Concrete Stain vs Paint – Is It Better To Stain or Paint On Concrete

Last updated on December 31st, 2021 | By: Grady Galvez

Keep your concrete surfaces in mint condition!! But is painting or staining concrete a good idea? if yes, then which is a better option?

If you ask the home improvement experts none of them will agree with one of them being better or best than the other.

It is absolutely true as the desired results dictate the stain or paint quality. The stains dry quicker, and color the surfaces translucently whereas the paint covers the top of the surfaces and may peel or chip but offer better protection than stains.

In nutshell both the options have their pros and cons and rest depends on the project you will use your product for.

paint concrete driveway

You want to cover the concrete for décor purpose (more concerned with stains) or just protection (more related to paints), before jumping to any conclusion there are some important things to notice:

Benefits of Painting Concrete

Be it winter or anytime painting your concrete driveway or walkway is certainly a great project. There are some great benefits of painting concrete and this what the homeowners are keen to find out these days.

Let us know more about the benefits of painting concrete:

After a detailed study we have categorised the advantages into 5 points.

  • The new coat of paint gives an awe-inspiring feel be it any of the exteriors. Similarly, the concrete painting adds the same feeling.

  • The concrete is porous by nature and dust may build-up in the crevices and cracks of the floor making it difficult to sweep. Once you paint it you can get rid of any kind of dust or dirt and maintain a pristine environment.

staining concrete driveway

  • Concrete may get cracked due to the effect of heat or cold in the future. You get additional insulation by painting and using a quality paint is advised by experts. This will accompany a guarantee of 10 years or more.

  • Even the concrete garage floors remain spill-proof when you use paint. You remain relaxed as there are least chances left for the cement to absorb oil or grease. Leaving no stains behind substances can be easily mopped from the concrete floor.
  • Adding paint or color will definitely increase your home value and augments charm instead of a dull gray concrete.

Bottom Line

They need a lot of preparation work and you should use degreasers to get rid of grease or oil stains prior to application of concrete paint. To prevent moisture retention, you need to seal the concrete with a primer-sealer product. though, these are perfect for indoor and outdoor use like the stains.

Benefits of Staining Concrete

Be it the residential or concrete floors you can add charm with the most popular method and that’s staining. You can augment your existing concrete floors or work well with concrete overlays.

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Their Benefits Are Listed Below.

  • They are a bit different than the paint due to their deep penetration quality. Permanent and fade-resistant color is produced by stains.
  • The best part is they don’t peel away or flake and stay more durable.
  • They are versatile and showcase immense flexibility. Any look can be achieved with the stains that matches your style, tastes, and budget.
  • You can keep it simple with just one color or customize it with multiple colors, and this remains your personal choice.
  • Concrete floors remain eco-friendly with the stains. Same longevity is offered by few flooring options and may need to be replaced with time.

concrete stain paint

Bottom Line

Majorly the concrete stains are of two types: water-based stain and acid-based stains. Water-based stains are a better option and require a sealant after application. Acid-based stains are a bit complicated to use and offer fewer color options. The protection provided by stains is less than the paints and for a deeper color more coats will be needed.

Colored Concrete or Stained Concrete

The thought process and viewpoints of people differ about stains and paints for concrete. Some favor stain over paints while some have a vice-versa opinion. Before deciding the right option, you should know the real differences between both of them. from the application process to lifespan many things vary between the two.

Concrete Stain

  • The stain is applied with a sprayer on the concrete surface.
  • The stains require a sealer for bringing out the depth in color.
  • The stain penetrates deep into the concrete and creates a unique natural look.
  • Opacity level is low and this extraordinary look is not possible with paint.
  • Stains tend to fade away with time. But applying sealer can solve this problem.
  • These tend to dry quickly and need less prep time but more coats for deeper color.

Concrete Paint

  • The paint is brushed and rolled on the concrete surface.
  • The paint requires no additional sealer or surface coating after drying.
  • On the other side the paints try to provide a layer of protection on the surface.
  • Opacity level is high and the natural look disappears.
  • The paints can chip, flake, or peel with time. Applying them properly is the only solution.
  • These need more prep time, more time to dry, but one coat is sufficient if applied properly.

Which is better? Concrete Stain or Concrete Paint.

Be it your indoor or outdoor concrete, the stain or paint, both are great options. But as you have personal preferences and choices as an individual, so weighing the options with the right comparison is the best thing to go for. Select the one that suits your needs, style, and budget.

The Crux

We hope you are well aware of the advantages, differences, and uses of concrete stain or paint by now. Choice is entirely yours and both will not only protect your surfaces but add aesthetic sense and jaw dropping awesomeness to your concrete spaces.

Frequently Asked Question's

Q1. Is it a good idea to stain concrete?

Ans. For getting the natural look of the concrete stains are best to use. but if water-based stains are being used then they will require more than one application.

Acid-based stains could be harmful for skin, eyes, or lungs. The concrete stains tend to give a décor option more than the protection aspect.

Q2. Can we stain all types of concrete?

Ans. If the condition of the surface is fine then stains can be used both indoors and outdoors conveniently. Be it the integrally-colored concrete or any new or old, water-based stains and the acid-based stains can be applied alike. You can cover any place from patios, sidewalk, driveways or walkway, and pool decks.

Q3. Can the stained concrete fade away?

Ans. The stains have the quality to penetrate deep into the surface of concrete and their color is supposed to be long-lasting and durable. They have less chances to peel or chip like the stains. though, minute fading after long use may take place.

Q4. How much will a stained concrete cost?

Ans. It is one of the best ideas to stain concrete floors. Along with the décor aspect they are less expensive that tiling, installing porcelain or ceramic.

Per square feet cost will come around $15 to $ 20 on an average. Few more considerations like the size of the project, the stain application complexity, and surface preparation requirements will also dictate the cost factor.

Q5. Is it a good idea to paint concrete?

Ans. Many of the homeowners or commercial owners prefer to paint their concrete surfaces as this is a good choice. They provide a protective layer and look appealing too. Much has been discussed in the benefits of painting concrete and you can refer to it above.

Q6. What is the ideal time to wait to paint concrete?

Ans. It will take at least a time of 30-days for the moisture to banish. If you want to check up the moisture levels you can test it by sealing the edges with tape, and the condensation condition after 24-hours will let you know if the concrete is dry enough for painting. If its dry then you are ready to go.