I’ve been told that I’m pretty good at creating cheap (and esthetically appealing) fixes for home decor eyesores. One cheap, simple fix involves concrete stain. 

It’s so easy…and fun! If you can paint, you can stain. 

Recently, I stained our outdoor courtyard patio, using 2 complementary solid stain colors, to create a checkerboard tile-like pattern. Here’s our outdoor courtyard before. (Notice it already had delineated cement squares, so painting a checkerboard was super easy.)

Cement stain


It was easy-peasy. First, the patio required a good power washing. Second, I decided on the 2 colors of stain. (I chose Fresh Cement [darker] and Mossy Gray.) Third, I bought 2 gallons of stain, 2 cheap sponges and 2 plastic trays. And about 2 hours of paint-play later….here’s the result.

Also, painted the front door red!

Total project cost about $75.

Besides just freshening up the front stoop or back patio, I’ve also used concrete stain to modernize an old pre-fab fireplace. Originally, I stained it as a temporary solution — until we could focus on getting new, modern stone. 

Cement stain
Prefab stone painted with gray cement stain.

But we’ve gotten so many compliments on how it looked, we’ve decided to keep it.

So even if you’re not on a shoe-string budget, you may enjoy the simplicity and creativity of making the most of what you have…it’s fun to be resourceful.

You are never too old to try a little DIY…