Staining your old concrete: Should you do it yourself or hire pros?

A stained concrete floor is an aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting floor option. Should I do it myself or contact experts? Floor owners seeking a brand-new look for their surfaces face this challenging question. Nothing beats the feeling of looking at your finished floor and knowing you did it yourself. Staining is an easy task to complete; however, any mistake that might occur in the process will be permanent to your floor. To avoid this significant pitfall, it’s advisable to contact floor experts. Just search for “Stained Concrete Contractor near me” like Armor Coatings and receive quality refurbishment for your floor.

Why should you hire experts?

1. Accountability

Immediately you hire certified flooring experts; they will be responsible for anything that may occur to your floor during the process. The contractors will strive to ensure you receive the best work.

2. Cost of staining

The cost of hiring experts might be cheaper than purchasing all tools required for this activity. In case any error occurs, it could be costly to rectify. Professionals will ensure your project is complete at an affordable cost.

3. Safety pre-caution

Acid-based chemicals are corrosive hence require precautionary measures when working with them. Flooring professionals have relevant information on how to protect themselves, which you may not be having.

4. Analysing the best product for your floor

Flooring contractors are well trained in analyzing the best option for your floor, either water-based stains or chemical-based stains.

5. Surface preparation is paramount

Surface preparation is one of the vital steps to a successful staining process. Whether staining old or new concrete, you must prepare your floor well because any contaminant on the floor will affect the final look. Flooring experts have the relevant knowledge of preparing for the staining.


If you still believe this is a job you can complete efficiently by yourself, the following steps will come in handy:

Materials you will require:

  • Concrete stain
  • Pump sprayer
  • Concrete stain sealant
  • Broom
  • Low-nap roller
  • Bucket
  • Chemical etching agent
  • Electric buffer, sander, or concrete floor grinder

Step 1: Cleaning and repairing damaged concrete

Before applying the stain, the concrete should be free from paint, wax, dirt, and contaminants that may affect the chemical reaction. Inspect the concrete for cracks, pits, and gauges. Use the concrete patching compound to repair cracks, then use an electric buffer to level before staining. Vacuum the floor efficiently to remove debris, dust, and small broken materials.

Step 2: Etching the floor

Concrete stains adhere better on chemically etched floors. Buy a bottle of chemical etch, mix with warm water, and scrub the floor evenly. Not all staining materials require the floor to be etched, read, and understand the product’s instruction.

Step 3: Test the old concrete

Before staining the concrete, it is advisable to choose a sample area of a few square inches, stain it, and observe the results. Sample staining helps to; determine whether the etching material will react with the floor, the color that will be produced, and ensure the floor is well cleaned. Take a small, cleaned area, pour the stain, and observe the changes. If the stain does not produce satisfactory results, try finding another type of stain or acid etching the floor again.

Step 4: Applying the stain

Tape off the walls or concrete regions that should not have contact with the stain. Ensure the room you’re working in is well ventilated for your safety. Mix the staining agent according to its manufacturer’s instruction. Make sure you have protective gear on.

Using a pump sprayer, start applying the stain from the back of the room toward the door to avoid being trapped and forced to walk on the stain. Older concrete tends to take a long time to accept the stain, so it is advisable to purchase extra stain. Spray the stain evenly with overlapping strokes and ensure the strokes are evenly distributed to avoid seamless lines.

To have a uniform finish use a broom to spread excess stain evenly. Start from left to right, then top to bottom to remove darker areas. Allow the stain to dry for 3-4 hrs, then wet a small area to test the color if it’s satisfactory.

Step 5: Sealing the concrete

While it’s not a must to seal your stained concrete, it is recommended because the seal will maintain the concrete’s appearance. Using an all-purpose cleaner; Clean the floor first before sealing to prevent dust from being trapped. Use a water-based seal; mix, then apply on the floor. Use a nap roller, apply one coat from north to south, let it dry up, then east to west for quality results. Don’t forget to remove the concrete or floor tapes after the sealant has dried.

What’s Your Decision?

Concrete staining is something you can do on your own. That’s if you are good at doing such jobs on your own. But be prepared for the challenging parts. Concrete staining can bring out unexpected results that might become stressful to manage for inexperienced individuals. Again, you have two options to choose from: acid-based staining and water-based staining. It’s recommended that you hire a professional to advise you on the best options you have. A flooring expert produces quality and lasting results.

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