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Make Garage Floors Easier to Clean – and Look Great, Too!

Increasingly, our customers want to update their garage space to turn it into a workshop area, extra living space, or make a nice place to park their cars.

Concrete stain is an inexpensive choice for a concrete garage floor but presents a few unique DIY challenges. Luckily, with proper surface preparation and sealer selection, these challenges can be easily overcome!

Gnarly Garage Bar

Intending to create a ‘concrete veining’ look on their three-car garage floor, this DIYer used black and red acid stain. They relied on our How-To Videos to get the job done. The finished product is somethin’ else!

Concrete garage floor
Before
acid stained concrete garage floor
English Red and Black EverStain acid stained concrete garage floor
Cleaning and etching concrete floor
Cleaning and etching concrete floor
Pooling English Red acid stain on concrete
Pooling English Red acid stain on concrete
Sealed acid stained concrete garage floor
Sealed acid stained concrete garage floor

Project Info:

  • Project Completed In: 4 day(s)
  • Estimate of Square Footage: 750 sq. ft.
  • Project Description:
    This is a two car section of a three car garage being turned into a garage bar. The previous owner had used it as a race car shop.

I wanted a “vein” finish, so I started by pooling the English Red. I let that sit approximately 20 minutes, then pooled the first layer of black around the red. I then filled in the open areas with black. I left the acid on approximately 14 hours before neutralizing.

I then scrubbed and washed the floor one quarter of the room at a time and hosed off until there was no more residue. I let it dry for about 16 hours before spraying the first layer of sealer on it.

This is a heated space, so that sped up the drying process. It then sat again for about 18 hours before the second coat of sealer.

  • Personal Tips:
    Definitely watch the video tutorials. They are a great asset to get you up to speed quickly.
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
ProClean Neutralizer
ProClean Neutralizer™
Black Acid Stain Concrete Color
EverStain™ Black
English Red EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ English Red
Spiked shoes
Spiked Shoes
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

Brilliant Blue Boat Storage Garage

Brown and blue acid stain combined to form one seriously cool garage floor! The neutral brown and accent of blue set the stage for an ideal boat storage situation.

Azure Blue and Shifting Sand in garage Floor
The perfect boat storage floor
Azure Blue and Shifting Sand on garage Floor
Acid Stained Concrete Floor
Azure Blue and Shifting Sand EverStain Acid Stained Garage Concrete Floor
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
Azure Blue EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Azure Blue
Shifting Sand EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Shifting Sand
EasySeal Gloss
EasySeal™ Gloss

Just a Drab Concrete Slab

This blank concrete slab started out boring. But it was quickly transformed into an earthy-colored garage floor! Three acid stain colors formed the perfect warm blend, and then some sealer added durability and protection.

Concrete Garage Floor
Before
Sealing acid stained garage floor
Sealing acid stained garage floor
Acid stained concrete garage floor
Malayan Buff, Shifting Sand and Coffee Brown EverStain
Acid stained concrete garage floor
Malayan Buff, Shifting Sand & Coffee Brown EverStain and EasySeal gloss sealer
Acid stained concrete garage floor
Acid stained concrete garage floor
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
ProClean Neutralizer
ProClean Neutralizer™
Shifting Sand EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Shifting Sand
Malayan Buff EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Malayan Buff
Coffee Brown EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Coffee Brown
EasySeal Gloss
EasySeal™ Gloss

Garage Turned Workspace

Instead of hiring a contractor, this architect decided to make their new workspace a DIY project! Red and beige acid stain created a modern look for this detached garage turned studio space.

old garage floor
Before
Concrete overlay
Concrete overlay
Staining garage concrete floor
Staining garage concrete floor
Acid stained concrete garage floor

Project Info:

  • Project Completed In: 5 day(s)
  • Estimate of Square Footage: 400 sq. ft.
  • Project Description:
    I’m an Architect and wanted to convert my detached garage into my work/studio space. The old concrete floor was in very poor condition so I knew I was going to need a new floor slab and I wanted to make the new floor a feature of the new studio space by acid-staining the new slab.

I had seen some very nice acid-stained floors in some of my projects and I had assumed I would have to hire a contractor to do the work, but after reading the information on the Direct Colors website, I decided to do the staining work myself.

I had the old slab removed and replaced with new concrete. I did not put a sealer on the new slab but covered it with plastic film for 30 days to let it cure.

I then did the other renovation work on the old garage space such as installing new wiring, furring, insulation, and plywood on the walls. After the plywood was finished with a clear sealer, I began the work on the floor.

I cleaned the floor with DC Cleaner & Degreaser as recommended and tried a few samples in a corner. I then spoke with a DC rep who was very helpful with some tips on how to work with two different stain colors for the desired effect and ordered all the materials I would need from DC. Ordering the DIY Kits gave me a better price than ordering individual products.

  • Personal Tips:
    I would go lighter on the first spray application of acid stains as it is possible to get a good idea about the final colors in less than an hour. More spray applications can darken the color if desired, but you can’t get the colors lighter.
  • Other Products Used:
    Plastid film to cure new slab and to protect walls during application of acid stain
English Red EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ English Red
Malayan Buff EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Malayan Buff
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin
Spiked shoes
Spiked Shoes

Coffee Brown Garage Floor

We love how coffee brown concrete stain brought a retro vibe to this garage floor! The glossy sealer is the cherry on top of a great DIY project.

Coffee Brown and Sealer Application
Sealer application
Sealed Coffee Brown EverStain acid stained garage floor
Sealed Coffee Brown EverStain acid stained garage floor
During Application
During
Coffee Brown Acid Stained Garage Floor
Coffee Brown EverStain acid stained garage floor sealed with EasySeal
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
ProClean Neutralizer
ProClean Neutralizer™
Coffee Brown EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Coffee Brown
EasySeal Gloss
EasySeal™ Gloss

Black Acid Stained Commercial Garage Floor

What a spiffy commercial floor.  It even matches the ceiling! Black acid stain is a superb choice for a garage, giving it a modern look while appearing a bit vintage or retro.

Concrete garage floor
Before
acid stained garage floor
Black EverStain acid stained garage floor
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
ProClean Neutralizer
ProClean Neutralizer™
Black Acid Stain Concrete Color
EverStain™ Black
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

Garage Turned Man Cave

Turn your garage into the perfect man cave! That’s exactly what one of our DC contest winners did.  Not only did they use three earthy acid stain colors to create a manly vibe – but they also topped the look off with glossy sealer and a floor wax!

Surface preparation - garage man cave
Before
Acid Stained cola, coffee brown, desert amber garage floor
Desert Amber, Cola and Coffee Brown Acid Stains. Sealed with High AcquaSeal. Waxed with Gloss Floor Wax
Man cave concrete stained garage floor process
Acid stain application
Stained Concrete Garage Floor
Desert Amber, Cola and Coffee Brown Acid Stains. Sealed with High AcquaSeal. Waxed with Gloss Floor Wax
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stain
EverStain™ Desert Amber
Malayan Buff EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Malayan Buff
Coffee Brown EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Coffee Brown
AcquaSeal Gloss
AcquaSeal™ Gloss
ProWax Polish
ProWax™ Polish Gloss

Family Fun Garage Floor Makeover

This Direct Colors monthly contest winner used a concrete veining technique for their basement.  Can you believe that toilet paper is involved in this technique to give acid stain that marbled look?!

Garage Concrete Floor
Before
Acid Stain Veining Technique Using Toilet Paper
Acid Stain Veining Technique Using Toilet Paper
Acid Stained Concrete Floors
Desert Amber, Black, and Azure Blue mixed with Miracle Grow EverStain Acid Stains
After
After
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
ProClean Neutralizer
ProClean Neutralizer™
Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stain
EverStain™ Desert Amber
Black Acid Stain Concrete Color
EverStain™ Black
Azure Blue EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Azure Blue
Miracle Grow
Miracle Grow
AcquaSeal Satin
AcquaSeal™ Satin
ProWax™ Polish Satin
ProWax™ Polish Satin

A Garage Floor with Flair

This pole barn garage floor includes the unstoppable duo of Desert Amber and EverStain black acid stain. No more boring garage here!

Desert Amber and Black EverStain Acid Stains on Pole Barn Concrete Floor
Desert Amber and Black EverStain Acid Stains on Pole Barn Concrete Floor
Desert Amber and Black EverStain Acid Stains on Pole Barn Concrete Floor
Desert Amber and Black EverStain Acid Stains on Pole Barn Concrete Floor

So Much Car Storage

Wow. 3000 square feet of acid stained floors! This roomy space will be used for old, restored cars. A great backdrop to go with classic cars!

Etching concrete floor
Preparing concrete floors for acid stain with Citrus Etch concrete etcher
Acid stain application
Cola, desert amber and malayan buff EverStain acid stains applied wet-on-wet
Neutralized acid stains
Neutralized acid stains
5.everstain-cola-desert-amber-malayan-concrete-garage-floor

Project Info:

  • Project Completed In: 7 day(s)
  • Estimate of Square Footage: 3000 sq. ft.
  • Project Description:
    Transformed this beautiful 3000 sq ft garage for our customer to put his restored old cars
  • Personal Tips:
    Make sure you prep surface correctly and make sure you follow drying times
  • Direct Colors Products Used:
    Desert amber
    Malayan buff

Other Products Used:
Wedge wood by H&C
Solvent base clear sealer

CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
ProClean Neutralizer
ProClean Neutralizer™
Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stain
EverStain™ Desert Amber
Cola EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Cola
Malayan Buff EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Malayan Buff
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

Two Stall Boat Garage Storage

Being in the construction field for nearly 30 years, this DIYer was actually a bit intimidated by working with acid stain! Everything worked out great, and they remarked that the floor “just finishes the space”. Now they can store their boats in style!

Concrete Garage Floor Boat Storage
Before
Cleaning Concrete Floors
Cleaning Concrete Floors
Acid Stained Garage Floor
Dry
Cleaning and Removing Acid Stain Residue
Cleaning and removing acid stain residue
Sealer Application
Sealer Application
acid stained garage turned boat storage
Shifting Sand & Malayan Buff EverStain acid stained garage turned boat storage

Project Info:

  • Project Completed In: 4 day(s)
  • Estimate of Square Footage: 0.00900 sq. ft.
  • Project Description:
    Two stall garage for boat storage with an office and reloading loft above the office. I’ve been in and around construction for 28 years, but have never been involved with an acid stain project.

To be honest, I was a bit intimidated tackling this project by myself; however it was easier than installing the wood paneling and metal siding. Not as technical with measurements and fitting. The floor just finishes the space.

  • Personal Tips:
    Watch as many YouTube videos as possible. Spend as much time as needed to ensure your prep work is complete. I sanded the entire floor area with 40 grit sandpaper for the mechanical etching process to ensure a uniform finish.

Wash and clean floor at least 3 times to remove all dust from the etching process. I used carpet drying fans to aid in the drying process after the initial wash, neutralization wash and during the sealing process.

Fans during the sealing process helped ventilate the room since I used an acrylic sealer. Use a high quality respiratory if you use an acrylic sealer.

  • Direct Colors Products Used:
    Malayan buff and shifting sands
    Acrylic sealer
  • Other Products Used:
    Hitachi palm sander
    Wet/dry vac
    Floor squeegee
    Carpet fans
    Spray bottle
    Garden sprayer
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stain
EverStain™ Desert Amber
Malayan Buff EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Malayan Buff
Coffee Brown EverStain Swatch
EverStain™ Coffee Brown
AcquaSeal Satin
AcquaSeal™ Satin
ProWax™ Polish Satin
ProWax™ Polish Satin

Amber Acid Stained Dream

There’s nothing quite like giving your concrete garage floor a pop of color! Amber acid stain puts the finishing touches on this retro-themed space. Don’t forget to protect your handiwork with some acrylic sealer!

Sealing Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stain
Sealing Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stain
Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stained Concrete Garage Floor
Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stained Concrete Garage Floor
Desert Amber EverStain Acid Stain
EverStain™ Desert Amber
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

The Perfect Storm of Concrete Dye Colors

Charcoal, Stormy Gray, and White concrete dye combined for the perfect storm of grays! What a cool-looking garage floor.  This DIYer used the CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher to prepare their concrete floor, and also wore some of those stylish spiked shoes to get the job done right!

Dye stained concrete garage floor
Charcoal, stormy gray and white Vibrance dye colors
Dye stained concrete garage floor
Charcoal, stormy gray and white Vibrance dye colors
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher
Charcoal Vibrance Dye Color Swatch
Vibrance™ Dye Charcoal
Stormy Gray Vibrance Dye Color Swatch
Vibrance™ Stormy Gray
White Vibrance Dye Color Swatch
Vibrance™ Dye White
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin
Spiked shoes
Spiked Shoes

Which garage concrete sealer is best for stained floors?

Concrete garage floors intended to become living spaces could be sealed with any acrylic sealer.

Solvent based sealers are best for highly trafficked areas, but the fumes are strong. Always make sure to wear a respirator and open the garage doors during application.

Water based acrylic sealers are a great choice if opening the garage doors during application is not possible.

Garage floors where cars or other vehicles will be parked – especially if hot tires, chemicals, or exposure to weather is a factor – should be sealed with a polyurethane sealer mixed with an anti slip additive.

Cleaning Oil or Grease Stains From Concrete

Unfortunately, all oil and grease stains have to go to avoid future staining and sealer adherence issues! One quick clean-up trick is to pile Oil Dri in a mound over the stain and pour a solvent such as odorless mineral spirits or xylene over the mound.

Allow to dry and sweep away. Repeat if needed.

Clean the area with a solution of concrete degreaser and water. Rinse and allow to dry.

Pour water on the area and if no beading or rainbow sheen appears, the surface should take the stain and seal properly.

How do you prep smooth concrete for staining?

Smooth or hard-troweled concrete garages will need to be sanded or chemically profiled using CitrusEtch™ concrete etcher before staining.

Pre-treatment will enhance the acid stain reaction and aid rich color development.

Testing to be Certain

Because garage floors are more likely to have chemical spills or other contaminants, we strongly recommend testing the acid stain in an inconspicuous area prior to beginning the project.

Floors cleaned with a muriatic acid solution cannot be successfully stained and when the concrete history isn’t known beforehand, testing is crucial. Direct Colors has acid stain sample kits for testing.

Malayan Buff and Cola Acid Stained Garage Floor
Malayan Buff and Cola Acid Stained Garage Floor
Polyurethane Sealed Garage Floor
Malayan Buff and Cola Acid Stains Primed with Water-Based, Satin Acrylic Sealer and Water-Based, High Gloss Polyurethane Sealer Top Coat

How to Acid Stain a Garage Floor

Time needed: 1 day

  1. Clean garage floor.

    Scrub the floor with a concrete cleaner and degreaser with a stiff brush and rinse thoroughly.  Remove excess water with a pressure washer and a shop vac to make the job a lot easier.

  2. Patch concrete floor.

    Fill any cracks in the concrete floor with a concrete patching compound.

  3. Calculate acid stain needed.

    Use our Coverage Calculators to figure out how much acid stain and concrete sealer you need for the project.

  4. Apply acid stain to concrete.

    Use our step-by-step instructions on how to acid stain concrete floors tutorial for creative acid stain application techniques.

  5. Neutralize acid stain.

    After the acid stain has been given at least the minimum activation time, neutralize the acid stain.

  6. Select the right sealer for use.

    Not all sealers are created equal and should be carefully considered before buying. Our Solvent Based Satin Finish Acrylic Sealer is perfect for garages used for cars and other vehicles.

    The sealer is easy to apply, repair should damage occur, and will not create a slip hazard when wet. If the garage has been converted into a living space and the floor will not be exposed to the elements, glossier sealers can be used.

    Do not apply concrete wax to garage floors where cars will be parked.

  7. Garage Floor Limitations

    Garage floor slabs poured before 2000 often do not include a moisture barrier.

    Conduct a moisture test by firmly adhering a 1 x 1 piece of plastic to the raw concrete floor using strong tape for 48 hours. If condensate appears on the underside of the plastic, select a breathable sealer for the floor.

    If the condensate is heavy, choose a penetrating water based sealer and avoid using concrete floor wax. Again, this coating would not be suitable for floors still used for cars or large vehicle parking.

    If using a solvent-based sealer, remember ventilation to the outside is critical! Consider wearing a respirator during application if ventilation is poor.

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