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First attempt at staining concrete

By July 13, 201115 Comments

This was the ladies restroom at my neighborhood pool for as long as we have lived here. It needed some serious love!!!! Our neighborhood HOA asked me to paint the walls (see the 2 color samples we considered)…..

… and to paint the very rusted stalls…..
…..and do SOMETHING to the horrible floor.

The walls and stalls were easy enough. But the floors was a new undertaking for me! I enlisted the help of a friend in the neighborhood and we went to work researching stains. I just couldn’t find anything at the local paint stores or the local home improvement stores that I thought would work like I wanted it to.

But, I love how the stained concrete floors in my church look….so we took my pastor’s advice and used the same stain he had used.

Michelle and I used the recommended acid to clean the floors TWICE…..but there were years and years of wear and stains and old paint flecks on the floors that just would not come up. In my head, I kept thinking surely the stain would cover all of those old white paint flecks but it does NOT. It actually makes the old paint specks literally GLOW on the floor!!!! So heed my advice and try to start with amazingly clean concrete!

Michelle used a garden sprayer to apply a brown colored stain and then I came behind her with the ebony colored stain in a spray bottle. We were the blind leading the blind! ha!

The stain went on in this glowing orange and yellow……not the ebony and brown we were expecting!

But it dried down to this wicked melting pot of colors that was just so cool.

The next morning (24 hours before the pool opened), we needed to spray all of the excess stain off of the floors and topcoat it .

We got to our pool by 6:00 a.m. It was soooooo tranquil.

We had coffee in hand, our happy faces on…..

And I was sportin‘ some seriously sexy tall socks with old shoes as not to ruin even MORE clothes on this project.

This is how the floors looked before the water and baking soda wash.

Then we had to rinse and rinse and rinse before top coating.

And it turned out pretty cool looking if I don’t mind saying so myself!

My only disappointment is the old white paint from 20 years ago that didn’t come off the floors with the acid or chisel.

(the ladies room)

But it is still leaps and bounds prettier than it was.

(the men’s room)

Thank you Michelle and Pastor Phillip for all of your help!!!!

Now….off to the pool!


  • Wow! is there Nothing that you wouldn’t do?
    OR…is that is there ANYTHING that you wouldn’t do? … I forget my grammar sometimes… It’s the awe of your great talent.
    The Pool -bathrooms looks AWEsome!
    great job. Enjoy!

  • Mike says:

    Looks great. You should try a product called smiths color floor. It’s water based and you can work it like a faux finish, or overlap colors to achieve the mottled look, and no nasty cleaning and neutralizing. Acid stains are too unpredictable in my opinion, example being the decade old paint drips that the stain didn’t work on. Still a nice looking job on one of my less desirable places to work….the bathroom, yuuuccckkk!

  • Cathy says:

    Looks great for what you had to work with. So clean and bright!

  • Tamra says:

    Nice work chickie!

  • Sarah @ Hennessey House says:

    wow! so awesome!! i cannot believe how it turned out actually, so good!

  • Jill of all Trades says:

    Wow! I used acid etch to paint my basement concrete and I almost died on the fumes! I don’t know if it’s a difference in brands but I would recommend that anyone using acid stain in the home do it on a day when you can leave for a few hours after and take any vulnerable pets elsewhere until the smell wears off. And wear a fume mask! Great job – I love the men’s room especially!

  • Rosemary@villabarnes says:

    My goodness, how lucky they were to have you. What a fantastic transformation. Love the floor. Thanks for visiting my blog, and for the lovely compliment.

  • Such a difference! Love the bright cheery colors…much better for the pool!

  • Chris Lavin says:

    Excellent blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the facts are well written. I have subscribed myself for latest blog posts.
    How To Stain Concrete Floors

  • inquiryingmind says:

    Love the floor. One question, what happens if you pressure wash the floor?

  • Applause! This is one amazing project that anyone will be proud of! I remember the edges of Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Prismatic Spring when I looked at the finished product. Also, I should say the glossy outcome is so intriguing; I would love to be in that restroom for hours! Thanks for sharing this inspiring project, surely those who have flooring Honolulu projects will love what you have shared here as well. Hope to see more!

  • Amazing work with the bathroom! It is true that the floor was the one in need of much love and you gave so much love that it overflows. As I was getting to the end of your post I was afraid it would not end up the way you wanted. This post gives us ideas for our own flooring Houston projects, which is very helpful. I was relieved to see that the result of what you did was great! Good job on helping the community!

  • Great idea!! We are in the process of designing our next home and recently decided to build on a slab rather than a basement. I was thinking acid staining would be beautiful throughout the house. Do you see any issue with this? Next, do you think you could acid stain the slab before the building process and then seal it with a clear coat once the house is move in ready? Or would the building process harm the stain?

  • May says:

    I have the pleasure of reading the article very carefully. I learned this as a fascinating and fascinating message and I think it is very valuable and instructive. I am grateful for their efforts in creating this article. You can try custom concrete services.

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