April 26, 2010

Do It Yourself Concrete Staining

Do it yourself concrete staining is both popular and inexpensive.  With the warmer weather, now is the time to revitalize your existing surface. Staining concrete combines the best of both worlds: beauty and functionality.  

There are two types of concrete stains to choose from, acid stains and acrylic stains. For this particular example, I will demonstrate how to apply an acrylic stain to an old pool deck.  Before you get started with your particular project, here are the materials you will need:

  • Broom
  • Stiff brush
  • Concrete stain (I used Behr semi-transparent in “Grotto” STC-11)
  • Muriatic acid
  • Plastic watering can
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Boots
  • Safety goggles
  • TSP cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Paint roller and brush
  • Pressure washer, if you have one
  • Acrylic sealer

Can you say “lackluster?”  An acrylic concrete stain will work great on this old concrete pool deck because age increases the porosoity in concrete.  For newer concrete, I’ve found that  acid concrete stain works the best because of the availability of free lime.  Now let me show you how you can do it yourself!

Use muriatic solution to clean and etch your concrete. Remember to wear protective clothing like rubber boots and gloves.  Pour equal parts of muriatic acid with water into a plastic watering can.

This picture shows the concrete being sprinkled with the solution.  The purpose of this step is to neutralize the concrete’s alkalinity, so let it etch for about 30 minutes before rinsing with water.  If this solution comes in contact with your skin, immediately rinse it off.  

*By the way, if your concrete has stubborn oil or stains, a pressure washer and a degreaser may also be needed.

Next apply your TSP cleaning solution (mixed according to the directions on the box) to the wet concrete.  This will remove any residue left over from the acid wash.  Use a stiff-bristle brush to scrub out all of the crevices.  This doubles as a good upper-body exercise!   ;-)

Rinse your surface thoroughly with fresh water.  If you have access a pressure washer, even better!  Once the surface is dry, the roughness should resemble that of sandpaper.   Properly cleaning and rinsing your surface will allow you to admire your concrete for years to come.

Let the concrete dry for at least 48 hours and then sweep off any dust or leaves.  Start by applying your concrete stain with a roller or brush in any style or pattern you desire. If a second coat is needed, wait 24 hours between coats.

You have the opportunity here to be really creative by using blending or marbling effects with your color.  You can even use an accent stain for a washed and natural stone look.  In this photo, I am using an old, flexible cutting board to keep the edging neat.  This dull concrete is starting to look much more appealing!

As you can see, there’s an instant difference in the appeal of this pool decking!  Once you’ve finished applying your acrylic concrete stain (1 or 2 coats, whichever look you like,) paint a coat of clear acrylic sealer to the dry surface.  This will add durability and UV protection while enhancing the overall appearance.  

I think you’ll agree:  this do-it-yourself project gives you some great results.  And the best part is YOU can do the job for a bunch less than you’d pay someone else.  Sweet!


  1. Hey, great post very informative. What color stain did you use for the pool deck?

  2. wow !

    i love this blond in action, what a babe,

    cheers from brazil !