Unlike many DIY projects, concrete staining requires only a very basic set of tools and implements to get professional results.
To begin, you should cover yourself up to keep the stain from damaging your clothing. We recommend that you wear long pants and rubber boots to protect your skin and have a good pair of plastic or rubber gloves. A plastic rain poncho is a good idea to keep the stain and chemicals from getting on your clothing. Safety goggles are a must and we also advise that you get a mask with a respirator if you will be using chemicals in an enclosed area such as a garage or basement.
Depending on the condition of the concrete you will be staining, you may need a sealer remover in addition to a degreasing cleaner as part of the prep work for your project. A good, stiff brush will work best to really scrub away the sealer or oil and grease that may have accumulated on your concrete surface.
If you are working in a garage or other finished space and the space has baseboard moldings, you can choose to remove the moldings with a hammer and pry bar to keep them from getting stained by accident.
You can also opt to mask off the walls and moldings with plastic sheeting and masking tape (for water-based stain applications) or masking paper (for acid-based stains).
Concrete Staining with the Right Tools
If you will be etching the concrete before staining, the etching solution is best applied with a plastic watering can. This way you can work in a small, manageable area with a long, handled stiff bristle broom. You will also need access to a garden hose and water to rinse off the etching solution.
To apply the stain, begin by cutting in at the corners with a paint brush. If you are using an acid-based stain, make sure the paint brush has no metal parts. For the large areas of your concrete staining project, stain is best applied with a low-pressure pump sprayer with all plastic parts and a nozzle that sprays in a cone-shape. You can also choose to apply stain with a short nap paint roller with a long handle suitable for working on floors.
You will need a clean mop to clean the surface when you are done and a wet-vacuum to suck up any standing water after you have completely cleaned the surface.
Having the right tools on hand before you begin your concrete staining project will insure that your work will move along smoothly and that you will remain safe and protected throughout the process.