Austin Innovative Concrete

The Beginner’s Guide on How to Stain Concrete to Look Like Wood

Do you love the durability and affordability of concrete but the visual appearance of wood? The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. You can stain concrete to look like wood in just a few simple steps.

Why Create Wood Grain Texture on Concrete?

If you have landed on this article out of pure curiosity, you might be wondering why you would make a concrete floor look like wood. The truth is that there are a number of reasons why you might want to stain concrete:

It’s More Cost-effective Than Using Real Wood Planks

A quick Google search will tell you that wooden flooring is expensive. Concrete floors, on the other hand, are more affordable and are much easier to install, which means that you will pay less for labor. It requires minimal maintenance, too, which is another plus.

Concrete Is Durable

Concrete has long been lauded for its resilience and durability. It can withstand a maximum surface temperature range of about 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and is known for its ability to last, providing an average lifespan of 50 to 100+ years.


When you choose to paint concrete instead of installing wooden floors, you get to customize the look to suit your design preferences. You will not be limited to the visual appearance of the wood. Instead, you can personalize the finish, design, pattern, and color to suit the aesthetics of your home.

Your Flooring Won’t Require As Much Maintenance

Real wood, which requires regular staining, sealing, or repairs, requires more work to maintain than concrete surfaces with a wood grain texture.

Creating a Wood Plank Pattern

Before you can apply a stain to transform your concrete surface into a wood floor look-alike, you’ll need to first create some texture.

There are two popular methods used to achieve the perfect wood grain appearance. The first involves stamping a wood plank pattern into wet concrete. This can be a quick and easy method that offers great results.

However, you will need to find and purchase a special stamping kit to help you achieve this look. Another way to create the appearance of wood planks without having to go out and buy any fancy equipment is by using painter’s tape and a chip brush.

In the section below, we’ll discuss these two methods in greater detail.

Stamped Concrete

Stamping is the ideal technique for making new or renovated patios, and other surfaces resemble wooden decks. When used in conjunction with carefully chosen stains, you can achieve a look that is very similar to the real thing while also improving the longevity of your flooring.

To create wood grain marks with this method, you will need a specialized stamping mat or other stamping tools.

The Painter’s Tape Method

If you are looking for a DIY project that requires no specialized tools, then this may be the best option for you. It involves applying strips of painter’s tape on the base coat of your concrete floor to create faux wood planks.

The tape serves as the wood grain lines, and you can use a brush and your stain of choice to create “wooden boards” on the surface. Although relatively easy to do, this method does require more time and effort compared to stamping.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Stain Faux Wood Grain Floors

Now that you have an idea of how to elevate the overall look by applying texture let’s talk about the staining process.

The Tools and Materials You’ll Need for This Project

  • Broom
  • Pressure washer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Stamp (optional)
  • Chip brush
  • Putty knife
  • Etching solution with a sprayer or watering can
  • Patching material (if you have cracks)
  • Acid or water-based concrete stain in light brown and brown (light and dark shades)
  • Paint roller
  • Clear sealer


Follow these steps to create the perfect faux wood floors using the painter’s tape method.

Start By Cleaning Your Surface

Before you begin applying any stain, you will need to first clean your concrete floor using a broom and pressure wash the area to remove any dirt.

Prep the Surface

Concrete stains won’t adhere to chaulk, protective coatings, or paint, so they must be removed. Use your putty knife to scrape off any residual paint. You should also remove baseboards, drain covers, and other things that could obstruct the staining process. 

Keep in mind that concrete cracks should be repaired by first clearing out the crack and enlarging it using an old screwdriver. After that, fill the crack using a concrete patching material. Let the surface dry for about six hours before moving on to the next step.

Apply the Etching Solution

This is an important step in the staining process. Concrete etchers are designed to open the pores of the concrete to allow stains to penetrate the surface of the material. This will produce a more long-lasting result.

Wet the concrete and, using a sprayer or watering can distribute the solution, diluted as directed on the packaging. Once you have applied the etcher, follow up with a broom. Rinse the surface using water a couple of times after it stops bubbling. Make sure the surface has dried completely.

Create a Wood Plank Pattern Using Tape and Apply the Stain

Next, you’ll need to use your painter’s tape to create the appearance of wooden boards. Create different sizes to make it look more realistic. Once you’re happy with the design, apply your light brown stain using a paint roller. Avoid pooling the product, but spread it out in an even, thin layer.

Take off the tape and use your darker concrete stain to add depth and character to your faux wood using a chip brush. Remember to stay within the lines and run the brush along the wooden plank to create the appearance of wood.

Apply a Sealer

Finally, apply a sealer to lock in the design and ensure that your faux-wood floors stand the test of time. Ensure that you allow enough time for the sealer to dry completely before allowing foot traffic.

Staining Concrete Using the Stamped Concrete Method

If you are going to use a stamp, you will need to apply a layer of concrete to the floor. Many contractors will tint the concrete to make it easier to create a wood-like finish. While the wood is still wet, press in your stamp to transfer the wood grain texture.

You can grab a darker color to create streaks and shading for more realism. Once it dries, apply a sealant. It’s important to remember that this method can be more challenging to execute but generally offers a more realistic result. If you prefer this option, contact a professional concrete contractor for assistance.

Need Help Creating Faux Wood Grain Texture on Your Concrete Surfaces? We Can Help!

If you simply don’t have the time to transform your boring concrete patio or floor into a faux-wood work of art, then fear not! Austin Innovative Concrete is here to help! We are a leading decorative concrete contractor in Austin, TX, and with years of experience staining concrete to look like wood, you can rest assured that we have what it takes to make your grey concrete look like stunning wood floors.

To learn more about our services or request a free estimate, give us a call today at (512) 333-4293!

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