How to Darken Concrete

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush

  • Heavy-duty broom

  • Shop vacuum

  • Plastic dropcloth

  • Scissors

  • Painter's tape

  • Concrete acid stain

  • Bucket

  • Paint sprayer

  • Broom

  • Baking soda

  • Acrylic floor finishing sealer

  • Paint tray

  • Paint roller with long handle

Give a concrete floor in your home or garage or a patio floor a new look by applying concrete stain to the surface. The stained surface will remain attractive and looking like new for a long time, while concrete paints can crack over time. You can stain any concrete floors, as long as they have not been previously treated with concrete sealer. Clean and repair the concrete, and then apply the stain to darken and color. Have a second person on hand to help you with the project, and you will have an attractive and protected concrete floor with only a couple of days work.


Step 1

Clean the concrete floor or patio thoroughly, using a wire brush for caked-in dirt and sweepng up all dirt and debris with a heavy-duty broom. Use a shop vacuum to clean dirt from corners of the room.

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Step 2

Cut pieces of a dropcloth from 24 to 36 inches wide with scissors and tape it around the bottom edge of your walls and doors. The plastic will protect the walls and doors from stain splashing. Tape the pieces of plastic to the wall using painter's tape.

Step 3

Mix your concrete acid stain in a bucket according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4

Pour your stain into the paint sprayer, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 5

Begin spraying in a back corner of the concrete area. Spray a thin layer of the stain in the area. Have a second person run a broom over the sprayed area to brush it into the concrete. Spray over the scrubbed area again for a second coat. Spray entire lengths of the surface at a time, spraying in one direction, then back in the opposite direction for the second line of spray. No drying time is necessary between the first and second spray coat. The second coat will cover the brush marks from the broom. Allow the stain to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Step 6

Clean the floor with a mixture of half baking soda and half water. Read the instructions on the stain bottle for the exact drying time before doing this. Mop the mixture on the floor to stop the reaction of the acid stain. Allow drying overnight.

Step 7

Pour acrylic floor sealer into a paint tray; roll the paint roller in the tray, then roll the sealer onto the floor, using a paint roller with a long handle. Roll a thin layer of the sealer across the entire surface, repeating to add a second coat. Allow drying according to sealer instructions.


Test the stain in an inconspicuous area before applying to whole floor to check for a chemical reaction with your floor. This will allow you to test the color as well. Mix the solution, one part water to one part stain.

If your concrete surface has excessive dirt or any type of liquid, clean it first with wet vacuum.

Do not use an acid wash to clean your floor, as the chemicals will prevent the stain from setting properly.

Repair cracks in the floor before staining, if necessary. Vacuum out the cracks, fill them with concrete glue and allow drying. Then fill with cement and smooth with a trowel. Wait several days for the cement to set before staining the floor.


Use caution to avoid the acid-based stain from touching your skin. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and gloves, and protect your face with a face mask. Wear goggles to protect your eyes.

Apply stain in a well-ventilated area.


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