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Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture.

The Easy Way To Stain Concrete

We recently made some DIY concrete pavers for our side yard and are SO happy with them. We knew we wanted to color them somehow but weren’t sure what to use. I’ve stained concrete in the past, and it involved pre-treatment with muriatic acid, and then some sort of acid stain. It looked good, but that’s a lot of acid! Plus I didn’t want to have a bunch of leftover muriatic acid left in the garage. I wanted an easy way to stain concrete.

Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture.

Another option was to color the concrete as we mixed it and we decided early on against this option.  For one reason, it was just a solid color and the options were pretty limited. But the biggest reason was that it was really pricey (if you have read the DIY concrete paver post, you might remember the whole thing started with Mike’s grandstanding about it only costing “about 40 bucks and an hour of our time.”) So we were also looking for a very cost effective option since we were already in deeper than we anticipated. So…we wanted a cheap and easy to stain concrete.

What was our solution? Concrete glaze.

When I was working on the concrete countertops I reached out to the company that made the sealer because I was pretty thrilled with it. Lucky me, they sent me a new sealer product and some concrete glaze product from Buddy Rhodes for use on a blog project. So as we were contemplating coloring the concrete pavers, I realized I finally had a glaze-worthy project!

So what IS concrete glaze?

I wasn’t sure myself—so I asked Google and I’m still not exactly sure. But I can say that after having gone through the rigors of acid-staining concrete, I found the glaze refreshingly easy! The Buddy Rhodes glaze is a water-based pigmented color that works its way into the concrete, so you can manipulate it a bit by adding water or rubbing it off to create beautiful, uneven patterns and water spots. And the options for blending colors make the surface even more unique. I knew this would be awesome after watching this video presenting an application technique.

Once we decided upon finishing the pavers with the glaze, it was a matter of time to wait for the pavers to properly cure, which takes about 28 days (this blew me away when I first learned of the curing times).  I have to say, it’s hard to wait that long. I only waited until the concrete looked uniformly light grey, which took about two weeks in our arid climate.

Here are the pavers pre-glaze. They have cured for about 2 weeks.

The Easy Way To Stain Concrete With Concrete Glaze

Materials:

  • Scrub brush
  • Foam rollers
  • Spray bottle and distilled water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Glaze
  • Concrete Sealer (to be applied after glaze dries)

Supplies for adding color to your concrete. Use a glaze from Buddyrhodes.com

Step 1

Clean off the pavers. Use a scrub brush to get all those small dirt particles out of the surface pores while you rinse it off. A hose worked great—and you want the surface to be wet when you spray on the glaze in the next step.

Clean pavers before applying concrete glaze

Step 2

Spray on your glaze (make sure the paver is still a bit wet). This is the fun part. You can either spray straight from the bottle, or dilute it a bit. I started with a dilute solution but the concrete seemed to suck it up so fast that I switched to spraying it straight from the bottle. Start spraying conservatively at first, and blend more than one color if you like. I started with a color called “leather” and then decided it was too rust-colored so I added black. You can see the spots of black on the concrete before I blend it. As you spray, work it into the concrete with a foam roller—it’s super fun to see the color develop.

Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture

the easy way to stain concrete is to use a concrete glaze that goes on with a spray bottle. Here you see it before it is rolled into the concrete.

Rolling out concrete glaze for an easy way to stain concrete.

Rolling out the concrete glaze for an easy way to stain concrete.

Repeat as necessary until you have your desired look!

 

Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture.

Step 3 (optional)

For a more mottled look, spray with distilled water and roll it into the concrete glaze. You will see that it lifts some of the color and creates interesting effects. Here’s a video demonstrating the application process with the water. Repeat as necessary until you have your desired look!

I decided after I was “done” that I wanted a richer, more saturated look, so I applied more of everything. The beauty of the glaze is that you can adapt as you go. Here you can see the pavers are darker and some more mottling has taken place. Interestingly, each paver also accepted the stain differently. It’s possible that some had smoother surfaces than others.

Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture.

Step 4

Let dry 24 hours. To protect the concrete and color, apply sealer according to directions.

Finished!

So there you have it—an easy way to stain concrete! The whole glazing process (without applying the sealer) took me about two hours for the pavers. I have just under 40 square feet. Your time may be much faster— I kept working in the black and then rolling it off with the rollers. I probably would have done it for hours more except it was getting dark and I had to call it quits.

Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture.

Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture.

Looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly and easy way to stain concrete?These concrete glazes couldn't be easier and give tons of variety and texture.

And the glaze is not just for pavers—my neighbor is using it on her DIY concrete countertops. She is using a concrete skimcoat to create the surface on the counters and is adding the glaze for some color and interest. She hasn’t completed the project yet, but started with a test piece which looks fantastic.

Have fun with your project!!

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14 Comments

  • Reply Pamela

    How cool! I’ve been wanting to do something with my concrete in the backyard. This might be it!

    August 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm
    • Reply michelle

      Fantastic! I hope it works out–the product is super easy to use and you can get just about any look you want.

      August 28, 2016 at 7:56 pm
  • Reply Carol Cassara

    I wondered about that! I love the way yours turned out. Really cool and makes me want to do it. Pinning!

    August 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm
    • Reply michelle

      Thanks Carol! You should do it for sure:)

      August 28, 2016 at 7:56 pm
  • Reply thesocialbeing721

    Oh, wow! I never realized how easy this can be as a DIY project. Thank you for sharing!

    August 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm
    • Reply michelle

      I didn’t either but it turned out super easy!!

      August 28, 2016 at 7:57 pm
  • Reply lorrin sell | photographer of wild things

    these turned out so nice! i love the idea of being able to make over concrete pavers. thanks for sharing!

    August 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm
    • Reply michelle

      Thanks Lorrin, we love how they turned out as well!

      August 28, 2016 at 8:01 pm
  • Reply carrie @ frugal foodie mama

    Oh, this is such a clever idea! 🙂 They look great.

    August 29, 2016 at 6:44 am
  • Reply Ann Vanino

    What a great project. Looks terrific!

    September 2, 2016 at 6:57 pm
    • Reply michelle

      Thanks Ann!

      September 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm
  • Reply Wanda

    For your 40 square feet how many pounds of cement did you use. I
    have about that much to do. Thanks it looks great.

    November 5, 2016 at 6:54 pm
    • Reply michelle

      I can’t quite remember because I think we initially bought 4 bags and then I went back to the store and got 8 more but didn’t use them all. All in all I think we used something like 10 bags of concrete. 90-lb bags (I can’t even lift them!)

      November 9, 2016 at 6:52 am
  • Reply annie

    where did u buy the glaze

    September 30, 2017 at 8:28 am
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