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  • Eco-Friendly Innovation: Zero VOC, water-based formula for safe, environmentally conscious application.
  • Vibrant Variety: Twenty-four unique colors for customizable, dynamic concrete aesthetics.
  • Dual Durability: Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, ensuring long-lasting, consistent color.

    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 Tabs

    Product Details

    ColorWave® is a semi-transparent, topical, water-based concrete stain, designed to infuse concrete surfaces. Utilizing the natural porosity of concrete and its inherent moisture absorption, ColorWave® infuses concrete with micronized pigments, transforming dull surfaces into vibrant, variegated displays. Available in twenty-four distinctive colors, this eco-friendly stain allows precision in application, offering control over the desired aesthetics with its zero VOC formula. 

    ColorWave® is perfect for a variety of settings, including residential and commercial spaces. It enhances floors, walls, ceilings, countertops, and other architectural elements. This premium, versatile stain is suitable for both interior and exterior use, integrating seamlessly with decorative overlays, micro-toppings, and regular concrete. The formula's advanced polymer modification and high-quality pigments ensure durability and color consistency, making ColorWave® an ideal choice for enriching concrete aesthetics.

    ColorWave® Stain MUST be sealed.

    Quick Facts

    Application Tools: Best applied using a pump sprayer (filter removed) or ⅜” nap roller.
    Location: Suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces.
    Dry Time: Requires 4 - 12 hours drying before sealer application.
    Cleanup: Use ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water.
    Coverage: Approximately 200 sq. ft. per gallon, variable with surface conditions.
    Recommended Sealers: Compatible with AcquaSeal™ Water-based Acrylic Sealer or EasySeal™ Solvent-based Acrylic Sealer.
    Application Temperature: Best between 60°F-95°F (15°C-35°C).
    Recommended Uses: Ideal for concrete floors, walls, ceilings, countertops, and various architectural elements.
    Important Note: Prevent freezing to maintain product effectiveness.

    Special Offers

    ColorWave® Stain & Seal Bundle

    A package including one gallon of ColorWave® Stain and one gallon of sealer, ideal for small to medium projects.

    ColorWave® Complete DIY Kit

    This comprehensive kit is perfect for DIY enthusiasts, containing protective gear, cleaning supplies, a gallon of stain, application tools, and sealer.

    ColorWave® Mega Bundle

    A bulk deal offering five gallons of ColorWave® Stain and five gallons of sealer, suitable for large-scale projects or professional use.

    ColorWave® Stain Trial Kit

    A sampler kit that includes three 4-ounce color choices, a 4-ounce satin or gloss sealer, and foam applicators, perfect for testing colors and finishes.

    How-To Guide

    Preliminary Testing

    Before using the product for your entire project, try it out on a small, hidden area of the surface you'll be working on. This will let you see how it looks and if it's the right fit for your project.


    Cured: Ensure the concrete or concrete overlay is fully cured before applying ColorWave®. A minimum curing period of 28 days is recommended for optimal results. Applying the stain to concrete that is not fully cured may result in unpredictable color and adhesion.

    Sound: Surface must be dry, structurally sound, and free of dirt or other materials.

    Profiled: Conduct an absorption test to determine if the concrete is ready for staining. Pour water onto the surface and wait 3-5 minutes. If the water is not absorbed, clean and etch the surface using CitrusEtch™ to open the pores of the concrete. Refer to the CitrusEtch™ Technical Data Sheet for detailed instructions. If the water is absorbed, the surface is ready for ColorWave® application.

    Image showing two concrete surfaces: on the left, a surface that passes the water absorption test with water penetrating the concrete, and on the right, a surface failing the test with water pooling on top
    Left: Concrete surface passing water absorption test. Right: Surface failing the test.

    Clean: Thoroughly clean the surface to remove dust, dirt, oil, grease, paint, glue, sealers, curing agents, stamp tool releases, efflorescence, chemical contaminants, rust, algae, mildew, and other foreign matters that may interfere with the proper application of the stain.

    Note on Porous Surfaces: Poorly finished, broomed, or very old surfaces may absorb ColorWave® more deeply, leading to less visible color.

    Temperature: Apply ColorWave® in temperatures between 60°F (15°C) to 95°F (35°C).


    1. Mixing: Thoroughly mix ColorWave® before application. For consistent color, combine contents from different jugs.

    2. Work Area Planning: Divide the work area into manageable sections. Use natural breaks like walls and joints to your advantage. Be mindful of maintaining wet edges to reduce the appearance of overlap marks.

    3. Preparation: Remove all filters from the pump-up sprayer hose to prevent clogging.

    Hand showing filter removal from a pump-up sprayer
    Removing the filter from a pump-up sprayer to prevent clogging.

    4. Application Steps: Apply the product evenly. If spraying, use a circular overlapping motion. Use spiked shoes if you need to walk on the stained area. Start and stop the sprayer off the work area or into a bucket to prevent drips.

    Basic Application: Apply 2 coats for a single color application to ensure even coverage and depth of color. Up to 4 coats can be applied for greater intensity and depth.

    Combining Colors for Effects:

    • For a mottled effect, combine different colors. There's no need for drying time between layers, which facilitates seamless blending.
      Three-step mottled staining process using Black, Molasses, and Steel ColorWave® colors. Begins with a sparse black pattern, followed by warm brown molasses, and finishes with metallic gray steel, creating a rich, layered, and textured effect without needing drying time between layers.
      Stages of mottled stain design in black, molasses, and steel ColorWave®
    • For a layered design with more defined color separation, allow the base color coat to dry completely before applying additional colors.
      Three-step layered design process using Stone, Iron, and Black ColorWave® colors. First, a Stone color base is applied and allowed to dry. Next, Iron color adds depth, followed by a final layer of Black for a rich, distinct, and textured effect, emphasizing the importance of drying time for defined color layers.
      Layered design application order: Stone, Iron, and Black ColorWave®
    • Color Shade Application Order: Start with the lighter colors first when using multiple colors. This helps maintain the integrity of the lighter shades against the darker ones.
      Layered design process using Iron, Steel, Stone, and White ColorWave® colors in sequence. The process starts with the application of the lighter Stone and White colors, preserving their shades against the subsequent darker Iron and Steel colors, showcasing the technique of starting with lighter shades for color integrity.
      Layered design application order: White, Steel, Stone, and Iron ColorWave® colors

    Drying Time Considerations: For a mottled design, proceed with subsequent coats without waiting. For a layered design, allow each coat, especially the base color coat, to dry fully before applying the next to create distinct layers.


    • Batch Variability: The supply of specialized pigments may vary between batches. To ensure color consistency, use the same batch for the entire job or mix multiple batches together (“boxing”).
    • Surface Characteristics: ColorWave® blends concrete but does not conceal discolorations, blemishes, cracks, or irregularities. It highlights porosity variations and dries lighter than its wet appearance.
    • Sealant Requirement: ColorWave® is not a sealant. A sealer is required for color enhancement.
    • Surface Compatibility: On hard-troweled surfaces, or surfaces where pores are smaller than the AcquaTint™ particles, there's a risk of the stain drying on the surface without proper adhesion. Account for this during surface preparation.
    • Durability with Sealer: If a sealer is removed, ColorWave® will also come off as it bonds with the sealer.
    • Color Accuracy: While efforts are made to accurately represent colors in product literature, photos, and sample color chips, the actual color achieved on concrete can significantly differ. This discrepancy stems from the stain's translucent nature, allowing the color of the concrete base to affect the final shade.

    Slip Resistance

    ColorWave® does not affect slip resistance, which is determined by the chosen sealer. For enhanced slip-resistance on exterior surfaces, add OxiGrip™ to the sealer.


    Sealing is an essential step after applying ColorWave® Stain. The stain itself penetrates the pores of the surface but does not form a permanent bond, meaning it can largely be washed off if not sealed. Without a protective sealant layer, the stain will not adhere effectively to the surface. Before proceeding with sealing, it's important to let ColorWave® dry for approximately 4-12 hours, with the drying time varying based on the surrounding environmental conditions.

    For Exterior Surfaces:

    • Choose between EasySeal™ Satin or AcquaSeal™ Satin. Both provide a satin finish that is less slippery compared to their gloss counterparts.
    • Keep in mind that EasySeal™, being solvent-based, generally enriches and darkens the stain color more than the water-based AcquaSeal™.
    • Gloss Finish Consideration: If using gloss finish sealers, which can make surfaces more slippery, consider adding OxiGrip™ slip-resistant additive to the second coat for enhanced safety.
    • If you choose to use EasySeal™ indoors, ensure there is sufficient ventilation to maintain good air quality.

    For Interior Surfaces:

    • AcquaSeal™, available in Gloss or Satin, is the recommended sealer for indoor use. Its water-based composition and lower VOC emissions make it an ideal choice for enclosed environments.
    • To enhance durability and extend the life of the sealer protecting the stain, consider applying an additional coat of ProWax Polish™ after the sealer has fully cured.
    • If you choose to use EasySeal™ indoors, ensure there is sufficient ventilation to maintain good air quality.


    Estimated coverage is around 200 square feet per gallon, varying with surface conditions and application methods.


    Product Clean-Up
    ColorWave® Stain ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water
    AcquaSeal™ Water-based Sealer ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water
    EasySeal™ Solvent-based Sealer Xylene
    ProWax Polish™ ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water


    Dispose of unused product according to local environmental or hazardous waste regulations.

    Shelf Life and Storage

    Use ColorWave® within one year of purchase and store it in a cool, indoor location away from sunlight and heat.


    • Regularly inspect exterior sealed surfaces for wear and reapply sealer as needed.
    • For interior surfaces, monitor and maintain wax coatings or polish, especially in high-traffic areas.

    Complementary Products

    ProClean Degreaser™ Concrete cleaner & degreaser
    CitrusEtch™ Pre-stain concrete pore etcher
    EasySeal™ Solvent-based acrylic sealer
    AcquaSeal™ Water-based acrylic sealer
    ProWax Polish™ Floor wax & polish
    OxiGrip™ Slip-resistant sealer additive
    PatchRx™ Concrete repair
    Resurface-It™ Concrete overlay/micro-topping

    Safety & Precautions

    CAUTION: Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Do not inhale vapors. Seek medical attention if ingested or in case of contact with eyes or skin. Keep out of reach of children.


    ColorWave® is guaranteed for uniform quality within manufacturing tolerances. No warranty is provided for its application effects. Liability for defects is limited to refunding the purchase price. Users bear all other risks and liabilities. For inquiries, contact Direct Colors customer service.

    How-To Videos

    Let's Talk About ColorWave®
    Stain Absorption Test
    ColorWave® Trial Kit

    Color Chart

    Concrete Stain Colors ColorWave Chart

    PDF Downloads

    Customer Reviews:

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