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Sealing and Staining Concrete: A Brief Guide

If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about your walkway, patio, driveway, or garage floor, you’re not alone. Many homeowners completely forget about their concrete spaces until major cracks or other issues appear. And yet, over time, those spaces can begin to look dull, worn down, and unattractive. That’s why you should consider sealing and staining concrete as a way to maintain the overall health and appearance of your driveway or patio.

So, if you’re thinking about and staining concrete but are unsure of whether you’ll be able to handle it on your own, fear not. This brief guide will give you everything you need (except for the material) to get your concrete stained and sealed.

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Sealing and Staining Concrete, Step by Step

1. Choose a concrete stain. Before you can begin your project, you’ll need to gather your supplies. And the most important supply is the stain you’ll use. Be aware that there are two kinds of stains: acid-based and water-based. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. And if you’d prefer something a little more colorful, you can always use concrete paint to liven things up.

2. Prepare your concrete. Once you’ve chosen your stain, you’ll need to prepare the concrete by it thoroughly, repairing any cracks with a concrete crack sealant, and using a floor scrubber to buff any uneven areas.

3. Apply the stain. After you’ve got the space ready, you can apply the stain with a sprayer, using a roller for those hard to reach places. Make sure that you’re getting a uniform, even coat over the entire space of your concrete. And don’t forget to wear a mask to protect your lungs from any potentially dangerous fumes.

4. Remove residue (if using an acid-based stain). Acid-based stains tend to leave excess residue after application. For this reason, it’s good to use a solution of four-parts water, one-part baking soda or vinegar to eliminate this residue. Simply spray it (using a different sprayer) onto the area and let it dry for an hour or so. Then, mop the space, removing any leftover water. Once you’re finished, take a step back and determine whether you’ll need to add another coat of stain or not. Reapply as necessary.

Sealing and Staining Concrete, Step by Step

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1. Choose a . As with stains, there are dozens of concrete sealers on the market. Because of this, you should spend some time browsing your options, noting each one’s advantages and disadvantages. Some will leave your concrete with a high-gloss finish, others will leave it looking the same as before its application. But no matter what look the sealant offers, they all should provide protection from unwanted stains.

2. Prepare your stained concrete. As with staining concrete, you’ll want to thoroughly clean your concrete so that all loose debris and impurities are removed. If you’ve recently stained it, this shouldn’t be an issue.

3. Apply the sealant. Apply the sealant in the same way that you added the stain, with a sprayer for the bulk of it and a roller for any space that you can’t get with the sprayer. Make sure that the coat doesn’t have any splotchy patches.

4. Allow it to cure. Once your sealant has been applied, let it cure for at least 24 hours before resuming normal foot traffic.

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And that’s it! Hopefully, you now see that staining and doesn’t have to be an insurmountable hurdle to the long-term health and appearance of your concrete. So, what are you waiting on? You’ve got a concrete space to enhance and protect!