The Grounds Guys
Wood with text: "Summer staining: wood and concrete"

Summer Staining: Wood and Concrete

When it comes to revitalizing the hard surfaces in your back yard, sometimes a fresh coat of stain is all you need. Pick a dry day this summer to stain concrete patios, wood decks and fences. Follow this guide to ensure your staining ventures are successful.

How to Stain Concrete

The most common concrete surface you’ll want to stain is the patio. The process is pretty straightforward – just follow these steps:


  • Safety glasses
  • Chemical-resistant gloves
  • P100 respirator
  • Power washer
  • Acid-based concrete stain
  • Universal tint
  • Plastic sheets
  • Painter’s tape
  • Water
  • Paint brush, sponge, airless sprayer or spray bottle
  • Garden hose
  • Baking soda or ammonia
  • Sealer


  1. Power wash the concrete to remove loose debris, stuck on gunk and stains. Give the concrete 24 hours to dry.
  2. Protect any areas you don’t want stained with plastic sheets. Protect the exterior wall of your home where it meets the patio with painter’s tape.
  3. Combine acid-based concrete stain with a universal tint in the color you want. Dilute the solution with water, if necessary, to produce the desired translucency.
  4. Apply the stain with a paintbrush, sponge, airless sprayer or spray bottle. Start with a small patch to make sure the color works for you.
  5. Let the first coat of stain dry for a few hours and assess the results. If you want a darker color, apply another coat.
  6. Give the concrete at least 24 hours to cure. Then rinse the surface with a garden hose until the water runs clear.
  7. Apply baking soda or ammonia to neutralize the acid stain. Rinse the patio a final time.
  8. Allow another 24 hours for the patio to fully dry after being rinsed. Apply two coats of sealer to ensure the stain lasts for years to come.

How to Stain Wood

You can liven up an aging wood deck or fence with a fresh coat of stain. Follow these basic steps for success.


  • Power sander and sand paper
  • Hammer
  • Power washer
  • Plastic sheets
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wood stain + sealer
  • Paint stirrer
  • Paint-pad tray or sprayer
  • Paint brush or paint pad
  • Small paint brush


  1. Prepare the deck or fence for staining. This involves sanding, driving in popped nails and power washing the entire surface. Wait for 24 hours after power washing to apply stain.
  2. Cover surrounding plants with plastic sheets and protect the exterior wall of your home where it meets the deck with painter’s tape.
  3. Stir the stain thoroughly with a paint stirrer. Pour the stain into a paint-pad tray or sprayer.
  4. Apply a thin, even coat of stain two to three boards at a time with a paint brush, paint pad or the sprayer. Don’t allow the stain to puddle or drip.
  5. Stain the end grains of the deck or the top of the fence with a small paint brush for proper coverage.
  6. Give the deck 24 hours to dry before placing furniture on it.

Additional Tips

Whether you’re staining wood or concrete, follow these additional helpful tips:

  • Check the weather and wait for two or three days with no rain in the forecast before you begin your project.
  • Apply stain when the patio or deck is in the shade to slow the drying time and produce a more even coat.
  • If applying stain with a brush, soften the edges from each final stroke to help the stain blend as you go.

This guide makes it clear that staining concrete and wood is easier than you thought! For more useful tips, or to schedule power washing services, please contact The Grounds Guys®. We're here to help you spruce up your yard this summer!

For Further Reading:

Power Washing Your Outdoor Surfaces

Health Benefits of a Saltwater Pool

Keeping Things Green This Summer