I am not titling this post, “How to Stain Concrete Floors,” because I don’t know if this is how you should, this is just how we stained our concrete floors. I will say that staining the concrete floors is not hard! I guess when you and your inexperienced husband renovate a 3 bedroom house all by yourself, staining concrete seemed easy. This project held up our house for four months. The staining only took a few days, but it took us months to get up the courage to start this project. We both researched the Internet, talked to employees at home improvement stores, and asked everyone we knew trying to find someone who had done this project before. I also need to add that we were not living in the house at the time, which made this project easier to do.
We wanted to stain our concrete floors for several reasons. It is a lake house, I have a teenage son, my daughter uses a wheelchair, and it is the least expensive type of flooring we found. We purchased our concrete stain from Sherwin Williams during the 40% off sale. It is the Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain. Here is the link to the stain we used Concrete Stain. The salesman was accurate on the amount of stain we needed for our projects, and he told us how to use it. Our house is 1850 sq. feet, and we spent about $550.00 in stain. The original homeowners of the house we purchased had made several additions to the house, and they did all the work themselves. Half of the house had the original concrete from the 50’s. We poured fresh concrete over the additions because the floor was not level with the original floor.
This photo is taken after we demoed most of the house, and before we took it out to the dumpster. You can see a lot of the termite damage above the doors and windows.
While researching, I noticed that everyone wants to know how to get all the glue off the concrete. Our house had glue on the floor, then indoor/outdoor carpet on top. I guess after a while someone wanted a change, so they placed black tar paper on top of the carpet that was already there. Then a pad placed on top of that. Then carpet on top of all that. The pad under the carpet had deteriorated and stuck to the concrete. It took days to get it all up. We rented a scraper (floor stripper) that scraped up the glue and the pad. When we pulled the last bit of flooring up, we noticed that the original concrete floor looked different from the newest poured concrete.
This is the floor sander that we rented.
We used a sander, and sanded the floors. The sander was hard to guide at first, but we finally got the hang of it. One thing I kept in mind was that we were going for a rustic look with our decor, so I was okay with the imperfections in the old concrete. I have read that you can paint the concrete before you stain it. I probably should have researched that and tried it, because the original concrete is not as beautiful as the new concrete that we stained. We have large rugs over the original floors so it is not very noticeable.
The newest poured concrete was in our kitchen and master bedroom. We did not sand that floor because I loved the swirled look in the concrete, and I did not want to mess that up. I am very glad we did not sand that floor.
We vacuumed with a shop vac, scrubbed, and mopped the floors well.
We finally got up the nerve and went for it.
We went by the recommendations from other bloggers. My husband sprayed it with a lawn and garden sprayer and squirted it on well. I went beside him and rolled. The best thing we purchased was an extra wide paint roller and extra large paint tray, and it was worth every penny. This roller really saved us time. My husband cracks me up because if he is involved in any home improvement project, he comes home with all this good stuff to make the job easier. I was surprised how easy and quick it was to stain the entire house.
I am posting these pictures to show how the floors kept changing after the stain was applied.
The next day we applied the second coat. Our floors dried very fast. The one thing everyone told me was that the color and pattern will change after each coat and after drying. I agree. I was unsure after the first coat, and even more after the second coat, but I was assured by everyone that it would turn out fine. One man told me before I started, “Do not get upset after you stain. Just walk away for a day, and when you come back it will be beautiful.”
We waited several days before we sealed the floors to make sure the floor was dry. We poured the sealer in the paint tray and rolled it on the floor. It did darken the color a little. We waited the recommended time of 24 hours to try to apply the second coat of sealer, but it still felt sticky so we waited two more days to complete the sealing.
THE FLOORS ARE GORGEOUS! I am so in love with my floors. The kitchen and bedroom look so rustic, and I love the colors.
The old concrete is pretty but not as pretty as the newer ones. I am not that concerned because there are beds and rugs in those two rooms so not much of the floor is showing anyway.
UPDATE: We have been in the house for a year and my floors are still beautiful. We moved furniture, and slid appliances across the floors and there is not a single scratch or scuff. Also, I was concerned that the concrete floors would be uncomfortable in the winter, and it has not been a problem at all. The floors help keep the house cool in the summer, and it is still warm in the winter. I could not be happier.