Learn how to make your floors gorgeous with DIY stained concrete!
It’s week 4 of the One Room Challenge and I’m at the point where I’m super exhausted. I spent all week thinking that this was the last weekend, but thankfully I was wrong. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’ve joined as a guest participant at Calling It Home. We have 6 weeks to makeover a room.
The featured designers link up on Wednesdays and the guest participants link up on Thursdays. I’m making over my sunroom and today I’m sharing my beautiful DIY stained concrete floors.
Catch Up Here:
One of the most impressive ways to update your home is by changing the flooring. Unfortunately, it can also be the most expensive update. And you don’t want to settle for the bargain bin selections if you’re going through the effort to change the flooring. Today, I’m sharing my DIY stained concrete floors that are both beautiful and budget friendly! Even better, this product is extremely DIY friendly, no matter what you skill level is! If you can spray paint (even badly!), you can do this!
How much does it cost to stain concrete floors yourself?
I love finding alternative ways to makes my home look pretty that are affordable. The normal floor options like wood or tile would have cost a fortune.
Even the cheapest tile would have cost close to $200 for this room. If our floor had already been concrete, this project would have cost less than $150 for the whole room (about 20 x 25). Even with the cost of the concrete, the cost is the same as the mid-range tile that I didn’t love. Click here to learn how we installed concrete over a sub-floor.
I want to *LOVE* my home. Every aspect. That means not settling. So the extra cost for the concrete was well worth it for the amazing results that we ended up with.
Have you ever seen a floor this dreamy?
We used a product called Kemiko Stone Tone Stain. I first learned about this product years ago on the Christopher Lowell show. Concrete stain has been in my mind since then. The color palette is limited, but they’re all pretty nice colors that make concrete look so warm and inviting.
Kemiko stains are acid stains, but don’t let that scare you away.
This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share my love for the product and how amazing it is!
I bought the supplies locally at East Coast Kemiko. It was so refreshing to meet someone so passionate and knowledgeable about flooring. I’ve dealt with a lot of businesses lately who have had less than stellar customer service, so East Coast Kemiko was a nice surprise.
Although we showed up to his store 15 minutes before he closed on a Friday before a holiday weekend, Andrew took his time telling us all about the product and how to use it. We will definitely be going through this company again for future purchases.
If you’re in the DC or Baltimore area, I highly recommend East Coast Kemiko!
PS. If you like affordable solutions, come back next week to learn about a cool countertop resurfacing product! You’ve probably never heard of it AND you get to use a blow torch. Plus GLITTER!!!! Surely glitter and a blow torch have you intrigued! Click here to learn more.
DIY Stained Concrete
Acid Stained Concrete Precautions
All concrete is different. Full concrete slabs take about 6 weeks to fully cure. Since we only used a thin concrete resurfacing product, it cured in 24 hours. The full tutorial for resurfacing a floor is here.
When using Kemiko, you have to follow the directions!
It works different than most acid stains that want you to use an muriatic acid. If you use muriatic acid, the stain won’t work. Besides, this process is much safer and way less toxic than other options I have seen.
The stain is acid based, so take precautions for that. I wore gloves and rubber boots when working with it.
This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Semigloss Design. Your support helps me continue making awesome stuff to share.
- Plastic Sprayer
- Kemiko Acid Stain (I used Aqua)
- Sealer (I used Clear-A-Thane)
- Mohair Roller Cover (or 1/4″ nap roller)
- Extension Pole
- Push broom
- Paint brush
- Shop Vac
- Water hose
Cleaning the concrete
Even though our concrete was brand new, it had to be cleaned. Concrete is made from dirt, after all.
We filled the plastic sprayer with a mixture of half neutra-clean and water. Then we sprayed the floor with it, and then sprayed it with water. We used a push broom and scrubbed the floor clean.
Once, we felt the floor was clean, we used a shop vac to suck up all of the water. We repeated the process, with less soap and more water. Then I mopped it just to be sure it was super clean. Use a shopvac to suck up all of the water again. Then we turned on the fans and let it dry.
This process goes a LOT faster than you would think.
Staining the Concrete
***The stain is acid, so please take necessary precautions. I wore gloves and rubber boots to protect my skin.***
Once the floor was dry, it was time to stain. My husband made me a nifty contraption to protect the walls from the stain using a piece of cardboard and a paint pole.
Using a plastic sprayer, we mixed the stain at a 1:1 ratio with water. I sprayed the edges of the room first and then went back and sprayed the rest of the room. The reaction is immediate and magical to watch. It bubbles a bit and turns fun colors.
One bottle was just enough to finish this room.
This process took a lot longer to dry. We let it dry overnight and most of the next day. The stain pooled in low spots on the floor, so those spots ended up a lot more vibrant.
Note: During application, it still got on the walls. Everything still had to be painted at this point, so I was okay with it. Plus, we had no baseboard on yet. I have since painted over the lower portions of the walls with no weird reactions.
Cleaning the Concrete (Again)
Same process as before, but this time, your water will turn blue (or whatever color of stain you chose.) Spray the soap, add water and scrub. Vacuum up the water with a shopvac. Repeat until the floors are clean. You should be able to wipe them with a white rag and it not turn colors. Let dry.
The color of the floor when wet is the color that your floor will be when sealed. If the color is not dark enough at this point, add another layer of stain and clean it again. We were in *LOVE* with the color and might have sang love songs to it.
Sealing the Floors
Although the super shiny floors make my heart sing, this room goes out to our pool so we often have wet feet when entering. Slipping was a concern. If we use concrete stain for our basement, they will be high gloss so we can sock skate.
I chose the Clear a Thane in Satin for our floors. There is still a sheen, but it’s subtle. It’s a little more slippery than I hoped, but man do they look amazing!
Applying the stain was super easy as well. If you have ever painted a floor, you know that it goes fast! And this was no exception. Using a roller and roller handle, my husband painted on the sealer. He had to use a brush in small areas, but 95% of the floor was done with a roller.
When it was dry, we applied a second coat.
Overall Thoughts on Staining Concrete
Kemiko Stain was so much fun to use. DIY stained concrete is the easiest DIY that we have ever done, with the most amazing results.
Ease of Use: 5 out of 5
Price: $130 compared to an estimated $500 for tile. (Roughly $ 0.50 a sq foot)
Time: It took longer to dry than to actually work on the floor. Work time was about 4 hours. Definitely do-able in a weekend.
Will we use it again? Definitely. The cost and ease of use makes us want to use it everywhere. We resurfaced our front porch so that we could use it there as well. We’re also considering it for the patio of our dreams that we want to build.
This aqua floor is my dreams come true. Mermaid floor dreams, that is. 😉
Edited to add these photos. The color seems to change with the light. Still loving these floors!
Besides the stained concrete floor, I got the rest of the painting done. We also got the bar mostly built and the cabinets brought into the room. Almost everything has been purchased. We are ready! (To be done…)
If you liked this post, next week, I will be sharing a super fun affordable way to update/make kitchen countertops. I cannot wait to share this source because I am so excited to use the product!
Still to do:
Pour the floor and let it cure. Paint the fun shibori pattern on the walls.
- Install cabinetry (Halfway done)
- Super fun countertop treatment
Stain the floors
- Install the sink
- All new baseboard
- Finish painting trim
- Install shelving
- Build a bar (Halfway done)
- Make new cushions
Paint the armoire(Changed plans)
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