Stained concrete REDUX

I have finished the flooring project in time for our re-opening party on Saturday. I gotta say I’m way more impressed than I thought I’d be. It does take some time to get it all done, though. I will have pictures and/or video soon of the final look. I didn’t have time or inclination for in process pictures this time, sorry.

All told, I have laid down 7 layers of coating on the floors. 2 primer . . . 2 stain . . . 3 topcoat. The only hitch is that it requires a 4-hour drying period between coatings.

Dry to touch in 1 hour
Light traffic after 24 hours
Heavy traffic and furniture moving after 72 hours

800 +/- square feet total space.

PRIMER: put down with a roller. Took 2.5 gallons for the 2 coats. I went a little thin on the first one, so I went back for a second run at it.

STAIN: Water based stain product that is semi-transparent and brick red in color. The instructions indicate that you can use a pump sprayer and then back roll with high quality roller. I used a string mop to start, intending to get a cool swirly pattern. I abandoned that in three swirl tries, and went right to the roller. I used right at 2 gallons for the full two coats. First was a little thin in spots, so I reapplied a quick fill-in coating. Irregular coloration was what we wanted and what we got. occasional roller streaks, thin spots, heavy spots, all in all a really uneven look. Type and porosity of concrete makes a real difference. This coating made a noticeable difference in ease of sweeping . . . as opposed to the coarse concrete in some spots.

TOPCOAT: water based, low lustre coating. This is where the glory of this system came into play. I used a pump sprayer like you use for your garden . . . 1 gallon size with adjustable nozzle. I went for the $20 model over the $10 cheapie. I sprayed a 4X4 area, then rolled ONCE to even the coverage. Starts out milky white, then goes totally clear. The total 800 square feet would take about 1.5 hours to lay out. Dried to touch in 1 hour, apply next coat in 4 hours. Really nice glow after first layer, and by the end of three coatings, the warm lustre was incredible, and the depth of the coloration is really nice over the stain. Sweeping is an absolute breeze!! We will use dust mops to maintain daily and during night.

CLEANUP: Stain and topcoat are water cleanable, so sprayer was hot water wash to keep clean, and dispose of rollers. Kept rollers moist during drying periods by wrapping in moist paper towel, then in plastic wrap or plastic bag sort of tightly. Unwrap and use; rewrap.

NEXT STEPS: I have some dark gray/charcoal stain to use as highlights to get a sort of faux finish effect. I’ll use a pump sprayer and roller to do a sort of imitation granite/marbling with the dark over the brick. Once that is down, then one last topcoat layer over that (the fourth topcoat . . . their recommended limit).

DURABILITY WATCH: I will watch for the next month or two to see how it holds up. I fully expect occasional top coating maintenance once or twice a year if we get lots of traffic generated. Keep it swept, and less scuffing from dust scratches.


Where did you pick this stuff up at, local Home Depot or paint shop?

Also, was this in your FOH or BOH?


Front of house for this one. I used a 2-part epoxy system for the kitchen and dish room. It is holding up pretty well. I have a couple of chips where I knew my surface preparation was not as good as it should have been. I can reclean the concrete in those spots, and patch it to seal it up.

I used Behr products, and found them easy to use and apply. Another person has had less than pleasant experiences with Behr . . . mine were great so far. That is sold exclusively at Home Depot. Other product lines should have similar results, I would expect, as Behr is not what I would call “premium” commercial products.

There are probably (definitely) more durable products out on the market, and with higher epoxy content than what I used. My total cost for 12 gallons of product is around $175 after mail-in rebates. Add in about $50 in supplies. I prepped floor and installed, so labor was a zero cost.

mastic remover $125
cat litter (absorbent) 25
primer/stain/topcoat 175
paint supplies 50
TOTAL $375
per square foot 46.9 cents


We want to pull up our carpet and do the same thing…any pictures you could send via email? I cam pm you my email.

Glad to do it. Only have the before and after, no in progress pics. We’ll have them available this weekend to post to a website and to email to you if you’d like to see them.

here is a inexpensive alternative to commercially available stains.
Depending on the size of your floor and your decor, get 10-20 pots of coffee and dump them on the floor. Get a squeegee and move the coffe around, let it set a while and mop it up. I saw this on an episode of “Opening Soon” on Fine Living network. It turned out great!

Then just seal it like normal.

We’ve had the floor in place now for 10 weeks, and here is more feedback.

The floor looks completely great all around. The coloration is exactly what we wanted . … hides irregularities in the concrete and melds with the decor. Floor has slickness to it, so the dust mop is extremely effective in gathering the detritus from the dining room. It has a lustre instead of a shine, so it works great all around.

It is strong and resistance to general chair sliding. Heavy or sharp items will gouge the floor and begin the peeling up process of the top coat. We have one small area of weak concrete that keeps chipping up little divots from the smallest impacts. I’ll have to find a way to repair that area or put runner down to protect it.

No regrets except not busting up that one area and re-pouring new concrete. That may come one day later, the blend new coloration. Overall, it was simple, inexpensive, and looks really good. I expect I’ll spend a couple hours per quarter doing maintenance to fix chips, streaks, scratches and wear spots.