How to Make Concrete Look Rusted

by Nicole Schmoll
Give concrete a rust-colored look.

Give concrete a rust-colored look.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Long thought of as a rough material reserved for sidewalks, driveways and outdoor patios, concrete is now sought after for its use in interior design. Dyes or stains allow concrete to take on a colorful stone look with diverse hues and tones. Dyed concrete works as an interior flooring material in churches, kitchens and dining rooms. It can also be used outside for a colorful driveway, pool flooring and patio surface.

Items you will need

  • Sanding wheel with 150 grit sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Iron sulfate (Copperas)
  • Gallon bucket
  • Paint brush
  • Sponge
Step 1

Use a wheel sander and 150 grit sand paper to smooth the surface of the concrete floor you want to stain with a rust-color. Sand the floor until the surface is smooth. Wipe away sanding ash with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 2

Purchase a bag of iron sulfate from your local hardware store or nursery. Mix 1/4-cup iron sulfate into 2/3-cup warm water in a large, plastic bucket. Mix 1/2-cup iron sulfate into the same amount of warm water if you want a deep and dark rust-colored stain. Alternatively, apply a manufactured, commercial concrete dye to your concrete for a rich and colorful rusty look.

Step 3

Dip a paintbrush into the mixture and brush it onto the surface of the floor. Wipe excess liquid off floor with a clean, damp sponge. Sprinkle wood shavings or crushed cornflakes, if desired to create an interesting pattern in the stain, if desired. Allow the stain to dry completely, about 24 hours. Sweep away shavings or cereal and seal the floor, if desired, with a concrete sealant.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images