Q&A / 

Concrete Stain DIY

Concrete Stain around pool

Concrete Stain DIY | The concrete around this swimming pool is two different shades. There are several ways to make it look much better and change the color at the same time. (C) Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Concrete Stain DIY TIPS

  • Multiple ways to change the color of existing concrete
  • Stains work best on steel-troweled smoother concrete and require diligence
  • Best DIY method is easy-to-use concrete resurfacer products - add pigment for color
  • Stenciling concrete with the resurfacers produces the most dramatic look
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DEAR TIM: I’ve got an in-ground swimming pool at my home and my wife is not too happy about the concrete deck around the pool. The concrete was poured at different times and it’s cured to three different shades.

She’s asked me what can be done to make the color uniform. Are there any affordable options?

Is this something I can do myself? What are the pitfalls? Mike D., Cincinnati, OH

DEAR MIKE: What’s that old saying? A happy wife means a happy life.

Ground Control - Engage Happiness Machine

Guess what, I’m about to crank up the happiness machine for you and her at the same time. You’re going to have to do a little work, but the end result is going to be stunning and long lasting.

You've Got Options

You’ve got several options to transform your concrete’s appearance. The good news is one of the methods is very DIY friendly. This DIY method even allows you to drastically change the color of the concrete around your pool. My guess is your wife may not have thought about that, but it adds a dimension to the project that could make it the talk of the neighborhood.

Free & Fast Bids

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local pros who can resurface your concrete and add COLOR to it!

Concrete Absorbs Liquids

Depending on how concrete is finished, it can have different levels of porosity. Based on the photos you sent me, and because the concrete’s around your pool, you have a somewhat sandy finish that prevents slipping when the concrete is wet.

Sandy Concrete Texture Issues

This sandy texture will work to your benefit if you decide to go with the easiest DIY solution I’ll talk about in a moment.

Stain Concrete Like Wood

But first, let’s talk about staining your concrete. Believe it or not, you can purchase special color stains that are made to soak into concrete. I’ve walked on stained concrete that looks like leather. Any imaginable color is possible. The look and appearance is surreal when it’s done by pros.

Sandy Texture = Darker Colors

The issue with staining sandy porous concrete like you have is that the colors can become very deep and it’s harder to achieve a multi-toned appearance that you’d get with concrete that’s got a surface texture that’s more like glass.

I only mention this to you because you may discover that applying the colored stains solves the problem immediately.

Use Multiple Colors

Because you have distinct joints between the different slabs of concrete surrounding the pool, you can introduce different colors that compliment one another. For example, the inner ring of concrete that touches up against the edge of the pool may be a tropical green color and the outer ring you may want to do in a medium blue. You’re only limited by your imagination.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local pros who can resurface your concrete and add COLOR to it!

Stains Are Not Easy

The concrete stains are tricky to work with and they require you to follow instructions to the letter. If you decide to try this, it’s imperative you do a test on some concrete in another location to see if you like the color. This may require you pouring a new small pad of concrete that has the same texture as what’s around your pool.

DIY Concrete Resurfacing

My guess is you’re going to love your second option. There are concrete resurfacing products you can buy that you mix with water. Once mixed they’re the consistency of applesauce. You simply spread the material on the existing concrete with a large squeegee and then apply a broom finish after waiting a few minutes.

This is an excellent concrete resurfacer. You can add colored dry pigments to change the color to just about anything. CLICK THE PHOTO OF THE BAG NOW TO HAVE THIS DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME IN DAYS.

These resurfacing products add a very thin layer of material onto the existing concrete, perhaps just one sixteenth of an inch. The best part is you can add dry pigments to the mix to create a new colored surface. Reds, browns, greens, blues, golds, oranges, etc. are all possible. You can even create patterns with different colored mixes.

Here are just a few of the many many pigments available. You can blend different pigments to get different shades that you don't see here! CLICK THE IMAGE TO BUY ANY WHITEWASH PIGMENT YOU WANT.

Make A Mural

If you have an artist in the family, this talented person can create a mural on the pool deck using the resurfacing products and multiple colors. The possibilities are endless.

Stenciled Concrete

Your third option is to combine these resurfacing products with stencils. Using stencils and colored pigments in the mix, it’s possible to transform your bland concrete pool deck into a red brick look or even granite cobblestone. You can even get stencils that would transform the pool deck into a rich brown and gold flagstone.

Stenciled and Resurfacing Concrete Videos

Watch these videos to see how to resurface and stencil concrete using the concrete resurfacing products. Wait until you see all the different ways you can make existing concrete look DIFFERENT. WOW!!!

Stenciling Is For Pros

Stenciled concrete is not DIY friendly, but the look is stunning. You may decide this is the best alternative for your pool area and it just requires you to locate a local professional that has lots of experience using stencils.

If you decide to go with the stenciled look, be sure to take the time to visit other jobs the professional has completed. Looking at photographs is not the same as seeing the finished job in person.


You asked about the pitfalls of the job. If you decide to do the concrete resurfacing yourself, I want you to test this process on a concrete slab other than your pool. You want to get the hang of how to use the product to get perfect results.

Overcast Cooler Days Are Best

Don’t do the resurfacing on hot sunny breezy days. These are the worst possible conditions because the resurfacing compound dries too fast. It’s best to do this work on an overcast day with the temperatures around 60 F. This gives you plenty of time to work with the product and you’ll get the best bond to the existing concrete. Be sure to read all the instructions and follow them with great diligence.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local pros who can resurface your concrete and add COLOR to it!

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