How To Fix A Bad Concrete Stain Job

by | Feb 10, 2021 | stained concrete

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There’s probably nothing worse than a terrible stained concrete floor. Stained concrete by nature, brings out the natural concrete tones. But when the concrete is bad, the staining product is bad or the stain application went south.. Things can get sticky.

If You Stained Your Concrete With a Bad Product

With the invention of e-commerce, shopping online has become convenient and easy. Most staining products for concrete are not industrial grade and to really do the job right, an industrial-grade concrete grinding machine is necessary. This makes it categorically hard to stain concrete the right way without a professional. If you have seen the “what you shop vs what you get” memes on social media, you’ll understand what we are talking about here. There are so many products with the label “acid stain” making it so easy to buy the wrong product disguised as an acid stain. In this article, we’ll show you how we fix a bad concrete stain.

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How To Fix A Bad Concrete Stain Job

When a potential client asks us why it’s important to hire our concrete staining company, we tell them what happened to one of our best clients a few months before the pandemic. Our friend decided to acid stain his patio by himself after watching a Youtube tutorial. You know one of those videos that make pro projects seem like a piece of cake? He was so convinced his project would be a success and bought everything that was recommended in the video. Well, that’s what he thought. Give it to him, he is a great DIYer and likes working with his ladder and nail guns but the acid staining job went terribly wrong.

Here are some of the things to look out for so you don’t fall into our friends dilemma and end up with a poorly stained concrete floor.


How do You Grind Down Stained Concrete

Concrete is a hard surface and requires an even harder material to grind it down. That’s why we use industrial-grade concrete grinding machines with diamond blades. We take the entire first layer of concrete off and get rid of all imperfections. Many times, based on the needs of the customer, we even do a second pass with our grinder before applying a stain and seal.

Should I Grind Down the Concrete Myself?

Don’t be like our friend – the one who decided to acid stain his kitchen by himself. He chose to rent a handheld electric grinder which produced messy results – explaining why the stain couldn’t penetrate some parts of his floor. The dust from the grinding process is also not fun to deal with afterwords unless you have machines like we do that make the grinding process dustless.

Re-stain Your Concrete

After grinding down your concrete, you can now clean it and restain the floor. Ensure the floor is clean and dry. Take your new (and quality) acid stain and apply it to the surfaces. This should penetrate the surfaces properly and come up with a desirable hue. But you should keep in mind that you might not have control over the outcome of the application. Acid staining often brings out results that are dependent on the chemicals they’ll find on that floor. Given that you already have a stain on your floors, the previous stain will impact what you get this time. It will initially cost you a few dollars but save you more in the long run.

Quick Tip To Fix Areas That are Accidentally Stained

If you’ve accidentally put an acid stain on a floor surface you did not plan to stain, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. We see areas that are accidentally stained all the time. We go over these areas with our grinder and apply the full process to handle all of the areas. If you don’t want the area to be restained like the rest of your concrete, you can apply certain techniques like acid wash, but that will usually slightly change the color of the concrete also.

If you are going to remove the stain with acid, you should expect a chemical reaction that will yellow your concrete and possibly eat it. So, you should prepare yourself with running water or a bucket full of water. Don’t allow the acid solution to sit on your floor even for a minute. Take a stiff bristle brush and put it in your muriatic acid solution. Shake the excess flowing acid in the bucket. Then brush the surface using the brush.

The scrubbing process should be quick then immediately rinse the floor with your clean water. The trick is to never let the acid solution to settle on the concrete surface. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to remove the stain from your surfaces.

How Do You Fix Scratches on Your Stained Concrete?

How you deal with scratches on your concrete depends on the size of the scratches and the condition of your floor. You will deal with scratches on unsealed concrete differently from those on sealed stained concrete.

For Unsealed Concrete

If your concrete surface is unsealed, and you have a deep scratch in it, fill the area with caulk or cement. Ensure press it in so that it reaches all corners of the damage. Then use a trowel to level it with the rest of the concrete so it becomes part of the floor. Then give it some time to cure before reapplying acid stain on the affected areas. You can wait for a whole 24 hours or wait until the repair looks the same as the rest of the floor. Take your stain in a spray bottle then apply it on the crack or scratch repair and the surroundings.

For Sealed Concrete 

On the other hand, if you already sealed and waxed your concrete stain job, and it has scratches, you’ll take a different approach to touch it up. Here is a step by step guide to help you through the process.

  • If the scratches only reach the depth of your wax, that’s is shallow enough to fix with a coat of new wax. Just strip the area a few feet around before applying a fresh layer of wax. If the scratch goes further than the top layer, you have to remove the wax in the specific area and its surroundings.
  • Get a floor wax remover to help you strip the wax from the floor surface in the affected area. Do the stripping for about a foot around the affected spot.
  • Clean the scratched area to remove any debris and dust then let it dry.
  • You can now take a paintbrush and decide what to do with it between these two options: You either paint the color on the rest of the floor using watercolor or patch the crack then stain it. If you go with the second option, you’ll need to neutralize and rinse your repair.
  • You should let your repair work to cure and dry according to the material in use and the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • After the cure and drying, wax the surface and its surroundings. You should then feature it to make sure that it blends with the rest of the floor surface. Allow it to dry. In some instances, you can apply a fresh coat of wax on the entire floor to ensure you achieve maximum uniformity.
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Choose Paradigm Concrete Finishes for the Perfect Fixes on Your Concrete 

All in all, you should not reach a point where your concrete stain job is poorly done. Getting it the first round makes sure your floor remains in good condition for a long time. But if the damage is already done, all hope is not lost. You can still engage a professional concrete staining contractor to help make amends. As a top flooring company, we welcome you to contact us and get to talk with industry pros. Paradigm Concrete Finishes of Sarasota Florida is ready to serve you.

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