How To Stain Your Concrete For Less Than 50 Dollars

So you might remember me sharing my excitement on “Time…You Are Such A Sneaky Thing” about how Kent and I were getting our concrete patio poured earlier in the year. We had originally wanted to get our concrete stamped with a beautiful stone pattern and then stain it so it wasn’t a stark bright concrete color.

But do you know how expensive it is to get someone to stamp your concrete?! Kent and I were completely shocked that the price to get it stamped was twice the amount of just getting the concrete poured. If we wanted it stained it would have cost just as much as getting it stamped!!

Holy Moly! We couldn’t believe it. Obviously we opted out of those options and just got the basic patio package.

Well, after sharing our excitement and showing off pictures of our new patio to all of our coworkers, someone Kent works with mentioned that he stained the concrete floors in his barn man cave for very cheap. He had our attention at cheap!

He told us that he stained his concrete floors with fertilizer. Yep fertilizer! I do not know the science behind how or why this happens but trust me it does!

We went to take a look at Kent’s coworker’s floors one more time before we made the plunge ourselves. And we really loved what we saw and thought it would look great for our patio.

Ok, so a few months ago we were able to get the ball rolling on staining our patio, but let me tell you we made some mistakes. We had to stain our patio twice because the first time the mixture wasn’t correct.

Now, let me walk you through our process of staining our concrete patio for less than 50 dollars.


5 gallon bucket & trowel

Sprayer (something to spray the stain on the concrete with)

Water & Fertilizer

Coffee (if you choose to go this route)

Cardboard to protect the brick on your house


  1. First things first you need to clear everything off your patio.
  2. Then you need to wash or power-wash your patio to get all the dirt, leaves etc. out of your way. (We power-washed ours because dirt, dust, and leaves had settled all over the place from a windy haboob that hit us the week prior)
  3. Make your mixture. This is where we messed up the first round. Kent had read online that to get a darker more brown colored stain you can add coffee grinds. Well we added WAY too much which made the stain not take correctly. Here is what our process was for our first try and then I will share with you our process for our second try that took correctly and gave us the color you see in pictures.

The WRONG mixture

3 pounds coffee grinds
3 pounds fertilizer
Fill the bucket up with water the rest of the way


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES^^This is the WRONG color and WRONG mixture for your stain^^

Our first try at staining our concrete patio with the wrong mixture was a HUGE pain in the ass! We had to sift the coffee grinds out of the water mixture so it wouldn’t clog the sprayer. It took FOREVER!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSee it does not look fun! And it got way messy after this picture!


So our second try we decided to be smarter than the patio stain and brewed some coffee instead of using the coffee grinds. MUCH BETTER!

The RIGHT mixture

3 cups already brewed coffee (NOT coffee grinds)
3+ pounds fertilizer
Fill the bucket up with water the rest of the way

With the wrong mixture it was a dark brown color and with the RIGHT mixture it was a green color. You want it to be the green color…trust me!!

  1. After you make the mixture, let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour
  2. At that point you are ready to start spraying your concrete.
  3. Use the cardboard to protect your house and go to town.
  4. You want to spray evenly and saturate the concrete.
  5. Once you have sprayed your entire concrete patio you are ready for a glass of wine or a beer because you have earned it! Plus the next step doesn’t happen until the next day 🙂
  6. When you look at your patio the next day you may freak out because it has a white chalky layer on it…but don’t worry!
  7. You will then wash the patio off to get any of the extra stain off.
  8. Then if you choose to do so…once it is dry you can put a sealant on it to protect and make it last longer. If you choose not to do that then you are done and your concrete patio is now stained for less than $50!




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It’s amazing right??!! Who would have thought fertilizer could make stark white concrete look SO beautiful?!

Now you will have places on your concrete where the stain takes on a different color. I hated it at first but I have grown to love the imperfections. And as with any concrete there are always small and sometimes large cracks, don’t be afraid to stain it. The cracks may take the stain more and stand out but that is the beauty of it…nothing is perfect and it looks like  it has been loved just as much as the house. So don’t be afraid of it!!

This has certainly been one of our biggest and best projects on our house. And we are extremely proud of it!

If you have any questions about our process or if something doesn’t make sense…please let me know!! We love telling everyone how to do this themselves and would love to help you out too!!

What have been some of your favorite home/DIY projects?


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3 thoughts on “How To Stain Your Concrete For Less Than 50 Dollars

  1. Thanks so much for all the info! I do have to say I thought it was quite a small world though to find this post. I’ve been doing my online research to stain my concrete floors for months now and when I happened upon yours I just knew you had to be from lubbock as well when I saw the word haboob! I did my first coat of stain last night and I’m still googling this morning before I move on to my next coat lol! Thanks for sharing your experience! Wreck ‘Em Tech!

    • Oh you’re so welcome!! That’s funny it is a small world!! Sadly we are selling our house that has our wonderful patio and moving to San Antonio for my husbands job. But we got to enjoy it while we could and we really love how the stain turned out!! Know yours will turn out great as well! 🙂 Wreck ‘Em!!

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