What Is Concrete Staining?

Gone are the days of the boring grey concrete slab. And one of the most versatile types of concrete transformation is staining.

Mixtures of colors create unique style and texture to a concrete driveway, walkway or floor. This article will give an overview of concrete staining.


Happily we move away from the natural stone grey of concrete to create unique styles to compliment homes. Colors come in a variety of warm browns like cola and tan as well as sweet yellows such as wheat.

But don’t let your imagination stop there, satin blacks, brick reds, lawn greens and ocean aquas are all at your disposal now that staining has taken shape. The limitations are purely up to your own imagination.

Can all concrete be stained?

The beauty of concrete is, like wood, the surface is porous and able to absorb the stain easily.

Easily, that is, if the concrete is prepped accordingly.

If the concrete already has sealers, glue, grime or other such things coating the top, the surface will need to be stripped bare before the stain can be applied or else it will not absorb.

A simple test with water will let the concrete contractor know if the concrete is sealed or not. If the water is absorbed quickly, the surface is good to go. If not, there will be some work needed to prep the concrete.


Stain can be sprayed or painted on. Sprays need to be careful to have applicators with no metal parts or the acid in the stain will break it down and the color will be altered.

Painting requires attention to detail so that brushstrokes aren’t obvious. Adding water to the stain as it is applied can shape the color and texture of the outcome.

Newly laid concrete will show color more brilliantly.

Water will dilute the colors, so using more to fresh concrete will give a more subtle look, while using less water to older concrete will allow the color to be move vivid. In order to have a unified look, if color is added to new concrete three days after it has set, then staining should be done three days after the next area is set and so on.


The hydrochloric acid in the stain creates a chemical reaction with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete.

When this happens, the color bonds and cannot wear off, fade, chip or peel away. This is not a temporary paint job that will show signs of aging in a few seasons.

Concrete waterproofing is an investment in a long-term beautifying technique for your driveway, walkway or flooring.

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