Whether you are staining new or old concrete, thorough surface preparation is essential. Unlike paints and coatings, which are opaque and can mask many evils, water-based stains are translucent. Any residue remaining on the surface of the concrete is likely to be visible through the newly applied stain.
When done properly, this initial step dramatically impacts the finished appearance of the project. Surface preparation can be done in two ways, either by mechanical grinding or with the use of a specially formulated cleaner.
Applying stains to concrete requires multiple steps, which are as follows:
Once the stain has been applied, cleanup is required. Here is a standard cleanup process :
After allowing the stained concrete to dry overnight or longer, apply your sealer of choice. We recommend applying two coats of sealer for optimum durability. The type of sealer you use will depend on whether the concrete is indoors or outdoors and what level of gloss is desired.
In addition to the sealer, a floor finish or wax can be applied for extra protection against scuffs and scratches.
Source : Concretenetwork.com