Concrete Color Chart

Some of the possible colors for your stained concrete floor.


Concrete Color Chart

Some of the possible colors for your stained concrete floor.

Color Selection

Acid stains come in a number of earth-toned hues (as shown above) and as illustrated in the Galleries on this website.  The colors above are produced from proprietary blends of Kemiko stains.  We are also skilled at using acid-etching stains from other manufacturers, including Surecrete, Butterfield, Brickform, Scofield, Chemcoat, and HC Infusion, and are happy to apply these upon request. 

Under normal conditions, acid-etching stains do NOT chip or peel or "walk" off (as acrylic or pigment based stains tend to do). The special mixture of acid, mineral salts and wetting agents reacts chemically with the lime in the concrete and adapts to the unique mineral composition of your slab. 

Because each slab is different, we can NOT match our stains to a particular color swatch.  Instead,  we apply samples to an area of  your slab that will later be concealed (for example, under the kitchen cabinets). This is the BEST way to predict how a stain will look on your concrete. For this reason, many of our clients prefer to select their wall paints, cabinets, countertops and fabrics AFTER they make a color selection from their samples.


Builders Tips and instructions for Stained Concrete

Guidelines to help produce the best stained concrete floor possible.

Builders Tips and instructions for Stained Concrete

Guidelines to help produce the best stained concrete floor possible.



Stained Concrete by Peyton & Associates


The concrete foundation in this home will become a finished floor -- scored and stained. Please instruct your work crew to do the following:

  1. Use only blue chalk or pencil for marking lines.

  2. Mark openings on the slab with pencil only. Do not bear down with your pencil as it can become permanent when the slab is still green. NEVER USE A PERMANENT MARKER, colored chalk, or colored grease pencils!

  3. Do not leave nails, treated lumber or sawdust piles on the slab at the end of the day. If wet, these will leave permanent stains.

  4. Do not nail any temporary blocking to the slab for wall bracing. Pot marks and gauges left by concrete nails and ram set pins will show. Do not attempt to fill any imperfections.

  5. Don’t used compressors and other lubricated equipment on the concrete to be stained, to prevent oil spotting.

  6. Cut out all door openings in the bottom plate before raising the walls. Treated wood in contact with the slab will stain it, and saw marks will show in the finished floor.

  7. Avoid getting any glue or other adhesives on the slab.

  8. Have workers and owners eat away from the foundation. Cokes, coffee, grease from chips and fries, etc. can stain the concrete.


  10. When ladders are being used on slab, wrap the feet of the ladder to keep from scarring the slab. (Use cardboard under other tools, equipment that could cause scarring.)

    © Stained Concrete by Peyton & Associates


Please follow these important instructions to ensure that you achieve the best results for finished, stained floors.

  • Do not use fiberglass mesh or fibers in the concrete mix.

  • Do NOT use retardant additives or curing agents in the concrete. They will block the staining


  • Efflorescence reducing measures recommended by the experts are:

  • Good site surface drainage.

  • Well graded concrete mix with a water reducer to minimize paste

  • Concrete not exceeding 4 inch slump. Try for desired water to cement ratio of .45 pounds of water to pounds of cement.

  • Use a high quality vapor barrier and make sure it is installed correctly.

  • Use well consolidated concrete.

  • Where possible use fly ash in the mix at no more than 15 to 20%

  • Take special measures to minimize dehydration cracking by:

    • Blocking the mat so that the steel is in the top 2" of the concrete

    • Avoiding pouring on hot, dry days and, instead, pour early during the day

    • Wetting down the concrete surface, as soon as possible, with a water sprinkler and don't

      remove the forms for several days. This can help slow down the dehydration process--

      especially in warm weather.

  • Agitate the surface of the concrete using a "jitterbug" to bring the cement to the surface and

    cause the aggregate to sink down from the surface.

  • Evenly screed the concrete to avoid dips and high spots.

  • Avoid "burning" the concrete. This can create a very dark floor that makes it difficult, if not

    impossible, to do lighter stains

  • Pay special attention to the troweling process. Finish all living areas and patios to the edges

    of the foundation and around all penetrations.

  • Use a smooth, hard troweled surface on interior surfaces and a light broom finish on decks and patios.

  • Avoid "chatter" marks, pitted areas and trowel marks.

  • Inspect the trowel machine to make sure there is no oil leakage and that good blades are in use. (Oil leaks will not come out of the concrete.) Make sure that no pebbles get under the blades as they can cause an undesirable, circular string-like pattern on the concrete.

  • Have electricians locate floor plugs on drawings and flush mount the penetrations so you can completely finish over them.

  • Keep wrecked forms and nails off the slab.   

  • © Stained Concrete by Peyton & Associates 





The following guidelines apply to acid staining new slabs with the products and sealer systems used by Stained Concrete Peyton & Associates. Other products may require different steps or solutions. If you are applying acid stains yourself, refer to the selected manufacturer's instructions or take a course from a qualified trainer.

We also provide detailed instruction sheets for framers and concrete contractors free to our clients.



  • The ideal time to score (cut lines/patterns in the slab) is right after the concrete is poured -- on an open slab -- before framing begins. 
  • The best time to stain and seal the floors is just after the structure is "dried-in" (roof on/windows in) and before the sheetrock is hung. If you are spraying insulation, stain the conrete floors first as well.  To ready the floor for staining, simply keep the concrete swept daily and free of materials. (Make sure workers refrain from eating on your slab -- grease from french fries, hamburgers, etc. can stain your slab.)    
  • After the floors are stained, cover them with cardboard or thermoply to protect them from glue, marks, spills, paint, etc. (Be careful NOT to tape directly to the concrete. Tape leaves permanent stripes on the slab.) 


Our chart provides a representation of some of the colors available. The precise color will vary according to your concrete (its composition, the temperature when it was poured, the way it is trowelled).  Be sure to ask for samples on your concrete in an area that will later be concealed by cabinets, a fireplace or tub.


Make sure floors are protected throughout the construction process and that you or your builder adequately supervise all subs – especially the concrete contractor -- to ensure the desired results. 

  • Do not use harsh detergents, acid washes, or chemicals to clean the slab. Clean the slab with water only. 
  • NEVER tape directly to the concrete -- this applies to before, during or after the slab is stained.  (The acid on the back of the tape will etch a permanent stripe on your concrete!) 
  • Post warning signs For example: "WARNING. FINISHED FLOORS. KEEP COVERED AT ALL TIMES." 

Instruct subcontractors to AVOID the following:

  • Plumbers: PVC glues and cleaners, pipe dope, flux, pipe threading oil 
  • HVAC: Glues for make-up of return-air and supply ducts 
  • Insulators: Polyseal for doors and windows 
  • Sheetrockers: Sheetrock dust, TFT mud 
  • Painters: Paints, thinners, sealers, stains. Also, do not TAPE directly to floor.   
  • Framers: Red or orange chalk, permanent markers, cutting or nailing to finished concrete floor 
  • Have electricians locate floor plugs on drawings and flush mount the penetrations.
  • Bricklayers: Muriatic acid spills and splatters.


After the floors are stained and sealed, let them dry for 24 to 48 hours. Then cover them for the remainder of construction.  There are a number of good ways to cover your floors.  Here's what we do:

First staple a 12" high plastic strip to the bottom 6" of the walls, curving the remaining 6" of the plastic around the edges of the concrete floor. Then cover the floors with cardboard or thermoply. (We use flat 4' x 8' cardboard sheets.) IT IS CRITICAL THAT no tape comes in direct contact with the concrete -- either before or after it is stained


Stained Concrete Care Sheet

How to care for your stained concrete floors.

Stained Concrete Care Sheet

How to care for your stained concrete floors.

Caring for your newly stained concrete floors 

Acid-stained concrete floors are durable and easy to maintain.  Because our stains are created with acid-etching, not paints or pigments, they often have unique characteristics, including: 

● Wide color variations, mottling, and unevenness of color.  
● Imperfections and irregularities, such as hairline cracks (which we like to think of as veins found throughout nature).  
● Flaws caused by construction.  These include glue, paints, chemical or oil spills, tape lines, permanent marker, nail holes, etc. While we can’t be responsible for other contractors or flaws in the concrete itself,   we work hard to make your stained concrete floors as beautiful as possible.  

Cleaning and maintaining interior floors: 

  • Sweep and mop with warm water.  We recommend The Container Store's Floor Washer Mop (comes in two sizes, with replacable sponge mop heads and easy-to-use, handle-mounted lever.)
  • Wax as needed.  (Ask us which wax we used on your floors and where to locate it.)  For homes, wax about once a year.  In businesses with more traffic, wax as needed, about 4 times a year.
  • For scratches, you may want to rent a high speed buffer with natural hair pad.   You can spray on “Snap Back” spray buff on scratched areas… then buff.  This should buff out fine scratches and improve deep scratches.


Cleaning and maintaining EXTERIOR (patios/breezeways/etc) floors:

  • Sweep and mop with warm water. NEVER pressure wash porches. (The more powerful the pressure washer, the more likely it is to remove the top layer of concrete.) Instead, use a mop OR a medium-bristle scrub brush and a bucket of warm water, with a capful of Dove liquid detergent.  If mildew is forming, add a capful of bleach to the bucket as well.  Squeegee off excess water.

  • Reseal as needed (you'll notice the sealer wearing).  Ask us which sealer we used on your patio.  Be careful not to seal too often, as too many layers may cause your slab to become slippery.


A few more tips: 


  • Protect bottoms of chair legs and other objects with felt patches to avoid scratches. 
  • Avoid roller chairs. (The sharp ridges can grind a permanent pattern into your floor.)
  • Use natural material floor mats or rugs in entrances and high traffic areas.  Avoid rugs with rubber  backings.  Also avoid flexible vinyl mats. 
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a damp cloth. 
  • Avoid using/spilling strong oxidizers (chlorine-based cleaners), solvents, oils, vinegar and acid. 
  •  NEVER tape directly to the floor.  The acid back will eat through concrete and leave permanent tape marks. 
  •  Do not drag heavy appliances or furniture over floor. Place cardboard or rugs down first. Ask movers to treat floors as if they were hardwood.