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. Transforming a dull concrete floor or wall into a stunning decorative feature can be achieved affordably with the use of concrete stains.

This easy-to-follow process offers a wide range of outdoor concrete stain colors. The abundance of options can make selecting the ideal color a daunting task.

However, following a few guidelines, you can confidently add a pop of color to your concrete flooring or patio. These expert tips will help you choose the perfect stain color for your desired substantial staining project.

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Acid concrete stains have a unique color palette that is limited yet distinctive. These stains tend to offer subtle, earthy tones that are reminiscent of natural elements.

Typically, these shades include warm browns, excellent tans, blue-greens with a hint of gray, and rustic terra cotta. While bright and vivid colors are not commonly available, the acid stain’s subtle hues and natural variations can create a rich and textured effect on concrete surfaces.

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

Staining concrete is an excellent way to enhance the look of your outdoor space. If you’re looking for an outdoor concrete stain, it’s essential to consider the color palette of your surroundings.

You’ll want to choose a stain that can complement the colors in the surrounding environment. Water-based acrylic stains are a great choice as they offer various colors, including unique options such as metallic, white, and black.

These stains are also highly flexible in terms of the colors they can produce, making them an excellent choice for those who want to experiment with different color combinations.

When selecting an outdoor concrete stain, you should also consider the environmental conditions it will face. If your concrete will be exposed to a lot of UV light, you should choose a UV-resistant stain.

Similarly, suppose your concrete will be exposed to harsh weather conditions. In that case, you should choose a stain that can withstand the elements.

Finally, it would help if you also considered the surroundings of your concrete, such as nearby trees or landscaping. Choosing a stain that complements the colors in the surrounding environment can help create a cohesive and visually appealing outdoor space.

You can mix the same kind of stains to create more colors.

There are two types of concrete stains that you can use to enhance the look of your concrete surfaces. One type is an acid-based stain that reacts chemically with the concrete, creating a unique color that is permanent and won’t fade over time.

The other type is a water-based stain that penetrates the concrete to add color but doesn’t react chemically with it. 

You can mix or layer either type of stain with other stains of the same kind to create even more colors or depth if you can’t find the exact color you want. This will give you a more comprehensive range of options and allow you to customize the look of your concrete surfaces. 

If you want to achieve a deeper color, you can apply two coats of the stain. Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat. This will ensure that the second coat adheres appropriately and doesn’t slide off the first coat.

By following these steps, you can achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish that will enhance the look of your concrete surfaces.

Take notice of your surroundings.

When choosing a color for your concrete, it’s essential to consider how it will complement the room’s color scheme. The color you choose doesn’t necessarily have to match the exact color of something in the room.

You can opt for a popping color if that’s your style. However, the color should bring the entire color palette together seamlessly. Pick a color that goes well with several of your favorite palettes to ensure your choice is versatile.

In the future, you may change your furniture or give the room a makeover. In such cases, it’s best to use a concrete stain that is a neutral color to avoid the floor looking out of place with the new furniture.

Neutral colors, such as light tan stains, are trendy and account for over sixty percent of all stain sales. Darker browns and greens are significant options that blend well with many colors.

When applying the concrete stain, be aware of the following aspects. Ensure the stain is applied evenly and consistently to achieve a uniform look.

Additionally, consider the level of opacity you want. Some stains are more translucent than others, which can affect the concrete’s final look. Finally, consider the level of gloss you want. Some stains create a matte finish, while others make a glossy finish.

The color will change when it dries.

When staining concrete floors, it’s important to remember that the color of the stain before it reacts with the concrete is not the final color. It may take a few hours to set in its actual color. Therefore, waiting for the stain to dry completely is crucial before judging the final color. 

If you’re using acid-based stains, they will reveal the individuality of your concrete. These stains are transparent, meaning the final appearance will be varied and mottled after the stain has dried. This unique characteristic of acid-based stains makes them popular among homeowners and designers. 

It’s also worth noting that newer concrete will hold a more intense stain color than older concrete with the same color. This is because more aged concrete has already undergone weathering and exposure to the elements, which may affect the final color. So, if you’re working with older concrete, it’s essential to consider this when selecting the stain color. 

Adding color to a concrete floor can bring flair and personality to any living space. The selection of colors often depends on the style of the room and your personal preference. Concrete floors can be transformed into a unique and beautiful flooring masterpiece, limited only by your creativity. 


To achieve the best concrete stain results, it’s recommended to test the stain on the concrete first. This will give you an idea of how the final color will look and help you adjust the color to your liking.

Things to consider when selecting a concrete stain

When considering staining your concrete, you have two options: acid-based or acrylic. Acid-based stains contain chemicals that can cause irritation and a pungent odor. In contrast, acrylic stains are similar to water-based latex paints and have a lower odor threshold. Acrylic stains are better if you want better coverage of existing flaws.

Concrete stain is usually applied with a sprayer, so protecting nearby areas and landscaping from accidental staining is essential. Staining will magnify the concrete’s existing variations and blemishes rather than hide them as paint would.

There are many colors available in concrete stains, but remember that every stain application varies in color depending on the stain’s reaction to the concrete surface. Therefore, it’s essential to test a concrete patch before applying it, especially if using an acid-based stain.

Practicing the staining procedure in a small test area before tackling a large job is a good idea. If you need more confidence in your abilities, consider hiring a professional with staining experience.

Before staining, ensure the concrete surface is neutralized with no residue left behind. After the staining application, expect to apply a sealant to eliminate any application marks.

It’s important to note that your results will only be as good as the concrete surface you start with. Don’t expect a perfect result if you have old or defective concrete.

Overall, staining concrete can be a great way to update your space. However, taking the necessary precautions and considering hiring a professional if you need clarification on the process is essential.


Selecting the right stain color for your concrete project is essential to achieve the desired decoration. To choose a perfect color, you must consider various factors, including the type of concrete, the desired finish, and the environment where it will be placed.

First, it’s essential to understand that concrete stains are available in two types: acid-based and water-based. Acid-based stains create a unique, variegated finish that reacts with the minerals in the concrete. On the other hand, water-based stains are more predictable and accessible to apply, but they offer a more uniform appearance.

Once you have decided on the type of stain, consider the color options available. Acid-based stains offer a limited range of colors that are earthy and muted. On the other hand, water-based stains provide a broader range of colors, including bright and vibrant hues.

It’s also crucial to consider the environment where the concrete will be placed. Suppose the concrete is exposed to high traffic, weather, or sunlight. In that case, choosing a color that can withstand these conditions is essential. For instance, light colors may show dirt and stains more efficiently, while dark colors may absorb heat and fade over time.

In summary, to choose a stain color for your concrete project, start by understanding the type of stain and the color options available. Then, consider the environment where the concrete will be placed to ensure the color will withstand its conditions.

By following these steps, you can make an informed decision and achieve the desired decoration.