How to stain previously carpeted concrete floor

How to stain previously carpeted concrete floor


Have you grown tired of your old carpet floors? You may be looking to update your home’s aesthetic and want to replace it with something new and fresh.

Alternatively, you may have recently removed your carpets and discovered that the concrete underneath is in surprisingly good condition, and you’re interested in exploring new options.

If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, you’re in luck. This comprehensive guide offers step-by-step instructions on staining previously carpeted concrete floors. It is suitable for most normal concrete floors.

Get ready to transform your space with this easy-to-follow guide!

Preparing your carpeted concrete floor for staining

If you have a carpet on your concrete floor and are planning to remove it and consider staining the concrete, you need to be aware of a couple of issues. Firstly, if the carpet is held down with tack strips, removing them will leave small holes.

These holes can be an eyesore and affect the concrete’s overall appearance after staining. However, this issue can be resolved by filling the holes with a good-quality concrete filler.

Make sure to select a filler specifically designed for use on concrete floors. Letting the filler dry completely before proceeding with the staining process is essential.

Secondly, if the carpet is glued to the concrete, removing it can be a challenging task. There could be glue covering the entire floor or just a few spots on the concrete around the floor. In either case, the glue must be removed before staining the concrete.

This can be done by using a floor scraper or an adhesive remover. However, it would help to be careful when using these tools, as they can potentially damage the concrete. Following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and eyewear, is essential.

In conclusion, while removing carpet from a concrete floor and staining it may seem daunting, it can be done quickly and efficiently with the right tools and techniques. So breathe new life into your old concrete floor with a fresh coat of stain!

Fixing the tack strips

You can use the claw end of a hammer or a flat-sided nail puller to remove tack strips. However, a hammer with a straight claw is easier to use in this application. You can use another hammer to tap it under the tack strips and gently pry them up.

After removing the tack strips, you’ll likely have small holes around the room. These holes need to be prepared for filling. Brush them out and ensure they’re clean and dry. You can also use a vacuum or tire air pump to remove dust.

You’ll need an anchoring cement (hydraulic cement) and a bonding agent to fill the holes. Dilute the bonding agent 1:1 with water. This diluted solution will penetrate the concrete’s pores better than just applying the bonding agent straight.

A small brush coats the holes with the diluted bonding agent and lets it dry. This will help the anchoring cement to adhere to the concrete better. Next, mix the anchoring cement to a pancake batter consistency.

Apply another coat of the diluted bonding agent to the hole, then fill it with the anchoring cement. Use a trowel or plastic putty knife to scrape off the excess and level it with the concrete.

The next day, use a drywall sand screen to smooth the surface. Remember that the repaired areas may stain differently from the rest of the floor. This is something you can take into consideration when staining. If necessary, you can use acrylic paints to paint the spots later.

It’s worth noting that while some sources recommend filling the holes immediately after applying the bonding agent, we’ve found that diluting the bonding agent and using a second coat before filling the holes with anchoring cement provide better results. This is the first time we have entered a concrete patch that has come off using this method.

If you need to remove glue from concrete before staining, you can use glue remover. However, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

How to get the glue off the concrete

Let’s dive into the process of removing glue from your floor. Firstly, it is essential to note that several commercial products are available in the market that can effectively remove glue. You can search online for the best product or visit your local hardware store for assistance in finding a product that suits your needs.

Once you have the product, apply it directly to the glue on the floor. It is essential to follow the instructions on the product packaging to ensure you use it correctly. Typically, you may need to leave the product on the glue for a specified amount before attempting to remove it.

After allowing the product to sit on the glue, you can use a scraper or putty knife to remove the glue from the floor. Be sure to use a scraper appropriate for the type of flooring you have to avoid any damage to the floor. 

Once you have successfully removed the glue, it is recommended that you scrub the floor with a floor maintainer and black pad to ensure that any remaining residue is removed. Furthermore, using a sand screen under the black pad can be an extra measure to ensure all the glue has been removed from the floor.

This step will prevent the glue from acting as a barrier to the stain you plan to apply.

Following these detailed steps, you can effectively remove glue from your floor and prepare it for further applications.

Staining the concrete

Now, you are ready for staining with the holes fixed or glue removed. I have some guides here to help you get started. Also, if you are considering other options, some can be found on this site, like dyeing.

I can help you with understanding the staining process. There are various types of stains available for concrete surfaces.

Acid stains create colors by reacting with the minerals in the concrete through chemical reactions. Other stains, like sealers, can either penetrate the porous surface or make a film on the surface. These options can be used for your project, so you need to pick the one you prefer.

For beginners, I recommend using water-based stains as they are safer. However, with proper preparation, you can also use other types of stains.

Assuming that your floor has been vacuumed and cleaned, following the proper steps is important to avoid making a mess when applying a stain. Here are some detailed steps to help you through the process:

1. Protect the walls: Cover them with plastic sheets to prevent the stain from getting on them. This is especially important if you’re using a sprayer.

2. Choose your method: A pressure pump sprayer is the most common way to apply stain. This allows you to stain over the surface evenly. You can also use a brush or roller, which can be more time-consuming and require more coats to achieve the desired look.

3. Start from the end: Begin at the farthest end of the room and work your way towards the entrance. You won’t have to step on the freshly stained area.

4. Apply the stain: When using a sprayer, start from the left side of the room and work your way to the right. Then, move back to the left side of the room and continue this pattern until you reach the entrance. Be sure to overlap each pass slightly to ensure even coverage. If you use a brush or roller, apply the stain toward the wood grain.

5. Check the manufacturer’s instructions: Different stains have different drying times and may require multiple coats. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’re applying the stain correctly.

6. Seal the surface: Once the stain has dried completely, apply a sealer to protect the surface. You can use a spray or roller to apply the sealer, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

By following these detailed steps, you can ensure that your stain application is successful and that your floors look beautiful and protected.


Staining can be an excellent way to enhance the look of your furniture or flooring. However, it’s essential to understand the process before you start. The guide below provides a simplified overview, but if you need more detailed information, you can use the search function on this website to find additional resources.

Regarding staining, acid-based products can be more challenging since they have limited use. This is because the minerals on the surface will eventually run out, which can impact the outcome. In contrast, water-based products are generally easier to use and provide more flexibility when achieving the desired result.

Before you start staining, making a test piece somewhere inconspicuous to determine if the stain suits your needs is essential. This way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises and adjust as needed. With a little bit of preparation and patience, you can achieve beautiful, long-lasting results that will enhance the look of your space.