Staining is one of the best ways to give old concrete, whether it’s located outdoors or indoors, new life by completely transforming the way it looks. Better yet, it is easy to do by yourself. Indeed, making it a DIY project will save you loads of money. But because there is a lot of variation among concrete types and the condition yours might be in, it is important to keep several things in mind during the staining process.

The five top tips below show you how to stain concrete the right way.

1. Make Sure the Surface is Clean

It is essential to make sure that the concrete surface you plan to apply your stain on is completely clean. You might also want to make sure it is free from defects, stains, and other markings. Concrete stain can highlight imperfections and variations in concrete in much the same way that wood stain can highlight knots and grain in wood.

2. Color Charts Are Only a Guide

Most stain manufacturers provide color charts to help you find the right stain for you. But concrete stain reacts differently to every surface. For this reason, it is necessary to only use the provided color chart as a guide. Do a sample yourself on a small section of the actual concrete surface you are planning on staining before going all in.

3. Understand the Technique

The trickiest thing about staining concrete is getting the technique down and knowing how much stain to use. The reason it is so tough is because both of these things vary depending on the particular surface you are staining. Make sure to read up on the specific application method for the type of stain you are using before starting.

4. Remove and Neutralize

The key to staining concrete the right way is in removing the residue and neutralizing the surface after the stain is applied. The neutralization process helps seal the surface of the stain so that further staining and damage does not occur.

5. Sealing the Stain

One of the last tips to keep in mind when you stain concrete is to always remember to apply a sealant coating. Applying sealant might be one of the last stages of the installation but that doesn’t make it any less important than the other steps. It must be done right if you want your stain to last and not collect lint, dust, and debris or flake at the surface.

Learning how to stain concrete isn’t that difficult. Sure, there is a little know-how that goes into it, but most people should be fine tackling the project by themselves. However, if you are nervous or just want the absolute best end result possible, there are plenty of professionals with the skills to give you what you want. In fact, you might even find a contractor in your local area that specializes in concrete staining.