Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by Heenan
You can stain a concrete patio to look like natural stone in several ways. The most popular way to do that is by applying a resurface overlay coating on the concrete surface and then stain the concrete floor.
Completing the steps is not that hard, but it takes time and involves multiple steps to get the best results.
Good for you!
In this write-up, I’m going to describe the process of bringing a real stone look to the concrete patio step-by-step.
At the end of this tutorial, I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding changing the concrete look by applying different concrete stains.
Let’s get started with the steps involved in bringing a stone look to the concrete project.
How to Stain Concrete Patio to Look Like Stone – Step-by-Step
I’m considering you painted the surface earlier with epoxy paint. I will start the proceeding by removing the previous painting. Most of the resurfacing projects start with this step; that’s why I include it here. If you didn’t do any painting or coating before, skip step 1 and jump to step 2.
Step 1: Removing the Previous Coating
The best way to remove any previous coating like epoxy paint is to grind off the surface. It will make the surface most suitable for sticking the overlay material you are going to apply.
I recommend this Dewalt concrete grinder to get the best results. It performs just right, and you can easily attach a vacuum hose to cut back on the dust on the working surface.
This grinding process should remove all those previous epoxies efficiently.
Now let’s move to the next step.
Step 2: Clean the Surface
Although the grinder’s vacuum hose sucked most of the dust, you will have some more dust on the surface, and you need to clean them.
You can either use a pressure washer with a higher-degree nozzle (e.g., 40-degree or 65-degree) or use the garden hose to clean things up.
You don’t have to dry the surface to move into the next step. In fact, if it’s a bit wet, it will help prevent the overlay material from drying out.
Step 3: Apply Tape
Apply tape to the area where you don’t want it to come in touch with the overlay material. Typically, you will want to apply tape on the edges. You can use any top-notch duct tape to complete this step.
Step 4: Prepare the Resurfacer
Now, it’s time to mix the resurfacer using a quality, speedy mixer. I recommend using Quikrete concrete resurfacer to get the desired outcome.
Follow the instruction manual to make a perfect mix.
Step 5: Applying the Overlay Material and Let it Dry
Before applying the overlay material, make sure the surface is a bit wet. If not, then spray some water on the surface to make it wet. It will help the overlay material not dry out.
Now, it’s time to pour the material on the surface.
Don’t make things complicated here. Simply pour down the material, and use a quality squeegee to spread the material evenly throughout the entire surface.
After applying this overlay material coat, let the surface dry before you go to the next step.
When you see the entire surface is showing lighter color than when you finished applying the material, you can consider it dried.
Step 6: Making the Texture
Now, I will be showing you the way to make a trowel-down texture on the surface.
To make the trowel down texture, you have to use the same overlay material that you applied during the first coat (see step 5). But this time, it will be a bit thicker than before to make the texturing easier.
Hand whipping is the way to make the texture. You need to do it carefully so that you don’t make any area too thick or too thin in this case.
Make your desired texture and movement to the next step.
Step 7: Cutting the Kerf / Scoring
To make the scoring smooth and accurate, chalk out a natural stone pattern throughout the surface.
Use this DEWALT angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut the kerf or score. Here you are cutting the overlay material according to the stone pattern you’ve just chalked out.
Step 8: Prep the Surface for Staining
At this point, very likely, the surface is not too messy. However, it’s still good to remove all the existing dust and leaves (if there is any) using a push broom or leaf blower.
Don’t use water at this stage. Dry clean the surface.
Step 9: Applying the Concrete Stain
Applying concrete stain is another plain sailing task here as the stain I’m going to recommend needs only water to mix with. It would help if you had a simple sprayer to apply the stain on the surface.
I recommend this cost-efficient stain from Concrete Resurrection. It offers so many colors of stain and multiple sizes to choose from. No matter whether you like darker colors or some lighter colors, this stain covers them all.
After mixing the stain with water, start spraying the entire surface.
For the first coat, give it a light coat. For the second coat, give a little bit harder coat and highlight some of the stone segments to make them stand out from the other stones. It will make it look more like a stone.
For the third coat, you can apply a different color of the same stain to bring some color variation, or you can skip applying the third coat entirely.
Let the stain dry properly. Then move to the next step without making any delay.
Step 10: Applying the Sealer
Now, start sealing the surface. Sealing the surface will ensure its longevity by protecting the surface from different weather elements. Moreover, it helps the stain color to pop up more than before.
However, the sealer won’t last forever. Experts recommend applying sealer on the stained concrete surface every two to three years.
This is how you can stain a concrete patio to look like stone.
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This particular stain is manufactured by Concrete Resurrection that offers several colors to choose from.
Using this stain is a breeze. You need to mix the stain with water, and you can use any pump-sprayer to apply it.
It’s quite reasonably priced too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#1. How do you paint a concrete patio to look like a stone?
Answer: First, dry clean the patio and tape off the area you don’t want the paint to be touched.
To make things simple, use tape on the entire surface to create segments like a stone.
Buy quality stone color paint of your choice. Apply two coats of paint using a nap roller or a paintbrush between the segments you’ve just created.
Between each coat, give the surface ample time to dry.
#2. How do you stain outdoor concrete?
Answer: Prepare the surface before anything else. Remove the mildew, dirt, oil stain, etc., by scrubbing the area. Use a degreaser if required to remove any stubborn grease mark.
Acid washes the area wearing safety gears like safety goggles, respirators, boots, gloves, etc.
Let the outdoor space dry for at least 48 hours, and then apply a coat of stain on the surface using a brush or roller. Give it at least 24 hours of drying time if a second coat is required.
#3. How do you stain concrete to look like marble?
Answer: The best way to bring a marble look on concrete is acid staining. Like every other concrete staining procedure, first, prepare the surface. Mix concrete cleaner and degreaser, scrub the surface, and then dry the surface with a mop or vacuum.
Next, apply the acid stain using a pump-up sprayer or simply pour it from a bucket.
After applying the stain, seal the surface to ensure its longevity.
#4. How do you stain concrete to look like a slate?
Answer: The processes of staining a concrete surface to give it a slate-like look are similar to the steps involved in giving other looks like marble.
You have to prepare the surface by removing dirt, leaves, oil marks, etc.
Then apply the stain and finally seal the surface.
If you’ve read the steps carefully, it is now quite clear about the steps to stain the concrete patio to look like natural stone.
The whole process is called concrete patio resurfacing. Here you put a thin layer of concrete on the existing surface, make a trowel down texture to bring the stone look, and then apply concrete stain to bring the stone’s color. Finally, you seal the entire surface to ensure its longevity.
I hope this article added something meaningful to your decorative concrete knowledge base.
Now it’s your turn!
Follow the steps, change the appearance of the patio.
Concrete Driveway Sealer Buyer’s Guide.