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How to apply multi-color concrete stain

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I needed to bring my 6 year concrete patio back to life, so I decided to apply a multi-colored semi-transparent stain. These are the steps I used to complete the job. My patio is approximately 440 square feet with a solid earth tone color mixed in to the concrete and a salt rock finish. I used a Rustoleum semi-transparent stain, which I bought from Lowes for around $33.00 per can. Although the product claims to cover between 250-400 square feet, I ended up needing 5 cans total (4 Sienna, 1 Burnt Brick). The stain was applied via a pressurized canister with spray nozzle. Total time was approximately 4 hours (8 if you count the drying time between applications and trips back to Lowes for more stain).
 
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Step 1: Surface Prep

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For the surface preparation, I pressure washed the entire concrete area after removing all patio furniture and allowed to dry for approximately 1 hour. Next, I applied a citrus etcher to prepare the concrete for staining, this step is necessary for ensuring that concrete will absorb the stain. To apply the citrus etcher, I used a 2 gallon water can and a packet of citrus etcher, which is non-toxic and will not hurt your grass. Add the citrus etcher in to the watering can and mix with 2 gallons of water, stirring until dissolved. Since my patio is sectioned off, I found it easier to break this part up into 2 sections, starting in the corner. First spray the area with water, then apply the citrus etcher liberally in a section and scrub the entire section with a deck brush. Once a section is complete, rinse the section thoroughly with water until the run off is clear. Once the remaining section(s) are complete, allow concrete to completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Protect areas that should not be stained

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The next step in preparation is protecting areas that you do not want stained by over spray. I used and 18 inch plastic covering with the tape attached. A 100 foot roll was approximately $6.00.
McRod6 months ago
I know I'm seeing this very late...but did you use the Rustoleum Restore acrylic stain to do this job. By the way, i love the finished product. I need to stain my front walkway.
ellajane1 year ago
That is amazing how well that works! I've been hesitant to useconcrete acid stain in my own yard but my patio needs it bad. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for sharing your success!
BruRomeo2 years ago
Thanks for the instructable!!! I plan on staining some patio stones, and I'm glad to see it looks pretty easy.
leonardml2 years ago
Very nice job! I think I would like to try this to around aour patio and poll.
zazenergy2 years ago
Wow you did a fantastic job with that! Great instructable.
Hair3.14 (author)  zazenergy2 years ago
thanks! next article will go into wet sealing the surrounding rocks. then probably one on painting the garage floor
badpanda2 years ago
Nicely done Instructable my friend. I may be putting this to use myself before long. (PS, you're a semi-transparent stain ;)
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