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    How much do I need to stain my concrete?

    It will depend on the square footage of your application.

    The coverage rate is 200 square feet per gallon (2 coats) depending on concrete porosity. Two or more coats are required.

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    Product Details

    ColorWave® is a high-quality water-based concrete stain that adheres to the surface of the concrete, infusing it with vibrant, enduring color that requires a sealer for long-term stability. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, this semi-transparent stain is perfect for creating a mottledmarble-like finish  that is similar to that of acid stains. Formulated with low VOCs, ColorWave® is environmentally friendly and safe for use in any space. Plus, with our ColorWave® Stain & Sealer Kit, you can bundle and save on your purchase. And if you want to test out the color before committing, be sure to try our ColorWave® Stain Trial Kit.

    Quick Facts

    • Application Tool: Pump sprayer, mop, stain/paint roller
    • Location: Interior and exterior surfaces
    • Dry Time: 12 hours before applying AcquaSeal™ or EasySeal™ (sealer application is a required step)
    • Cleanup: ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water
    • Coverage: Approximately 200 sq. ft. per gallon depending on concrete porosity 
    • Sealer: AcquaSeal™ or EasySeal™
    • Recommended Uses: Concrete surfaces

    Note: Since this is a made to-order-product, we cannot offer refunds, exchanges, or returns.

    Disclaimer: Direct Colors does not warrant or guarantee results (outcomes). Concrete variations or improper application may cause unintended results. Test product on an inconspicuous or small area and allow to fully cure to ensure compatibility and desired result.


    Click/Tap each question to hide/show the answers.

    How does ColorWave™ work?

    ColorWave™ is an eco-friendly, water-based concrete stain that can be easily applied to concrete using a pump up sprayer. There are 24 amazing, stand-alone colors that can be blended artistically or overlapped to create unique variations.

    Where can I apply ColorWave™ water based concrete stain?

    Effective on most concrete surfaces, ColorWave™ is a UV stable colorant that can be applied on both indoor and outdoor projects.

    How do I know if my concrete is properly prepared for ColorWave™?

    Great question! When using any pigment-based colorant, your concrete surface should be lightly etched or sanded to give it porosity so the pigments can "nest" into the surface. Apply ColorWave™ to a small test area and allow it to dry. Once dry, trace your finger across the test area or wipe a cloth across the color. A well-prepared surface will hold a majority of the pigment in the pores of your concrete. A very slight pickup of color isn’t considered a problem. Conversely, if you fully wipe off the color, you should etch or sand the surface to better prepare your concrete for a successful application that won't peel down the line.

    How much surface preparation is required for a water-based concrete stain?

    Surface preparation is often the most critical factor in any successful decorative concrete project. The concrete surface MUST be free of cure and seal, sealer, paint, dirt, grime, and grease. Once the surface is nice and clean, make sure it has enough porosity for the colorant to penetrate the surface. If the concrete is too smooth (slick) and the colorant isn't able to penetrate or nest in, the pigments will be less stable on the concrete and can create a barrier between the concrete and the sealer you apply. If the sealer can't bond well, it can lead to the finish peeling up along with the color. Trust us - it's totally worth it to put in the extra time to set yourself up for a successful and long-lasting project!

    I purchased the amount of product your concrete stain calculator recommended based on my square footage, and still needed more. What happened?

    Depending on your concrete surface and chosen application methods, coverage rates can vary. We follow industry standards of approximately 200 square feet per gallon, which commonly applies to lower viscosity products like colorants and concrete sealers. First, it's always good to double-check your calculation of square footage. From there, a few variables come into play. How porous, weathered, or worn is your concrete? How heavily are you applying the product? On smoother, less porous concrete, you may find you're getting a bit more coverage than anticipated. For stamped, textured, or more weathered, porous concrete, you may get a bit less coverage. These variables aren't calculation errors, but more of a common indefinite. When in doubt, follow the general construction rule of rounding up for your supply needs.

    I’ve just applied ColorWave™ to my concrete and after it dried, it barely has any color. What happened?

    The good news is that concrete pigments don't disappear! Assuming your concrete surface is in relatively decent condition and isn't extremely deteriorated, the pigments you sprayed down are still in place. Once ColorWave™ is applied to the surface and dries for several hours, the dried pigment only appears faded. When you apply the recommended two thin coats of concrete sealer, the color will “pop” to life, transforming your space! Be mindful of a decision you'll need to make between solvent-based or water-based sealers. While both are great options, the difference is that solvent-based sealers will “pop” color much more intensely than water-based sealers. Water-based sealers will tend to soften in color as they cure.

    Why didn’t ColorWave™ water based stain work on my concrete?

    It would be unusual if ColorWave™ didn't color your concrete surface successfully. Remember, this product is made of pigment, and pigments don't disappear! If ColorWave™ didn't add any color to your concrete, it could potentially be one of two issues: 
    1. The pigments became trapped or blocked in the sprayer. This can make it seem as if you sprayed liquid with no color. Make sure that you have removed all of the filters on the stain sprayer and that the O-rings are seated correctly in the sprayer head. 
    2. The concrete that you're applying ColorWave™ to is too damaged. When concrete has significantly deteriorated, the pigments will fall deeper into the concrete surface - causing the color to diminish. This is not a sign of a faulty product, but unfortunately, you may have selected the wrong product for your particular project.

    PDF Downloads

    How-To Guide

    Printable ColorWave® How-To Guide

    Step 1: Preparation

    • Newly poured concrete must cure for 30 days before application.
    • Cover areas at risk of over-spray with plastic drop cloth.
    • For existing concrete:
      • Remove paint or previously applied sealer using Soy Gel Stripper.
      • Remove carpet glue or other adhesives using Bean-E-Doo® Mastic Remover.
      • Remove any oils, dirt, debris, Soy Gel Stripper, or Bean-E-Doo® Mastic Remover using scrub brush and ProClean Degreaser™.
    • Verify absorption by pouring a cup of water in various areas. If not absorbed within five minutes, etch the surface with CitrusEtch™, then neutralize surface with ProClean Neutralizer™ and rinse thoroughly.
    • Allow the concrete to thoroughly dry before application.

    Step 2: Application

    Coverage rate is approximately 200 square feet per gallon. Coverage rates may vary based on concrete texture, surface porosity, and application method.

    NOTE: Only apply ColorWave® Water-Based Concrete Stain when surface temperature is between 40 °F (4 °C) and 95 °F (35 °C).

    Caution: May be harmful if swallowed or ingested. Contact with skin can cause mild irritation. Avoid contact with eyes.


    • Remove all filters from pump-up sprayer.
    • Shake ColorWave® well before pouring into sprayer.
    • Begin spraying at a far corner to maintain a clear path to exit.
    • Spray ColorWave® on surface in slightly circular motions with irregular overlaps.
      • Shake sprayer tank from side to side often to prevent color from settling.
      • Spray thin coats to avoid puddling.
    • To develop deeper color, apply additional coats using the same method (maximum of four thin coats).
      • ColorWave® must be completely dry before applying a sealer.

    Step 3: Seal & Protect Finish

    • Apply two thin coats of sealer with AcquaSeal™ or EasySeal™.
      • For interior only: Also apply two thin coats of ProWax Polish™.
    • For additional application instructions, see AcquaSeal™, EasySeal™, and ProWax Polish™ How-To Guides.

    Pro Tips:

    • To avoid droplets dripping onto surface: before releasing sprayer trigger, immediately place tip in a bucket.
    • Multiple colors may be creatively layered or blended.


    • Clean tools and supplies with ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water.


    • For exterior: Protect finish every two years as needed with AcquaSeal™ or EasySeal™.
    • For interior: Protect finish every two years with ProWax Polish™ or spot treat high-traffic areas as needed.
    • For additional application instructions, see AcquaSeal™, EasySeal™, and ProWax Polish™ How-To Guides.

    Tools & Supplies:

    • Pump-up sprayer
    • Plastic drop cloth
    • Scrub brush
    • Spiked shoes (if using CitrusEtch™)

    Disclaimer: Direct Colors does not warranty or guarantee results (outcomes). Concrete variations or improper application may cause unintended results. Test product on an inconspicuous or small area and allow to fully cure to ensure compatibility and desired result.

    How-To Videos

    How to Apply White ColorWave® Stain

    Color Chart

    ColorWave Color Chart

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