How to Stain Concrete Floors
Thanks to Emily for passing along this thrifty tip on how to stain your concrete floors. Oh my word… I totally feel in love with this idea, and it looks amazing! If you would like to be a featured guest post on Look What I Made , watch for our weekly post each Tuesday called A Thrifty online craft fair, link up and you may be selected for our weekly feature post.
Earlier this year we adopted a dog from our local rescue group. This dog was not house trained and in our efforts to “convert” him he chewed a massive hole in our living room carpet all the way through the padding. We didn’t want to replace this with more carpet and didn’t want the expense of tile or wood floors. We looked at so many options and then ran across information on stained concrete floors. We completed the process which I will show you below and it turned out amazingly well. It would have cost us over $3000 for new carpet and more than that for tile or wood floors and we purchased the items needed to stain the concrete ourselves and instead got the job done for less than $600 and have ended up with a much better outcome in my opinion. No more renting carpet cleaner or freaking out when something is spilled, I just wipe it up and move on!
Here are some visuals of different points in our project. The first step is to remove the existing carpet and padding and then thoroughly clean the floors.
So here we are with bare concrete floors after removing the tack strips and yes that is my huge black dog enjoying the cool concrete. The most amusing factor of the whole project was watching my husband try to use a buffer.
As you can see the tape we laid the lines down to make this look like tile/marble and we did not want to actually cut grout lines into our concrete as we didn’t want our house filled with concrete dust. Always follow the directions on your stain, not following directions caused us to have to do the staining process twice. Here is the result after the second round.
We were finally satisfied with the color so we removed the tape, sealed and waxed the floors after they had completely dried, and there we have the end result. I used a stencil and gold paint to accent the border. In all it took 5 days and it’s pretty maintenance free from there. I do have to re-seal and wax mine occasionally because of my dogs.
UPDATE : Here are answers to the questions your readers had! I’m so glad people are liking the idea.
* The entire process takes 4-5 days depending on how dirty your concrete is. The concrete must be completely cleaned including renting a buffer with a “scratch” pad to get all of the dirt and grime up. It took us 2 days to get the floor clean and the kit that we purchased did come with a special cleaner to help loosen any stains that may be on the concrete. Cleaning is your most important step, if you leave stains they WILL show through. If you have previously had carpet you will need to remove the tac strips which will likely leave holes in your concrete, these must be filled and sanded down. We created an 8 inch border around the entire room and used a vinyl concrete to resurface the border due to the large holes the tac strips left behind.
* We purchased our staining kit from here, we purchased 2 colors of stain to get the marbled effect- Here are a number of color choices to choose from. Make sure you follow the instructions and use the “Concrete Prep” solution to open the pores of your concrete or you risk the stain acting as a paint instead of actually penetrating the concrete.
* You do have the option of scoring or cutting your concrete and this can be done using a worm drive saw. We chose not to do this because we have kids and pets and I didn’t want to be constantly cleaning dirt out of the grout lines. We made a very intricate border and used 1/4 inch Quilters tape. The tape acts as your grout line, you lay the tape after cleaning your floors. You stain the floors to your desired color, seal the floors and when those steps are complete you remove the tape from the floors leaving you a nice gray grout line. You can purchase the quilters tape at Hancock fabrics and make sure you use the white, the neon colors didn’t stick very well.
* I have not experienced the floors being extremely cold like I expected, they are not nearly as cold as my tile floors. Right now my living room is the only room with stained concrete but we plan to continue it throughout the entire downstairs.
Below is a better picture of the border and tape used to create the grout lines and also the gold stenciling within the border. Also YouTube has multiple videos on how to stain concrete floors.
See how we turned a kitchen from 1972 into a model kitchen without going into debt.
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