How to Stain a Concrete Planter


Concrete planters are cheap, durable and available at almost any home improvement store. Concrete stain comes in a variety of colors and styles and is so simple to apply that even a beginner can turn a plain concrete planter into an exotic work of art that will last for years.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete acid stain
  • Brushes, rags, spray bottle or paint sponges
  • Concrete sealer (optional)
  • Clean the surface of the concrete planter thoroughly with a soft-bristled brush, water and dishwashing liquid. Let dry completely.

  • Protect your working surface with a tarp or layers of newspaper. This may get messy.

  • Apply stain to the concrete planter using your preferred method: dabbed on with a rag or sponge for a mottled look, brushed or rolled on for an even look, or sprayed on for a splattered look. Allow to dry according to product directions.

  • Highlight decorative relief areas by using a small artist brush to apply stain in the crevices of the design. Allow to dry. Stain the entire outside plus several inches inside the rim (at least to the soil line). Repeat as necessary until the desired effect is achieved. Each coat will darken and intensify the color.

  • Apply a concrete sealer if desired. This step is optional, but it will help keep colors from fading and produce a sheen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Because of the porous nature of concrete, the color is likely to be naturally mottled and uneven. For a marbled look, use light and dark shades of the same color and a small artist brush to paint veins. To add texture, try a primer coat that contains sand before staining. To create a pattern, apply a base coat, allow it to dry, and create a pattern using narrow painter's tape. Paint alternate stain colors inside the taped areas to create the pattern.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect you hands from staining.

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