Can Concrete Stain Be Used on Wood? Know the Truth!

Concrete stains and wooden stains are generally quite different. Acid-based stains are most commonly used on concrete. Water-based stains are also a suitable option. But what about using the same stain on both concrete and wood surfaces?

Can concrete stain be used on wood? Yes, you can use concrete stains on wood surfaces. Water-based stains are soaked into the wooden surface easily. Acid-based stains also show decent performance, but they might react with the wood over time.

Let me clarify the stain types and the suitability of concrete stains on wooden surfaces. I will also focus on how you can use concrete stains on wood properly. Continue reading.

What Are Concrete Stains?

Concrete stains are suitable for giving a concrete surface some appealing colors and protecting the surface in the long run. These stains are generally acid-based or water-based. Acid-based concrete stains mainly have hydrochloric acid and metallic salts.

When acid stains are applied to a concrete surface, they permeate the surface and bond with the calcium hydroxide. This bond creates a protective coating over the concrete surface and protects the concrete from fading.

What Are Concrete Stains

Water-based stains are also used on concrete surfaces as they have a high permeability. These stains have water, polymers, and other elements that are water-soluble. Water-based stains are VOC-free, non-toxic, and odorless. 

What Are Wood Stains?

Wood stains are quite different from concrete stains. Even though water-based wood stains are also available, oil-based stains are more popular. Oil-based stains are made with various essential oils from natural sources. For example, linseed oil is a common wood stain.

What Are Wood Stains

Gel-based stain is also used on wood. As wood surfaces are porous, the stains used on wood should permeate the surface properly. They should also protect the wood surface from moisture, UV exposure, or other harmful elements.

As the stains used on concrete and wood are vastly different, the question arises: can concrete stains be used on wood? Let’s answer that now.

Can Concrete Stain Be Used on Wood?

The simple answer would be yes. You can use concrete stains on wooden surfaces. But that is not the end of the story. Learn why concrete stains are suitable for wood.

Can Concrete Stain Be Used on Wood

Reason 1: High Permeability

Water-based or acid-based stains have a higher permeability than oil-based or gel-based stains. As a result, they are more suitable for porous surfaces. As wood surfaces are porous enough to absorb the stain, concrete stains can be used on wood without much of a problem.

Reason 2: Faster Curing Time

Oil-based stains take much longer than water-based or acid-based stains to cure completely. When staining wooden surfaces, you should keep the curing time as low as possible. 

It prevents the wood grains from absorbing too much stains and bloating afterward. Bloated wood grains can ruin the beauty of the stained surface.

As concrete stains are water or acid-based, the curing time is low. So, there is no problem in using these stains on wood. 

Reason 3: Versatile Color Options

Concrete stains come in a wide variety of color options. You can use your creativity to elevate the look of the concrete using these stains. When you use concrete stains on wood, all of those color options are open for you. So, you can enhance the look of your wooden furniture, decks, or other surface.

Reason 4: Reduces Temperature

The protective layer created by concrete stains reflects a decent amount of heat. If you use concrete stains on wooden shades or exterior doors, it can lower the interior temperature a bit.

What Are the Risks of Using Concrete Stain on Wood?

What Are the Risks of Using Concrete Stain on Wood

Even though you can use concrete stains on wood, it causes some issues.

Risk 1: Reaction With Wood

Acid-based concrete stains are also known as reactive stains. This is because the elements used in acid-based stains are reactive. As concrete surfaces aren’t that reactive, these stains don’t have much of an adverse effect on concrete. But they can easily react with the wood grains.

As a result, the look of the wood grains may change after using these stains. Water-based stains are the safer option for this reason.

Risk 2: Losing the Natural Beauty

Concrete stains tend to create a protective barrier on top of the stained surface. This layer changes the color of the concrete. When you apply concrete stains on wood, it will do the same on the wood surface.

So, the natural beauty of the wooden surface would be gone. Wood stains are popular for keeping the natural beauty unharmed and enhancing it. 

Should You Use Concrete Stain on Wood?

It depends on multiple factors. Here is a quick overview.

  1. Stain Type: If you have acid-based concrete stains, it is better not to use them on wood. Water-based stains would be more suitable.
  2. Surface Type: Concrete stains might not be too bad on wooden surfaces, requiring more protection than beauty. So, wooden decks can be stained using concrete stains. But don’t use concrete stains on furniture so that the natural beauty of the wood is protected.

How to Use Concrete Stain on Wood?

How to Use Concrete Stain on Wood

If you are determined to use concrete stains on wood, you should follow the steps below to get the best result.

  • Step 1: Preparing the wood surface for the stain is crucial. Cleaning is the first step of preparation. You may use bleach or a degreasing solution to clean the wood surface. Pressure washing is also a good option unless you use too much pressure. 
  • Step 2: After cleaning and drying the wood surface, you should sand the surface. Start with a 180-grit sandpaper and finish with a 220-grit. Then, blow the dust off or wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
  • Step 3: If there are any holes or cracks on the wood surface, use a filler to repair them. The surface should be smooth.
  • Step 4: Use a primer before staining. It will create a suitable surface for the stain.
  • Step 5: Apply the stain carefully. Check on a small area to see how the stain reacts. Then, stain the surface without leaving streaks.


Check answers to some commonly asked questions about using concrete stains in wood. 

Q: Is concrete stain the same as paint?

No. Concrete stains permeate the surface, but paints build up on top. Paints can peel off over time, but stains won’t.

Q: Can wood stain be used on concrete?

Yes. Wood stains are suitable for concrete, too. You just need to prepare the concrete surface properly.

Q: How long do concrete stains last on wood?

It depends on the wood quality, stain quality, and application. Concrete stains can last for about five years on wood.


Using dedicated wood stains is the best choice for wood surfaces. But sometimes, you might need to break the rule and use some other stains. So, can concrete stains be used on wood? Yes, concrete stains can be used on wood.

You just need to know how different concrete stains react with the wood. Once you know the risks and weigh the benefits, you can use concrete stains on wood surfaces. 

Make sure to follow the proper application process so that the concrete stain lasts on the wood. It will also prevent the wood surface from deteriorating.