How to Stain Interior Concrete Floors in 7 Easy Steps

How to Stain Interior Concrete Floors in 7 Easy Steps

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STEP 3 – How to Stain Concrete

I used a backpack plastic sprayer I bought on Amazon.

The same type sprayer used for spraying bug spray around the outside of your house.

I used a figure 8 patter motion not staying too long in any one place and overlapping my sprays to apply the stain. While you can pay less for a handheld one, the backpack model keeps your hands free and allows you to stand more upright, saving your back!

Here are my stained concrete floors after 1 coat of stain.

how to stain interior concrete floors Middle Class Dad 1st coat of blue stain

TIP: No matter what sprayer you use, if you’re using acid stain, make sure the sprayer has no metal parts! These can dissolve and burn you in the process.

You can use that same long-handled scrub brush to go behind yourself and scrub the stain in using a circular motion.

After 3-4 hours if you decide you want the stain to be darker, go ahead and do a 2nd pass of spraying the stain.

Just bear in mind that the floor will look different (and lighter) once totally dry, sealed and waxed.

Here are my stained concrete floors after 2 coats of stain.

how to stain interior concrete floors Middle Class Dad 2nd coat of blue stain

STEP 4 – Neutralize the acid on your stained concrete floors

Once your stained concrete floors look great and you’ve allowed the last coat of stain to dry at least 2 hours, we need to neutralize the acid.

We do this easily by simply mixing more TSP and water and mopping it on and scrubbing it in; pretty much just like when we cleaned the floor earlier.

TIP: During most of this process I wore old socks I didn’t care about. In the event you’re walking on wet stain or sealer this is less conspicuous than a footprint from a foot or shoe

STEP 5 – Rinse the floor and allow to dry

Rinse with water only enough times to completely remove any residue. Use your wet/dry vac to suck up all the extra water.

After the neutralizing rinse of your floors, it’s imperative that you make sure your floors are totally dry before sealing them.

I personally waited a good 8 hours.

If you don’t wait long enough you risk the sealer coming out cloudy. Take a piece of painter’s tape and stick to the floor.

If the floor is dry you’ll have to pull it up. If the floor still has moisture it won’t stick fully to begin with.

STEP 6 – Seal your new stained concrete floors

I used Chem Coat stain, sealer and wax products on my floors. It’s not an affiliate link but you can see all their products on their website

Here’s their color chart. I went with the Aqua Mist color although in hindsight I would select a darker color as I think it would have done a better job of hiding some of the imperfections better.

how to stain interior concrete floors Middle Class Dad Chem-Coat reactive stain color chart

TIP: If you use acrylic sealer as I did, you can mix acrylic paint in with it to enhance the color of the floors.

Here are my floors after 2 coats of stain and 1 coat of sealer with added color.

how to stain interior concrete floors Middle Class Dad colored sealer added to the concrete floor stain

Rinse out your sprayer from the stain.

Then simply put your sealer (and acrylic paint if using) into the sprayer. Coat the floor in the same manner as you did the stain.

You can apply multiple coats of sealer but allow about 45 minutes in between each for it to dry. Any areas that look less glossy than others just give an extra coat to just that area.

STEP 7 – Wax your stained concrete floors

Once your stained concrete floors are totally dry from stain (about an hour), the final step is simply to wax.

Spray one coat of wax (again using that handy sprayer) and allow to dry 1 hour. THEN remove all painter’s tape and plastic sheets from the wall.

These may have dust, sealer or stain which we don’t want falling on to wet wax.

Here is the finished project with our furniture back in place!

how to stain interior concrete floors Middle Class Dad dining room floor stained turquoise blue

Then go through your floor thoroughly with a vacuum and/or broom. Lastly, do 1 more coat of wax and you’re done!

You can walk on the floors after about an hour. But wait a full 24 hours before moving any furniture or appliances back onto the stained concrete floors.

Care and cleaning of your new stained concrete floors

One of the many benefits of a stained concrete floor is how easy it is to keep clean.

A Swiffer or push broom work great and once fully dried and cured almost any cleaner will work without damaging the floor itself. However, if you applied a coat of wax, some harsh chemicals can strip that.

Thus, Cleaning Stained Concrete Floors with Vinegar is a great way to go.

Ready to jump right in? Get my recommended list of tools from Amazon Prime to get going on your project!

Not ready to start your project now? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest Boards so you’ll have this when you need it!

Do you have any questions about how to stain interior concrete floors? 

If you’ve done it, do you have any tips on stained concrete floors?

how to stain interior concrete floors Middle Class Dad bio

Of course in the day and age we unfortunately live in, I have to add the following: I am not a general contractor or professional concrete stainer.  This post walks you through the steps I took in staining concrete in my house.  Your results could differ.  Please consult a professional if you need to.
Photo credits (that aren’t mine or which require attribution):
Metallic Marble Concrete Staining – Augusta GA- Augusta GA by Decorative Concrete Kingdom is licensed under CC BY 2.0

2 thoughts on “How to Stain Interior Concrete Floors in 7 Easy Steps”

    • Hi Yvonne

      Great question! Because I had laminate flooring that wasn’t glued or nailed down, I didn’t have that problem in my house.

      First, make sure you don’t use a product containing silicone (or any caulk-type product). It will just be way too obvious and won’t stain even close to the regular concrete.

      In researching, it looks like you can go one of 2 routes.

      One is to stain the floors as is and then fill in the divots afterward with a clear epoxy. Because the epoxy is clear the stain color will just show right through. You’d do this before applying sealer and wax. If you’re going this route, from what I’ve read, this product from Concrete Ressurection should work well.

      The other route would be to use a concrete patch product before you stain. You would vacuum the holes really well to ensure no loose bits are in there and then fill (be careful not to overfill) and then once it’s fully hardened, you’d continue with stain, seal, and wax. For that route, I would honestly buy 2 or 3 different ones and apply a small amount onto a piece of wood. Let them dry and then apply a little stain and see if one matches your floor color better than the others. Frawa makes one that looks like it would work well.

      The trick will be finding one that’s a fast set as if you use actual concrete you’ll need to let it cure 30 days before staining.

      In either case, I think the patches will be noticeable, but often the defects in concrete are part of the appeal.

      Send me a picture when it’s done. I’d like to see how it works out.



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