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.

WHAT YOU NEED:

5 gallon bucket & trowel
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Sprayer (something to spray the stain on the concrete with)
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Water & Fertilizer
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Coffee (if you choose to go this route)
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Cardboard to protect the brick on your house
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DIRECTIONS:

  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)
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  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!

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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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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I’m Calling A “Time Out”


Anyone who knows me can testify that I am obsessed with Pinterest. I was taking a look at my Pinterest account today and I got a little embarrassed for myself. We are talking…BRACE YOURSELF… 44 Pinterest boards, 5,304 pins, and 1, 450 likes. [Insert shocked face here.]

It all started in graduate school at Texas Tech University. Miss Mattie Claire, a sweet girl in one of my graduate classes, told me about this website called Pinterest. I guess we can agree that she created a monster, BECAUSE I LOVE PINTEREST. But let’s get real…during that time in my life, I needed an outlet and Pinterest was just that. (By the way check out her blog here at Fit is Chic | by Mattie Claire…this girl is ROCKIN!)

I have Pinterest boards dedicated to so many different topics…from a “90s Kid” board to bring me through memory lane, an all things “wine” board (because this girl loves her wine), “recipes,” “sweets,” “holidays,” and I even have a board dedicated to my niece and nephew where I pin crafts that would be fun to do with them.

Anyway, while I will be the first to admit that my pinning can be excessive; I do want to defend my case. There are certainly some things on my Pinterest boards that I will NEVER experience, try, or have. But if you follow me on Pinterest you will notice that I have a “things I have done” board. This is where I pin anything and everything that I have tried from Pinterest. So while it is easy to just keep pinning and pinning projects, ideas, etc. I try to at least try some of the things I come across that can be useful to me or just something fun or yummy to try.

So, this will be my first post of many, sharing with you a Pinterest project I have tried.

This project I call my “Time Out Jar.” Others may refer to it as a “Calm-Down Jar” or a “Mind Jar.”

Basically this idea comes from putting a kid in time out. The child may get worked up or really upset and pester mom and dad asking if time is up yet and the parents get tired of answering that question. Well you give them a time out jar and tell them they have to sit there until all the glitter reaches the bottom of the jar. This gives them something more to look at than the corner of the wall and may have some calming effects on the child while they wait for the time to be up.

You may be asking yourself…”But you don’t have kids yet so why on earth did you make this?”

The answer is that I made it for myself. Yep you heard correctly. When I was in graduate school, most of my time was spent at a desk, looking at my laptop or reading a book. My mom was always reminding me that it was OK to take breaks, to give my mind a “time out,” and then come back to my work a little more refreshed.

So I went out to get the materials for this project. Which all you need is: glitter glue, hot water, food coloring, a jar, and of course more glitter. SO SIMPLE!

It was perfect when I needed to step away from my laptop and books, I would shake my jar and go do something else. In about 5 minutes the glitter would settle and I would get back to work. Plus it was just fun and pretty to look at.

Now that my graduate school days are over, this jar was just sitting in our house collecting dust. I have since brought it to my office. And in case you did not know, I am an Academic Advisor for the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. So I work with college kids every day. My reason for bringing this to my office is that sometimes students just need to fidget with something while they sit in an office, especially an office where they may be nervous talking about their future.

If nothing else it is a GREAT conversation starter! Let me just tell you. So many students come into my office for appointments and cannot leave until they know what this jar with pink water is on my desk. And it is always fun telling them the story behind it. They typically get a good chuckle or smile out of it and I think it helps bring a sense of peace over them and humanization to me.

Check out my picture below and let me know what you think.

What do you do when you need to take a “Time Out” from a daunting task?

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