How to choose stain colors for concrete

How to choose stain colors for concrete

Applying a concrete stain to achieve a more attractive appearance is a rapidly growing design trend. Concrete stains are an affordable way to give your concrete floor or wall a decorative appearance using a procedure that isn’t all that complicated.

With all the options of outdoor concrete stain colors available today, sometimes it can be a difficult process to pick exactly the right hue. Fortunately, there are a few different guidelines to follow when considering adding color to your concrete flooring or patio.

These tips will enable you to select the perfect stain color for whatever concrete staining desire you may have.

Compare colors

First, it should help somewhat to know that acid concrete stains are limited in what colors they come in. Most acid-based stains come in subtle tones that are all earthy; popping colors are rarely produced. They generally keep their coloring to browns, tans, blue-greens, and terra cotta.

To fix that, there are also water based concrete stain colors that come with a wider color palette and film-forming stains as well. Refer to this guide for concrete stain types.

These colors go well with a variety of color palettes that you may have in the area where you wish to stain the concrete. Water-based acrylic stains are generally much more flexible in the colors they produce, often even coming in fancy colors such as black, white, or metallic.

When you’re searching for the best outdoor concrete stain for concrete, you will need to think about the conditions it has to handle. Is there a lot of UV light, does it have to handle weather, what is there in the surroundings, etc.

You can mix same kind of stains to create more colors

Both kinds of concrete stains can be mixed or layered with other stains of their own kind. This can create even more colors or depth if you cannot find a color you like. Or, for a deeper color, apply two coats of the stain (let the first coat dry before applying the second).

Take notice of your surroundings

Secondly, it is important to remember that your choice of color for your concrete should complement the color scheme of the room. It does not need to be an exact color of something in the room; in fact, it can be a popping color, if you so desire. Simply put, it should bring the color palette together in whatever room it is in. In addition, you should pick a color that goes well with several of your favorite palettes.

In a couple of years, you may decide to change out the furniture and give the room a makeover; using a concrete stain that is a neutral color will allow you to make this change without making the concrete floor an eyesore with the new furniture.

Light tan stains are perhaps one of the most popular categories of concrete stains, making up over sixty percent of all stain sales. Darker browns and also some greens are also very compatible with many colors. After you have selected your concrete coloring, be aware of the following aspects of applying it to your concrete.

The color will change when it dries

First, please keep in mind that the color of the stain before it reacts with the concrete is not the final color. Sometimes it takes a few hours to set in its true color.

Secondly, acid-based stains will reveal the individuality of your concrete; they are transparent stains. The appearance of these stains will be variegated and/or mottled after the stain has dried.

Lastly, remember that newer concrete will most likely hold a more intense color of a stain than an older piece of concrete would with the exact same color. These tips will help you to adjust and enjoy your new flooring color.

Concrete stain colors add flair and personality to any living space. The selection of these colors often depends on two aspects: the style of the room and your own personal preference. Ultimately, the concrete floor is your canvas, waiting to become part of a flooring masterpiece.

Best concrete stain will be achieved with testing on the concrete

10 other things to consider when selecting a concrete stain

1. Evaluate whether you want to work with an acid-based concrete stain or an acrylic stain. Acid-based concrete stains require more safeguards because they contain chemical compounds that can cause irritations along with strong smells and results can be more unpredictable.

Acrylic stains, on the other hand, are more like water-based latex paints, with less corrosive elements and a much lower threshold of detectable odors. Acrylic stains are better if you want better coverage of existing flaws because acrylic seeps down into the concrete’s pores.

2. Since concrete stain is usually applied with a sprayer, be sure you can cover and protect nearby areas and landscaping from inadvertently being stained.

3. Realize that any stain you apply will magnify the concrete’s existing variations as well as blemishes, rather than hide it the way an application of paint would.

4. Explore the full range of colors available in concrete stains.

5. Recognize that you must test a patch of concrete once you select your color, especially if choosing an acid-based stain. Every stain application varies in color depending upon the stain’s reaction to the concrete surface, so test first and don’t expect an exact match to the samples you saw while exploring.

6. It’s a good idea to practice the staining procedure in a small test area before tackling a very large job. Consider hiring a professional with staining experience because too little stain will leave the area devoid of color and too much stain will cause uneven colorations.

7. Be sure that the concrete surface to be stained has been neutralized with all traces of residue removed.

8. Expect to apply a sealant after the staining application, and this, too, must be applied evenly and properly to eliminate any telltale application marks.

9. Your results can only be as good as the canvas you start with, so don’t expect to transform extremely old or blemished concrete into a beautiful masterpiece of staining.

10. Hiring a professional staining applicator just may prove to be the best investment of your money if you don’t have the patience to practice staining prior to undertaking a large project.


This should help you to with how to choose stain colors for concrete. Decoration can be challenging, but it would be good to start with what is required of the stain and then move on to what are the options.

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