Being that I love home design and décor, whenever I go places I always seek inspiration. I’ve noticed that most hotel resorts or high-end homes have something that our home didn’t have…stained concrete.
I know this seems like a weird thing to notice, but it can make such a difference in the look and feel of a space. My BFF Lindsey’s dad (Hi, Paul!), has a gorgeous custom home in Georgetown, TX, and his driveway is stained the most beautiful, warm color. It complements his home and really gives it an upscale feel.
I wanted that feeling, too. I don’t care if I just have a 1970’s ranch home—I want to feel like I am at my own resort. I was a little bit intimidated by the project, so to be safe we did our back patio area. This way, it was a small area, and if we totally hated it, at least it was in the back of the house.
I did a lot of research before deciding on using a kit designed for this purpose. I chose the Rustoleum Concrete Stain Kit in terra cotta from True Value. I did ship-to-store and had it in hand within about 7 business days. I love that I can find nearly anything my heart desires at my local True Value store. The owners are SO nice.
There are mixed reviews about the kit, but I’ll give you my review now…it works well. It was easy. I would not hesitate to recommend this kit. This is a project even novice DIYers can tackle, and I did it nearly by myself in the span of a Saturday afternoon. I started at 3 pm, and I was nearly finished at 8 pm.
I’ll give you the full run down of what we did. For the most part we stuck to the instructions in the kit.
-Outdoor Stiff Bristle Broom
-Hose & High Power Spray Nozzle
-2 Gallon Watering Can
-Tape & Drape (best invention EVER)
The total cost is about $150 if you need to buy everything. Our cost was about $127 with a coupon and some Labor Day sales.
Step 1: Sweep your patio, and then power wash it. Really scrub off dirty areas. Now, that being said, our power washer bit the dust, so we just used a hose and a high power spray nozzle. Everything worked out fine. We did this step twice. Use the floor squeegee to get the water off the concrete faster. Let it dry.
Step 2: Go ahead and open your Rustoleum kit. The kit comes with 90% of the supplies you need, which is great.
Mix the concrete etch and two gallons of water in a watering can. Saturate an area with water (I mentally divided my patio in four and worked in quarter chunks), pour the etching solution, wait two minutes, scrub with an outdoor broom. Repeat until you’ve done your whole area. Rinse and use the squeegee. Let your patio dry completely before moving onto the next step, which is staining.
While you’re waiting for your patio to dry, now it a good time to tape off areas that you don’t want to stain. There’s not a ton of overspray, but better safe than sorry. Use tape and drape plus exterior painter’s tape to protect your siding/brick.
Step 3: Assemble your concrete stain sprayer (it comes with the kit), mix the sienna stain and pour into the sprayer. Now comes the fun part. There is an instructional DVD in the kit (it is also on YouTube.
Basically, you want to pressurize the sprayer (pump the handle up and down) and spray the stain in a circular or figure eight pattern. And, much like spray-painting, you want to begin the spray off the surface. Clean your nozzle often to avoid drips. Don’t overthink it. I did have to refill my sprayer twice—our patio is about 15’x15’.
Initially, it looks orange and splotchy. I wanted to cry. Then I remembered there was a SECOND stain I was supposed to layer over this…and I was ok after that. The stain comes out very pigmented initially, but it does dry to a more sheer and natural finish.
Here’s how the first coat looked:
And after an hour:
Let the initial coat dry an hour before layering on the second color. If you have spots of concrete that will not “take” the stain, it likely means they’re still damp. Let them dry and try again.
Step 4: Wait an hour and layer on the second color. Make sure your initial coat is ABSOLUTELY dry. However, this stuff does dry fast. Rinse out your concrete sprayer, mix/pour in your burnt brick stain, and start staining again.
Once you start on this part of the process, you’ll really start to SEE the results coming to life. Personally, we wanted a warm, rustic, imperfect finish. I know that sounds weird, but essentially we didn’t want it to look like we painted our patio solid burnt orange—we wanted depth to the finish.
I let the stain dry overnight before sealing it the next morning. The directions call for waiting an hour and then sealing. I could have probably sealed it that night, but we were about to head out to meet some friends.
Step 5: Seal your concrete with the included sealer. You can do this by rinsing out the sprayer and applying it the same way you applied the stains. Easy peasy.
Step 6: Let your concrete dry for about 24 hours before putting the furniture back on. Remove your tape and drape, and enjoy your new patio!
I put out some metallic candleholders to complement the warmth of our new cozy patio.
I think this project was totally worth the small investment of both money and time to accomplish such a beautiful finish. We’re going to be buying two more kits to apply the stain to our driveway, sidewalk and porch areas in front.
We’ve had the stain on for a few weeks now, and I promise you the color does kind of subdue a bit, which results in a natural finish.
Now that the temps are getting a bit lower, this is a great fall project! You can then know your patio will be ready for summer 2016 fun in the sun.
If you have any questions, please leave it in the comments section. What do you think of my new patio area? I’m in love!
I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.