How to Stain Concrete for a Luxe Look

Katie Compton

Article Posted By: Katie Compton

of Helpful Homemade

How to Stain Concrete for a Luxe Look

The blue and green stain to this patio is so beautiful. We’ll show you how to stain concrete for a similar appeal.

This is the work of Katie Compton of Helpful Homemade, who smoothed and stained the concrete of her indoor/outdoor patio as the first step in a full patio makeover.

Here, she shows us exactly how the concrete staining project unfolded.

How to Smooth and Stain Concrete

When it comes to a patio, the foundation itself is of enormous importance! When I started to make over our patio, I KNEW I had to make a big change to achieve the look I desired.

Let’s start with the original floor, which you can see below. Our patio space is concrete, but it was stamped with a pattern. Perhaps a previous owner thought it would be pretty, perhaps the house originally came this way. Either way, I have despised it for the past three years. The small pattern that was stamped into the concrete was a major dirt catcher, and I was constantly at war with it. As soon as I would let our dogs out to play in the backyard, I would brace myself for the dirt and mud that would inevitably be tracked in by Lucia and Sherman on their way inside. The worst!!!

Concrete floor before smoothing and staining

For years now I have been dreaming about smoothing out the floor on our patio space, and when we began our patio style challenge I knew it was the time to go for it! Not only did I want to smooth out the patio floor, but I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to take on a project I’ve always been wanting to try— staining concrete!


Step 1: Smooth the Concrete Floor

Preparing to smooth a concrete floor

Before we could get to the fun part of the staining process, we had to prepare the floor. We knew we had to grind down the concrete to achieve a smooth surface.

Step one – acquire the proper tool! We headed to The Home Depot tool rental desk, and rented out a concrete floor grinder. Once it was in our patio, it was time to smooth everything out!

Grinding smooth a concrete floor

The process of grinding down the floor took a few hours total, and I won’t lie— it was a messy endeavor. Thankfully, it was worth it! We used the concrete floor grinder for the main patio floor area, and then used a hand held angle grinder with a masonry disc to do the detail work around the edges and by the screen frame. When all was said and done, our patio was covered in a layer of concrete “mud” that had to be scooped out and removed.

Note: because we used a grinder to make our concrete smooth, we did not need to etch the concrete before staining. However, if you are replicating this technique on an existing smooth concrete surface, you may need to use an etching solution to prepare it. When in doubt, follow the instructions provided on the concrete dye to determine if you require etching!

Step 2: Prepare the Concrete for Stain

After pressure washing a concrete floor after grinding

Once the concrete debris was removed, it was time to power wash the patio floor to make sure it was completely clean before applying any product. Once the floor was dry, we used painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to protect the areas around the patio floor we did not want to dye.

Step 3: Select Your Stain

BEHR Premium has a wide array of concrete stain colors and combinations to choose from at The Home Depot, and they even give you suggested pairings that work well!

Of course, I decided to be a special snowflake and create my own. I selected Emerald Pool for the base color, and Industrial Gray for the accent.

Step 4: Spray Away!

Behr Concrete Dye and sprayer

After first pass of concrete stain

Using a pump sprayer, we applied the first coat of Emerald Pool dye in a figure eight motion over the patio floor. This pattern allows for differences in coverage across the floor and will create depth in the overall look. We found that it was best to start and stop as few times as possible, as it can create drips when you stop the pump sprayer. After the first coat dried, we went back over spots that needed more dye with a second coat to fill in spaces that were slightly too light.

After adding second color of concrete stain

Concrete stained in two colors

After we finished with the Emerald Pool dye, we made sure to clean out the pump sprayer with water— both the base container as well as the nozzle. When it sprayed clean, it was time to add the Industrial Gray accent color and get to work! We used the same figure eight technique to apply this layer of dye in a lighter amount than the base coat, making sure the base color still showed through.

Step 5: Seal it Up

Behr Wet-Look Sealer

After a 24-hour drying time on the concrete dye, we sealed the floor.

We applied two thin coats of BEHR Premium Wet Look Sealer with paint rollers to finish the patio. We allowed 72 hours to pass before moving furniture onto the surface to make sure it was fully set.

After that, it was time to decorate and enjoy our new space!

How to Stain Concrete for a Luxe Look

How to Stain Concrete for a Luxe Look

All in all, I am SO happy with how our floor turned out! Not only is it easier to clean, but the beautiful blue color blends so well with the look of our home.

Katie is a full time blogger working and living in the sunny, beachy and beautiful Tampa Bay area. By day, she has a blast teaching Pure Barre classes. By night, you can find her working on her little piece of the internet, Helpful Homemade. Katie prides herself in being a girl on a regular budget and doesn’t think you have to break the bank to look and feel like a million bucks. Katie and her husband are in the process of decorating, remodeling and DIYing their house to make it into their perfect little space.

Check out more DIY projects here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our Outdoor Living board on Pinterest for ideas on how you can make the most of your outdoor space.

Find Behr Premium Concrete Stain and other exterior stains in our Paint Department.