How to Stain Concrete Fountains


An economic alternative to other flooring or outdoor decorative options, stained concrete can add a beautifully rustic or sophisticated charm to your outdoor living space, wearing well over time. With exploration of various application techniques and practice, you can add character with a variety of shades and colors of stains and dyes. Acid stains cause a chemical reaction in the concrete, while acetone dyes permeate the surface. Whatever you choose, consider the outdoor setting and light quality, as well as the exterior decor of the house, to ensure a fountain you will enjoy for years.

Before you stain concrete, remember that any imperfections or spills on your concrete will show through the stain.
(concrete image by Empath from

Things You'll Need

  • Untreated, undamaged concrete decorative fixture (fountain)
  • Acid stain or acetone dye
  • Application equipment
  • Sealant
  • Internet access
Step 1

Begin with undamaged, untreated concrete. Treated concrete will not allow acidic stain or acetone dye to permeate the surface. Ensure the concrete fountain is placed in a location that will remain dry, to keep the fountain undisturbed while you wait to apply the sealant.

Test small samples of stain or dye much as you would a paint swatch.
fountain image by cherie from
Step 2

Choose your acetone dye or acid stain by consulting samples. Because manufacturer recommendations vary, acid stain or acetone dye may be more strongly recommended for application on a curved or shaped surface, like a fountain, since only some application tools may be sufficient for the unique shape of the concrete feature. Some solutions are rolled on, while others are sprayed.

Consider the setting and other outdoor living space features when choosing a shade for your concrete.
fountain image by Alison Bowden from
Step 3

Follow specific manufacturer directions for application, drying, and curing process. Protect your project location by covering the surrounding area with tarps. Allow sufficient time before applying sealant.

Be fastidious in your application of sealant to ensure long use of your concrete fountain.
water fountain image by cyril from
Step 4

Apply sealant to the concrete fountain to ensure a water-resistant surface. Consult with professionals about whether further sealant should be applied due to constant contact with water.

Consult experts for a helping hand.
fountain image by Bruce Shippee from

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Tips & Warnings

  • Ask your neighbors to view their stained concrete yard features for an idea of how the project will fit with your own decor.
  • Wear protective gear to protect your eyes and skin when applying stains.
  • If you are uncertain you have the skill or ability to execute the project, consult a professional.
  • Wear a back brace if the project requires extended bending or leaning.


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