People often confuse themselves with concrete stains and paints! Because they serve almost the same purpose – giving the concrete a new color!
But when it comes to stains, these are for a unique color, aesthetic look, and durability. Concrete stains are soaked into the concrete leaving nothing behind on the surface except the nice new color!
When stains are great, it is not always a pleasant task to find out the perfect stain for your home. To make your task easy and tireless, we have outlined the best concrete stains money can buy right now.
What is Concrete Stain?
Concrete stains are nicely curated coloring materials that give the concrete a whole new look. These are made with chemicals that react with the minerals present in the cured concrete surfaces and makes the surface interesting to look at.
Since these solely base on the chemical reaction with the concrete surface, the color rarely comes consistently. So, in almost every new place, you’ll get a different color and pattern with the same concrete stain applied.
Our Best Concrete Stain Reviews
1. EnduraCoat Acid Stain DIY Kit with 100% Acrylic Solvent Sealer
An all in one pack that comes with concrete stain, cleaner, neutralizer, and sealer to give you a perfect staining experience.
It provides high quality and long-lasting color on the concrete that does not go away in years. And the flexibility you get in terms of color selection is another great thing that influenced us to lift it to the top of the table. The company offers 7 interesting color options under this model, i.e. Walnut, Sea grass, desert amber, Just blue, red sienna, shifting sand, and empress jade.
For its high-quality neutralizer, this is safe for both interior and outdoor usage. So, whether you are looking to give your interior an aesthetic look or want a new color on the concrete patio, this product is an all-purpose server.
And guess what? This product is easy to use that allows you to apply it without any prior experience of applying stains. You only need to have the product in hand and follow the user manual that comes with the combination.
2. Concrete Resurrection Water Based Concrete Stain
If you are not so confident about the acid stains and want the safest option to try, Concrete Resurrection brings the best water-based concrete stain for you!
It is water-based thus the safest option to have when it comes to staining concrete. You don’t need a neutralizer or degreaser to make things human usable.
You can get an infinite number of colors using this model as it comes with 31 different colors and an important part? Mixing two or more of these colors will bring a whole new custom color that is not available anywhere else to buy!
Talking about the custom color, you can experiment with different colors with its smaller 8-ounce bottle which is in our opinion, is a great help for the creative people.
And another thing! You can use multiple coats to get darker shades of the same color with it which is absent in most of the concrete stains available at a cheap rate.
For its high-quality penetration and long-lasting color, you can use this both in outdoor and interior making it one of the most versatile concrete stains you can find online.
Although it comes with tremendous positives, you need to prepare the surface carefully to get the most out of its content. It is because of the water-based solution that requires a perfectly curated surface to bond well.
For dilution, it can only be diluted with distilled water.
3. VIVID Acid Stain - 1 Gal - Walnut
VIVID is one of the best concrete stain brands and they are famous for their high-quality products.
So, this 1 Gallon Walnut color Acid stain from the VIVID is not at all different from their other products in terms of quality.
It comes with top-notch penetrating capability that prevents future crack and peel-off of the stain. So, once the stain is in place firmly, it will last longer than you expect it to last.
But as you already know, you need to neutralize and clean the surface properly for safety when you choose to use acid-based stains on your house. Therefore, you need to purchase a neutralizer, degreaser, or cleaner for an interruption-free application.
4. Kemiko Stone Tone Concrete Stain
Kemiko Stone Tone Stain is our #4 of the list for its ease of use, high-quality staining capability, and flexibility in color selection.
For those looking for an authentic stain that does not fade away over time, this Anti-chipping or peeling stain is a no brainer.
It comes with 9 color options allowing you to choose one that you love the most. So, whether you like darker colors or vibrant green or red, this affordable concrete stain covers you.
A gallon of this stain can be mixed with the same amount of water. So, you get more coverage area than most other stains available in the market.
The Kemiko Stain is an acid-based one that can effectively be used on surfaces like driveways, house entrances, patio, etc. The manufacturer also claims it to be a perfect shot for both interior and exterior usage.
5. BrandBold Brilliance Concrete Acid Stain Sealer
A UV resistant concrete stain to protect your outdoor concrete surfaces for years to come. This BrandBold Brilliance stain sealer is a solvent-based product that comes with high-quality material. Therefore, you get a nice and glossy finish that does not get yellowish after a few years.
Since this product comes with low VOC, it is comparatively safer to use both interior and exterior concrete surfaces. But you need to make sure the surface is properly prepared and cleaned.
A gallon of this stain can efficiently stain 200 square feet of the surface with recommended 2 coats of application. But for a darker or lighter color, you can adjust the measurement according to your taste.
Like other acid-based stains, this also requires you to perform 4 simple steps – Clean > Stain > Neutralize > Seal! But for a person without any experience at all, it can become a challenging task. So, you need to read the instructions carefully before heading towards the application.
6. Surecrete EcoStain Water-Based Concrete Stain
For those whole love to see the concrete-ish look on the surface with a different tone, Surecrete EcoStain is the perfect shot for them.
This water-based stain is safe for any beginner to deal with and easy to use. So, whether you are a hobbyist or DIYer, you can stain the surface with this without any hassle.
The product comes in three color options that allow you to choose a color. And you can get different custom colors out of this product when you dilute it with other colors according to the prescribed manner.
It is a UV resistant product that ensures longevity in outdoor. And if you are looking for a stain for interior, this won’t dissatisfy you either.
Considering the coverage, this is a standard product that gives you 200 square feet of surface coverage with a 32-ounce bottle.
7. INSL-X CST211009A-01 TuffCrete Waterborne Acrylic Concrete Stain
The acrylic concrete stain for the white lovers. The TuffCrete Stain is another water-based concrete stain that comes only in two colors, white and clear. So, if you are one of those who love to keep the natural concrete color or want it to be completely white, this is the stain we recommend for you.
It covers 350 square feet of the concrete surface with a gallon on average which is more than the industry standard. So, clearly a gainer.
On top of that, the stain dries fast when applied perfectly and gives you a nice and durable finish that lasts long.
And a great advantage! You can use this to stain any type of concrete surface. No matter it is interior or outdoor, vertical or horizontal!
Looking at its price, you can easily define it as one of the cheapest concrete stains available right now.
8. Quikrete Translucent Concrete Stain
Quikrete is a famous brand when it comes to different home and lawn materials. They manufacture some of the best quality products and provide them in an affordable price range. And this stain from Quikrete is not at all different.
This is great for using bare brick surfaces where the color is faded over time. With its good looking brick red color, you can easily restore the original brick color of your pavement or other surfaces.
Unlike cheap concrete stains, it does not fade away after a few years and you can’t peel it off the surface. Because it works exactly as stain, not like other paint-like products labeled as a stain.
Who loves to hire a handyman to apply color on a small paver? This is why they come with a formula that is easy to apply and come out in great color after drying. So, a win-win situation.
Now about the drawback! This product comes in a color that gives you brick-red color. So, for the people looking for staining the surface with other colors, it is not the product that we recommend.
9. Black Diamond Stoneworks Wet Look Glossy Finish
Although this is not purely a concrete stain, we are reviewing this here considering your taste. If you like absolutely clear concrete surfaces with a great wet look, this Black Diamond product is for you.
It dries clear allowing you to apply on versatile surfaces without hiding the original beauty of the surface.
Since this is primarily a sealer, you get two in one product in this chemical resistant product. The product is durable. So, you will not see any crack on the surface or degradation of the surface color when it is applied.
I, personally, love this USA made product for its shiny wet look that gives a refreshing tone to any type of surfaces like – concrete, pavers, slates, etc. But remember, it is not for polished granite or marble.
The glossy finish protects the surface from getting yellowish. Therefore, you can apply this to keep the surface color intact for a longer period without applying additional color ingredients.
10. Floor -Tex 40 Textured Concrete Coating
When concrete stains are soaked into the concrete without leaving any residue on the surface when properly cleaned, you might have searched for a textured stain that can enhance the beauty of the concrete patio or paver.
It offers numerous color options that come out great when completely dried. On top of that, the textured finish ensures slip resistance allowing you to use this on both indoor and outdoor concrete.
The product is made with moisture and oil resistant formula moves this one step ahead from the other products that do soak moisture when getting wet.
For the people looking for a versatile and easy to use option for their concrete and wood surfaces, this one can be a great pick.
Best Concrete Stain Buying Guide
How To Choose Concrete Stain For Outdoor & Interior
Now that you know what are the top concrete stains that you can purchase for your house, here are the criteria on which we have outlined this guide-
1. Bonding Capability
Whether you are looking for a concrete stain to use in the outdoor or interior of your house, it is important to check the bonding capability of the stain.
Two types of concrete stain work differently on the surface. Acid-based stain works on the surface without requiring to penetrate it. On the other hand, water-based concrete stains require the high penetrating capability to be able to stick to the surface.
Read Also: Best Concrete Resurfacer
2. Color Accuracy
Accurate color production is necessary for stains. Different types of concrete stains produce a different type of color and the durability also varies with the material.
If you are looking for the most accurate color option, we prefer water-based concrete stains. They produce nice-looking vibrant colors compared to the acid-based stains.
Apart from accuracy, acid-based stains come with limited color options while you’ll find hundreds of color shades available with water-based concrete stains.
3. Ingredients Used in the Stain
As we have already been talking about the water vs acid-based concrete stains, you should have already got an idea about the ingredients.
Although we generally find two types of stains, you should check the ingredients used in the concrete stain. Generally, acid-based stains come with high VOC materials where water-based stains come with low VOC materials.
But again, you must check if the manufacturer used any other ingredient that can pose risk to your health when applying or after application.
4. Dilution Requirements
We love things that require us to do less work. So, how much you need to dilute the stain is another concern that needs a satisfying answer. Generally speaking, acid-based stains come ready-to-use, so those require less dilution than the water-based stains. You’ll need to mix the water-based stain with resin and pigments before finally applying on the surface.
So, you need to do a little more work in case of the latter type.
5. How Long Does it Take For Concrete Stain to Dry?
No one loves to wait for days to use the newly stained surface! So, you need to check how long the product needs to completely dry.
Acid-stains are fast in this criteria as they evaporate really fast when reacting to the surface. On the other hand, water-stains are a bit slow here. As they need to penetrate the surface to stick on the surface and do not evaporate easily, water-stains require more time to dry out.
Read More: Best Concrete Patch Reviews
6. Cleaning Requirements after Staining
As we have already mentioned, stains that are based on acid contain VOC materials that are harmful to the human body. So, you need to neutralize the surface to eliminate any harmful substance before you start using the stained surface.
On the contrary, water-based stains contain less or no VOC materials allowing you to start using the surface as soon as the surface is completely dry.
7. Withstanding UV Light
If you are looking for the best outdoor concrete stain, you must check these criteria in the product package.
Outdoor concrete walls will be exposed to the UV rays for a long period and you need proper protection against that. In this case, acid stains are better than water stains. Acid stains can effectively withstand UV light without fading away soon.
8. Surface Preparation
Surface preparation is another important factor that needs your attention before buying concrete stains. Because of fast bonding capability, acid-based concrete stains require less surface preparation than the water-based counterparts.
So, whether you are working in monsoon or winter, you can easily apply the acid stains on your outdoor while water stains will restrict you from applying the stain. Water stains need a perfectly cleaned and dry surface to work better.
Water vs Acid Based Concrete Stains – What to Buy?
Throughout the whole buying guide, we have been comparing water and acid concrete stains to give you a clear idea. If you are not confused between acid and water stains, here is a quick sum up for you-
When your priority is accurate color and safety, water stains undoubtedly comes at the top.
On the other hand, acid stains are great for their fast-drying capability, ease of use, and long-lasting bond in outdoor surfaces.
Read Our Take on Best Concrete Bonding Agent
Concrete Stain vs Paint – What is the Difference?
There are some key differences between stain and paint. In the curing process, while stain gets soaked into the concrete, paints remain on the surface of the concrete that can be peeled off easily.
Another difference you’ll see that the paint is applied with a roller or brush while stains are generally used with sprayers.
The last difference we are covering here is their color variations. You’ll see paints giving you more vibrant color options than that of concrete stains.
How to Stain Concrete
Applying concrete stains are not so hard compared to the other painting or treating works. So, let’s dive into the topic to learn how can you stain concrete with simple steps-
1. Surface Preparation
Preparing the surface is a crucial step that can’t be skipped by any means. You must clean the surface thoroughly to remove any foreign elements from the surface. Because stains work by reacting chemically with the surface materials, unwanted objects can cause an unexpected or inconsistent color.
To achieve a perfectly cleaned concrete surface, you can use a scrubber with detergent to scrub out any residue that can cause a problem. A pressure washer would do the best work to remove anything that is sticking loosely on the surface.
2. Taking Precautions
Since concrete stains are chemicals, you need to keep precautions to ensure a safe application. Acid stains, in particular, are the riskiest thing to use on the surface.
Use respiratory mask, face shield or safety goggles, gloves, and boots for safer application. And an important thing for acid stain application, If the product does not come with neutralizer and cleaner, get those first before you open the bottle of the stain.
3. Applying Concrete Stain
Now the main part, apply the stain in the prescribed manner. You should get a user manual or instructions should be written on the product label. Study the procedure properly to get the best result out of your product.
Generally, concrete stains are best applied with the sprayer as they reduce the risk of applying more in one place and less in other. Remember, the more coat you apply on the surface, the darker the color will be.
4. Finishing it Up
After you apply the stain, you should wait for the surface to completely dry out. When it is dried, use cleaner and neutralizer to thoroughly clean and neutralize the surface so that there remains no harmful residue.
And we recommend leaving the surface to cure for another two or more days for allowing the fumes to go away.
How Much Stain Do I Need?
This depends on your preference, the coverage of the stain and many other factors. Generally, a gallon of stain covers 150 to 350 square feet of surfaces. You need to check the product label for exact coverage.
And when you want darker stains, you'll need double or triple coat. So, you'll need more than the standard. On the contrary, if you want lighter colors, you can dilute the stain and have the desired color. In such cases, coverage area may increase.
What is the Best Outdoor Concrete Stain?
Best concrete stain for outdoor should have the capability to withstand extreme heat and UV rays from sun. Apart from that, outdoor surfaces are more exposed to the moisture, chemicals and air borne particles.
Since our best pick for this buying guide fulfills the criteria, we can refer is as one of the best outdoor concrete stains.
Can You Stain New Concrete?
Yes, as long as the concrete is hardened to its maximum. Using stain on a new concrete surface that has not been cured fully can have a devastating effect. So, when we say yes, it is for the new concrete that has got its full strength.
Can You Restain Concrete Surface?
Yes, you can restain a concrete surface that has already been stained previously. But you’ll see color differences after applying the second coat on the stained concrete. Generally, you’ll get a deeper shade of color than what you were expecting.
See More: Best Roof Sealant Reviews
Why Does My Stain Fade Over Time?
Generally, stains do not fade away when used with a good concrete sealer. But if you use the stain on the outdoor surfaces, the concrete can look faded because of the ordinary wear and tear on the top layer. In such cases, you can resurface the concrete to make it look like new.
Concrete Staining Tips
For effective concrete staining work, here are some quick tips -
1. If you are planning to stain a newly built concrete surface, make sure to allow the concrete 30 days to completely cure. This will make the concrete strong and you’ll get the desired color stated in the stain bottle.
2. You can apply more than one coat of the concrete stains on the surface to get a darker color. But make sure to wait 24 hours before you start applying the second coat.
3. People often get confused when they see the color of the material inside the bottle. Don’t see the color of the liquid to determine the final color. The liquid can be black but the final result is white. It happens because of the chemical reaction we have been talking about throughout this article. Read the manufacturer’s instruction to get an idea about the actual or probable final color.
4. To get a conclusive idea about the color, you can apply on a small surface and check the color. We recommend doing this when you are planning to use the stain in the interior so that you do not end up getting an unexpected result.
5. If you want a color lighter than the product you have, you can simply dilute the product with diluting materials. Check the product label for detailed instructions regarding this.
Making Your Decision
Now that you know more about concrete stains than 99% people of the world, you should be able to pick a product, apply it on the surface and rest.
Although we have covered almost all the questions that can come up to your mind, you should double-check the information with the product label for deciding conclusively. We recommend this because of the inconsistent nature of the concrete stains.
For picking the best concrete stains, check the safety, ease of use, and durability first before anything else.
And if we have missed anything that you consider worth mentioning here, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.