How to stain concrete countertops with 4 steps

How to stain concrete countertops with 4 steps

Do you have old kitchen cabinets and countertops, but you’re not ready to let them all go as maybe the cabinets are in top shape? Or maybe you’ve done some research on stained cement countertops and got curious about how to make them?

These are something that almost everyone can make and here I’ve written a short guide on how you can achieve the same at home. Stained concrete kitchen countertops are an affordable way to decorate your home and if you’re good, you can reach results that look way above your regular budget.

That being said, you need to practice a little to get that kind of results. You can browse through the guide and maybe get a concrete pad to practice on.

Can you stain concrete countertops

Concrete countertops are getting more popular around the country. There are some advantages to this choice of the countertop above granite. Concrete offers many advantages from thickness, edging, and color choices that granite just can’t achieve. Granite countertops, like concrete, are porous and have to be sealed and maintained as well.

Concrete countertops biggest advantage is that it is completely custom made for every need. There is not one countertop project that will look the same. Although the same materials are used, none of the concrete countertops will be the same.

Unlike granite and many other countertop options, concrete countertops being custom made from the start. It will allow unique customized tops for color, finish size, shape, and edge detail. It also provides a natural organic look and texture, rather than synthetic.

The only disadvantage is that fabricating a countertop can take up to 2 to 3 weeks to allow for cure time. Most people who choose concrete countertops are after the unique look, handcrafted and personalized finish. That is where the staining comes into the picture.

So can you stain concrete countertops that you’ve made or had custom-made? Absolutely, it’s like any other concrete surface and can react in the same way to concrete acid stain or you can use something else like concrete countertop dye.

Staining concrete countertop

Stained concrete countertops are quickly becoming the most popular way to enhance the look and feel of concrete countertops. No matter what the theme of your room is there is a stain color that will complement it perfectly.

Using an acid-based concrete stain will give your countertop a rich, full, color that is reminiscent of exotic stone or marble. Most of the colors available are earth tones including many shades of browns, greens, and dark reds.

Stained concrete countertops are incredibly durable, and require very little maintenance. The colors will not fade or require re-application. The only upkeep that is necessary is to re-seal them every so often.

This is by far the most cost-effective and least time-intensive way to produce beautiful looking countertops. Your guests will be blown away by their elegant, expensive look, and you will never have to tell anyone how affordable it really was.

The process of staining concrete countertops is no different than what we outlined in our guide on how to stain concrete floors. It will just be done on a smaller scale.

How to stain concrete countertops to look like marble

Step 1: Prepare the concrete

If your countertops are new then you will have little prep work in order to get them to be ready to accept the stain. If they are dirty or have any stains you will need to thoroughly clean them before you add the acid stain. A mixture of TSP and water should be able to do the job.

Before you apply the stain seal off the surrounding area with plastic and tape. You do not want the stain spilling or dripping anywhere it should not.

Step 2: With proper protection begin the staining

Note: When staining concrete countertops it is essential that you wear all the proper protection. You are working with a mild acid, so make sure you wear rubber gloves, eye protection, a face mask, and a long-sleeved shirt.

You will usually dilute the stain with water at a 1:1 ratio, but always be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for the detailed process on how to apply their product.

The best way to apply an acid stain to the countertop will be with a sponge. Working from one side to the other apply the solution in a circular motion. Work the stain into the concrete countertop, and make sure to go back over any areas that have any streaks.

Once you have completely covered the area, you must let it sit long enough for the chemical reaction to fully complete. This will vary depending on what brand of acid concrete stain you use.

Step 3: Clean excess residue and repeat if needed

After the proper time has elapsed it is time to neutralize the reaction and clean off any excess residue. This is easily done with a mixture of baking soda and water. For best results clean the area twice to ensure all the residue has been removed. You will now let the area dry for 24 hours. During this time it is essential that you let nothing touch the area.

If you want deeper look, you can repeat the staining process just like before.

Step 4: Apply the sealer

Once your stained concrete countertop has completely dry it is time to apply the sealer. Apply the sealer recommended by your stain manufacturer with a paint tray and small roller. Make sure you leave no streaks as these will be visible if left to dry.

Give the first coat a few hours to dry and then apply at least two more. For an extra level of protection, you can also apply a few coats of an acrylic wax finisher. This will protect your colors while making the countertops very easy to clean up.


Now you know how to stain concrete countertops. Acid staining your concrete countertops is an easy and affordable way to increase the character of your home. With how easy this DIY project is, there is no reason to settle for boring gray concrete countertops any longer.

In fact, changing the color of concrete countertops is something that I think should be done as a default. It’s the second step on having a custom countertop after pouring one.

If you want to color concrete countertops yourself, as stated at the beginning, I advise getting a practicing pad. If you want to be sure the stain is the same kind, you can make some 2 feet wide and tall concrete pads to practice on.

So before you start to make the countertop in the kitchen, you can practice different techniques on those. If you’re using acid stains, you get to see how the acid reacts with the minerals and what colors will come out of it. It’s not too late to back off if it’s something you don’t like.

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