaner and brush

Step 3: Spread the Acid Solution

Put on boots, gloves and safety goggles with a respirator before handling the muriatic acid. Mix one part acid into four parts water in a plastic sprinkling can. Wet the concrete surface once again and soak any surrounding grass or shrubs. Then sprinkle the acid solution onto the concrete. It should bubble on contact. Allow the acid solution to etch for 20 to 30 minutes to neutralize the concrete's alkalinity, and then remove the acid with a broom and plenty of water.

wet concrete and sprinkle cleaning acid solution

Step 4: Apply a Concrete Stain

Let the concrete dry for a least 48 hours, and sweep off any residual concrete powder. Now you can begin applying a concrete stain with a roller or brush in any style or pattern you desire. If a second coat is needed, wait 24 hours between coats.

apply concrete stain with brush  and dry 24 hours