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The Best Trial Kit Stains for Indoor and Outdoor Concrete

Not all concrete is created equal. But more than that, choosing the best concrete stain for your DIY project depends on many things, but one above all:

Is the concrete inside, or outside?

The stain you ultimately choose will depend on a few more factors, though. But, generally, there are concrete stains that perform best indoors, and those that thrive outdoors. In this buying guide, we’re going to explore what DIYers should look for when choosing concrete stains for their projects, and give our own recommendations for what to use.

The Best Trial Kit Stains for Indoor Concrete

Floors are the most common application for concrete stain. But, as concrete becomes a more popular building material, more and more houses are fitted with concrete surfaces that homeowners might not have expected.

Countertops, walls, and even fireplaces and decor could be made of concrete, and could be stained if you so choose.

That being said, just because these surfaces are indoors doesn’t mean that they would all be stained with the same product. There are three main factors to look for: heat, moisture, and traffic.

For surfaces that could get hot such as fireplace decor and countertops next to stoves, the type stain matters less than the way the concrete is sealed. Concrete acid stain or water-based stains will do the job here, but be sure to seal the surface with Direct Colors Lithium-Based Penetrating Sealer. This particular sealer is safe up to 160℉, and won’t bubble or crack the way some other sealers may.

Now that that’s out of the way, moisture is your next most important consideration. Similar to heat, protection from moisture penetration is often the job of the sealer. But, indoor flooring generally doesn’t see moisture the way a pool deck or patio might. However, countertops are a different story.

Countertops see a lot of moisture and a ton of use from different materials. From pots and pans to knives and hands, your kitchen counter might even see more traffic than your floors do.

To stain your concrete countertops, we recommend the Direct Colors Metallic Epoxy Countertop Kit. This kit is perfect for DIYers, and takes the guesswork out of choosing a contrasting base color, metallic pigment and protective top-coat. Our DIY kit is good for approximately 35 sq. ft. of surface area. Metallic epoxy provides a unique, one-of-a-kind finish for indoor concrete countertops, vanities and tables. Our metallic epoxy kit can be used in conjunction with acid stain, integrally colored or tinted concrete sealer finishes.

For a more economical option though, we recommend Direct Colors Countertop Refinishing Kit. This kit is a great, low-cost option to remodel your kitchen, and bathroom countertops. You can sand just about any existing surface and apply concrete overlay for a true concrete finish that is lighter, simpler and quicker than traditional concrete pours.

These kits are specially made for countertop projects. But, for the high traffic of your concrete floor, we recommend Direct Colors Concrete Acid Stain. For DIYers, our Application Kit makes it easy to get what you need and start your project as soon as possible. Concrete acid stain is particularly good for high traffic areas such as indoor flooring. This is because of concrete acid stain’s longevity and durability after application.

However, for a concrete coloring option that is easier to apply and has less odor, Direct Colors water-based concrete stain is the way to go. This stain, while lacking a bit of the longevity of the acid stain, is much easier to apply, and won’t have the application odor that acid stains will.

The Best Trial Kit Stains for Outdoor Concrete

For outdoor concrete, all the same rules apply. Heat, moisture, and foot traffic are still your biggest factors when deciding on a stain, but each of those can be fixed up with the right sealer.

The main difference between indoor and outdoor concrete stains are sunlight, and the sheer amount of moisture that an outdoor area will experience.

UV rays can damage or fade concrete coloring projects. Without the right product, your patio or pool deck can go from beauty to bust in a matter of years or months. That goes for moisture content too. Concrete stains penetrate the pores of the concrete to interact with the inner workings of the material, and if water is clogging up those pores, the stain won’t be able to get in, and you’ll be left with a sub-par coloring job.

For the specific and extreme environment of your patio or pool deck, we recommend Direct Colors outdoor stain, Portico™. This stain is durable enough to withstand the beating rain and sunlight, but powerful enough to give your concrete a rich, vibrant color. For DIYers who aren’t sure what they need to get started, we’ve got you covered.

Check out the Direct Colors Outdoor Concrete Stain DIY Kit and get started.