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Staining Interior Concrete with Colored Concrete Sealers

Before and after applying colored concrete sealer

What is a Colored Concrete Sealer?

Colored concrete sealer also known as tinted sealer, is a special non-yellowing, UV resistant acrylic copolymer and pigment blend that stains and protects the concrete surface. Water-based colored sealers are low odor which makes them a great choice for interior applications.

Step 1: Surface Preparation for Colored Sealer

  • Surface must be clean, free of any debris and de-laminating sealer.Floors that have been previously painted must be stripped using a high-quality Paint & Sealer Stripper
  • Colored concrete sealer can be applied to previously sealed concrete as long as the sealer is properly adhered to the surface and is not flaking, tacky, milky or otherwise damaged.
  • Remove tough stains using a Concrete Cleaner & Degreaser Concentrate
  • When recoating over previously applied sealers, always use the same type of sealer. For example, recoat using a water- based sealer if that is the type of sealer originally applied to the concrete.
  • Floors that have been previously carpeted must be stripped of all carpet glue using a high-quality mastic remover or grinder
Removing carpet

 Important: Failure to completely clean the concrete surface may result in colored concrete sealer adhesion issues. For the full guide on surface preparation click here

Allow concrete surface to dry completely before AcquaTint™ water-based colored concrete sealer application.

Tip – If using Hard Troweled  Preo, don’t step in the area where hard troweled pre-treatment has sat for 20 min (which is pretty dry in most areas at that point) prior to rinsing or your sneaker prints will lightly etch themselves into the floor while rinsing. These areas will require sanding.

Allow concrete floor to dry before colored concrete sealer application

AcquaTint™ Colored Concrete Sealer

Step 2. Applying Colored Concrete Sealer

Protect the surrounding areas from backsplash. Use drop cloths and firm cardboard and do not apply tape to surfaces recently coated with colored sealer, as the adhesive may remove the coatings

  • Shake Colored Concrete Sealer vigorously and pour into pump-up sprayer or paint tray.
  • Apply a light coat AcquaTint™ on floor
  • Back-roll with a ⅜ inch nap roller to make sure the coats are as even as possible to avoid blotchy areas

Tip  – Only put a small amount into your tray and always wet the roller by rolling it in the bottom of the tray to continue to mix what is in the tray. The pigment settles out pretty quick but is manageable.

Tip  – Apply some pressure to the roller before moving the roller from the tray to the floor so you are not dripping material from the roller.

Tip  – Always stir before adding more sealer to the tray.

  • Keep the roller evenly and consistently loaded with colored sealer at all times during application to avoid roller marks and streaking.
  • Allow AcquaTint™ water-based colored sealer to dry for 24 hours.
  • Apply second coat of AcquaTint™ colored concrete sealer.
  • Allow to dry for 24 hours

DO NOT walk on wet sealer as it will leave permanent impressions on your surface. Cover your feet with plastic bags to protect your floor finish during application.

First coat of Colored Concrete Sealer
First Coat of AcquaTint™ Colored Concrete Sealer

Tip  – Use a coffee can or smaller container to transfer well mixed colored sealer into your tray.

Tip  – Work in small sections at a time (6′ x 4′).

Tip  – Move quickly but don’t freak out over lap marks. You will get them but rolling over them a second or third time as you work the small section helps and then the next coat rolls the opposite direction which further helps them blend in.

Tip  – Back roll the final roll before you move on to the next section.

24 hours after first coat of AcquaTint
24 hrs after First Coat of AcquaTint™ Water-Based Colored Sealer
Residential and Commercial Floor Wax

Direct Colors™ Concrete Floor Wax

Step 3. Applying Concrete Floor Wax

  • Apply concrete floor wax with a trim pad or foam mop with wringer attachment.
  • Soak the applicator in warm water and shake or wring out excess before use.
  • Pour wax into a paint or wallpaper tray and saturate applicator.
  • Press out excess and push a thin milky coat onto the surface. The product will appear milky when applying but will clear as it dries.
  • Smooth out any foaming that may appear on the surface.
  • Allow to dry for 3-4 hours between coats.
  • The final coat should dry for 12 hours before moving furniture or heavy objects across the floor.
After 2nd Coat of Concrete Floor Wax
After 2nd Coat of Concrete Floor Wax
White Concrete Stained Basement Flooring

How to Stain Concrete Basement Floors

Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting stain and sealer products for a basement application.

Stain concrete basement floor

Basement Floor Staining Ideas

If your are looking to add value to your home with a finished basement floor, at about $0.61 per sq. ft.; concrete stain offers the lowest-cost and highest-return of any basement flooring option.