Make Garage Floors Easier to Clean and Look Great!

Increasingly our customers want to update their garage space to turn it into a workshop area, extra living space or just make a nice place to park their cars. Acid staining is an inexpensive choice for a stained concrete garage floor but presents a few special challenges that with proper surface preparation and sealer selection can be easily overcome.

Which garage concrete sealer is best for stained floors?

Garage concrete floors intended to become a living space could be sealed with any acrylic sealer. Solvent-based sealers are best for highly trafficked areas but the fumes are strong so 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 concrete 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  anti-slip additive

How do you prep smooth concrete for staining?

Smooth or hard troweled concrete garage will need to be sanded or chemically profiled using  Hard Trowel Floor Prep before staining. Pre-treatment will enhance the acid stain reaction and aid rich color development.

Time needed: 1 day



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


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


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


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


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

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 appear, the surface should take the stain and seal properly.

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  acid stain samples kits for testing.

6. Selecting the Right Sealer for the 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 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. Water Based Polyurethane Sealer is an excellent breathable no-wax required sealer for low to medium traffic floors. Again, this coating would not be suitable for floors still used for car or large vehicle parking. If using a solvent based sealer, remember ventilation to the outside is critical and consider wearing a respirator during application if ventilation is poor.

Malayan Buff and Cola Acid Stained Garage Floor
Malayan Buff and Cola Acid Stained Garage Floor
Garage Floor Sealed with Satin Finish Acrylic Concrete Sealer
Malayan Buff and Cola Acid Stains Sealed with Water-Based Satin Finish Acrylic Concrete Sealer
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