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Fixing Acid Stain Problems Made Easy

Use Concrete Dye to touch up problem spots, deepen colors, or accent an entire floor.

There are numerous ways to fix or “adjust” the color of concrete and other common concrete acid stain problems like fading, seal bubbling, and seal “ghosting”.

From large-scale transformation to minor touch-ups, this guide will give you the tools and recommendations you need to DIY your concrete repair.

What Happens When Acid Stain Doesn’t Turn Out Right?

Direct Colors customer Sean emailed our team with a problem: his concrete stain didn’t work in the way he had hoped. He asked us for some recommendations:

“We recently stained a concrete deck floor in our house but had some acid staining issues. We think our acid stain did not take because we did not follow all the steps on how to prepare the concrete floor prior to staining, or maybe the floor was too smooth. We’re not sure. At this point, we have an acid stained floor that looks kind of weird and we do not know how to fix it. What would you recommend we do?”

What Sean encountered is not a common result of concrete staining, but it does happen. But, fixes are quick, easy, and inexpensive to do.

When concrete acid stain does not turn out well, it often only requires a touch up to fill in uneven areas to create the desired effect.

Similarly, if the color does not turn out as desired, highlights may be added to help blend in flaws or discoloration left behind by poor surface preparation.

In either case, we recommended that Sean use Direct Colors’ Concrete Dye as a great problem solver for fixing concrete acid stain problems.

Bad concrete acid stain floor job with blotchy and white spots
Floor before fixing with concrete dye
Fixed acid stained floor with Concrete Dye
Floor after fixing with concrete dye

You can use concrete dye to fix concrete stain problems by:

How To Fix Concrete Stain Problems


STEP 1: Clean the Concrete Surface

First, clean the floor with a light Concrete Cleaner & Degreaser solution. Thoroughly scrub & rinse all residues from the surface and allow the floor to dry.

STEP 2: Seal the Concrete Surface

Apply one coat of  Acrylic Concrete Sealer prior to spraying the dye colors. Because the dye particles are finely milled, most surfaces, especially porous and exterior concrete, should be sealed first before applying the dye.

STEP 3: Mix the Concrete Dye

Mix the concrete dye powder. Safety while applying colorant is important. Remember to use goggles and gloves while working with the concrete dye.

STEP 4: Apply the Concrete Dye

How the concrete dye is applied will largely determine the final result.

Here are the steps to properly applying Direct Colors concrete dye:

  • Shake the mixture in the sprayer frequently to ensure an even, consistent color during the application.
  • Spray the dye going right to left, then north to south.
  • Try not to spray on too thick. The dye will dry almost instantly.
  • Generally, 3-4 coats of dye should be sufficient for most applications, but additional dye can be applied to make the surface darker.
  • Do not let the dye pool up in any area, so mop up these spots with a disposable rag.

STEP 5: Wipe Off Residue

Allow the product to dry thoroughly. Carefully use a dry buffer, soft cloth, or dust mop to remove excess colorant or residue on the surface before sealing.

STEP 6: Seal The Dyed Concrete

Apply acrylic concrete sealer using a Pump-up Sprayer or HPLV sprayer. Use caution in applying solvent-based sealers, particularly during indoor applications. Wear a mask while applying the sealer and make certain the area is well ventilated to the outside.

Use a Water-Based Sealer in poorly ventilated spaces such as basements.

Concrete coloring problems aren’t common. But, they’re entirely fixable with some DIY handywork, the right attitude, and some great products from Direct Colors.

For more resources on Concrete Repair and Maintenance, visit our resources center.

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