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How to Make Old Concrete Look Good

By Kimberly Porter
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Old concrete is dull and gray and not necessarily an attractive finish to a floor. While putting carpeting or hardwood floors over the concrete may be a beautiful option, it can also be quite expensive. If you still want to do something to improve the attractiveness of your concrete floors, but don't want the large price tag, staining might be the way to go.

Preparing to Stain

Test a small area with the concrete stainer. As this is a chemical product, the color you get when the stainer reacts with your concrete may not be exactly what you thought.

Vacuum floors and tape plastic over your baseboards, walls and door frames.

Prepare your old concrete by filling in cracks, scrape off imperfections and remove stains if possible--give the floor a thorough washing. All of these flaws in your concrete will still show through the staining if you skip over this step.

Staining Your Floor

Put on all your protective gear as you will be working with acid-based materials.

If you have help with this job, here is where a second person can be useful. Ideally one person will use the sprayer to spray the stain around the floor, and the other person will follow behind with the broom to scrape in the solution really well.

Go back over every area a second time with the sprayer and broom so the finished product doesn't look like you just scraped a broom over it. Make it look like a naturally rough finish.

Let the area dry and allow time for the chemicals to react. Times may vary depending on the area size and the type of stainer used.

Finishing Up the Process

Let the area dry and allow time for the chemicals to react. Times may vary depending on the area size and the type of stainer used.

Clean the floors with a mixture of baking soda and water. The baking soda will neutralize the acidity of the stainer and stop the process where it is at. Make sure to clean the floors thoroughly.

Leave the floor to dry overnight after cleaning it with the baking soda. Do not worry if appears chalky.

Use your paint tray and roller to apply the sealer all over the floor. Allow it to dry fully and then apply a second coat of sealer.

For even more protection, add the floor wax on top of the sealer.


Things You Will Need

  • Protection for eyes, mouth, hands and feet
  • Painters tape and plastic covering
  • Scraper
  • Broom
  • Wet vac
  • Sprayer
  • Paint tray and roller
  • Concrete stain
  • Baking soda
  • Sealer
  • Floor wax


  • Be careful working with hazardous chemicals.

About the Author


Kimberly Porter is a writer based in Miami, FL, first published in 2004 when she was an intern with "The Miami Herald." Since then she has interned with "Ocean Drive Magazine," and worked as a contributing writer for "Social Affairs Magazine." Porter currently writes for Trails Travel, GolfLink, eHow, LIVESTRONG.COM and USA Today Travel Tips.