How to Acid Stain Concrete

The practice of having concretes with acid stains is quite old but is being revived these days and gaining popularity. As we all realize, a concrete floor presents a very durable and a low maintenance option but gives a rather unpleasant and boring look. The same concrete floor can be given an altogether different look and make it appear more inviting and alive by using this technique of acid staining, while it continues to retain its ruggedness and other characteristics.

Most of the acid stains are in earth tones. It covers shades of reds, greens and browns. Such earthly tones impart a look of expensive stone or marble floor to your concrete floor at a significantly low cost.

If you do not feel enthusiastic to make this as another do-it-yourself project, you may hire the services of a contractor to carry out the acid stain concreter job. The going rate for the most basic job is around $4.0 per square foot. However, should you have plans to have a more detailed and intricate patterns it will vary from $4 - $10 a square foot.

You may have it in multi colors and designs. For a basic job you could avoid having a contractor and do the project yourself. It’s not too difficult. Even if you are a novice, you are not likely to face any serious handicap or difficulty provided you plan it before hand. It should normally be over within two days, if you work for a couple of hours a day. That way it will cost you less than a dollar per square foot.

how to stain concrete

Get Your Materials

For an efficient completion of the project, you should ensure to have all the needed materials before hand. As you are going to handle a diluted acid, you should necessarily take all the precautionary measure to protect yourself. It is desirable to keep your arms and legs thoroughly covered. Make use of that old pair of long trousers and a shirt with long sleeves. Apart from that you should use a face mask, a protective eye gear and a pair of gloves. The materials and tools you are going to need shall comprise of: Acid concrete stain, concrete cleaner, broom, sprayer, paint tray, roller and a wet vacuum.

Prepare the Surface

The most important feature of the whole of this exercise is to have as clean a floor as is possible. The cleaner the floor, the better will be the finish and thus the overall effect. Remember that acid stain is translucent, or semi transparent as a result of which even a small crack or an odd spot on the concrete will be seen after you have finished the project. A hairline crack, though might impart a character to your floor, but everything else should be cleared or repaired.

Apply the Stain

You may do it in a few ways but I suggest using an all plastic sprayer. You will need help of another person though. One of you should spray the acid stain on the concrete while the other one, following closely behind, should continue brushing it with a broom. As it will leave brush strokes, the sprayer needs to go over the area a second time. Continue the same way till the whole floor is covered.

Wash the Floor

Allow enough time for the floor to chemically react with the stain. Next, wash the floor with a solution of baking powder with water. This process of washing neutralizes the acid concrete stain and removes excess of residue, if any.

concrete stainer

Apply the Sealer

After the floor gets completely dried-up, you should apply two or three coats of sealer with the help of a paint roller. After the final coat of sealer has thoroughly dried, you may start using a beautifully prepared new floor.
In a nut shell that’s a complete guide for acquiring acid stained concrete floor. You may get a detailed step-by step method of making stained concrete floor by clicking on this link.


  1. Thanks for the tips! I absolutely love the look of acid stain. I think I have finally convinced my husband that we should do this in our basement. Thanks for the step by step and the photos!

  2. This is so true. Last year we've decided to remodel our house and contacted this company acid stain to redo the floor for us. They did an incredible job!