Things You'll Need
High pressure washer
Non-muriatic acid floor cleaner
Paint rollers or brushes
Mask or respirator
Staining a concrete floor can change the entire feel of a room. It adds color, texture and richness to what might otherwise be viewed as a cold concrete slab. There are different types of stains on the market, including solvent-based, acid-based and water-based stains. Each has specific application instructions determined by the manufacturer. For broom finished concrete, a solvent-based or acid-based stain is the most effective at absorbing and should last for about five years.
Clean the floor thoroughly. If you are just pouring the concrete, you can skip this step and apply the stain right after the cement has dried. If this is an existing floor, you need to remove dirt, grime and grease from the floor before sealing to get the best finish. Mix your cleaning solution according to manufacturers instructions and wash with the high pressured washer. Note: Muriatic acid cleaners will prevent an acid-based stain from setting and curing.
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Allow the cement to dry thoroughly.
Put on safety equipment including mask, goggles and rubber boots. Stains and seals give off highly noxious fumes. Protect yourself by using the proper equipment and by opening as many widows and doors as possible in the area you are working.
Prepare the stain according to manufacturer instructions. (For some, this may be as simple as opening the can and dipping the brush in.)
Apply the stain starting in a corner and working your way out of the room. Use a brush or roller to apply the stain in even strokes, making sure to get into all the grooves.
Allow the stain to cure for five to seven days or as indicated by the manufacturer.
It is best to stain concrete on warm days. This helps the stain cure faster.
Always store, use and dispose of stains and sealers according to the manufacturer's label. This will protect you, your family and the environment from these hazardous materials.