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FIXING ACID STAIN PROBLEMS MADE EASY

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There are numerous ways to fix or “adjust” the color of concrete and other common concrete acid stain problems. From large-scale transformation to minor touch-ups, Direct Colors provides the Sample Kits and Guides to improve concrete in every condition.

DIY SPOTLIGHT: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ACID STAIN DOESN’T TURN OUT RIGHT?

Bad concrete acid stain floor job with blotchy and white spots
Bad Malayan Buff concrete acid stain floor job with blotchy and white spots

PROBLEM

“We recently acid stained a bedroom floor in our house but had some acid staining issues. We think our acid stain did not take because we did not followed all the steps on how 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 to we do?”

Thank you.

Sean

SOLUTION

Often times when concrete acid stain does not turn out well, it only requires a touch up to fill in uneven areas.

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, Direct Colors Concrete Dye can be a great problem solver for fixing concrete acid stain problems.

Fixed acid stain problem with concrete dye
Fixed acid stain problem with Malayan Buff concrete dye

Use Concrete Dye to:

Concrete Dye Swatch - MALAYAN BUFF
Concrete Dye Swatch - MALAYAN BUFF

HOW TO FIX BAD CONCRETE STAIN JOBS

STEP 1: Clean

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

Apply one coat of Water-Based 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 Dye

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

STEP 4: Apply Dye

The appearance of the finished product is highly influenced by the manner in which the dye is applied. Direct Colors Concrete Dye can be applied wherever needed to hide any problem areas, deepen colors and accent the entire floor. 

  • 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.
  • The more layers you apply the darker the color will become.
  • Apply as thin a coat as possible to ensure color quality and appearance.
  • 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.

HOW TO FIX ACID STAIN THAT LOOKS DULL IN ONE AFTERNOON

A customer contacted Direct Colors to help fix her driveway after using a competitor’s acid stain product and advice. As it turns out her concrete was very porous and the stain didn’t turn out the way she’d anticipated. After originally applying Onix and Cocoa acid stain, she felt the surface color looked too “spotty and dull.” The color did not flow together to create an evenly distributed look without being overly dark. 

Her driveway and walkways had been sealed twice, but due to the porosity, it still looked dull. She wanted to change the appearance but wasn’t sure what to do.

Bad concrete acid stain driveway joby
Bad concrete acid stain driveway job with cocoa and onix acid stain colors

To overcome the extreme porosity of this customer’s concrete we recommend applying two Concrete Dye colors – Coffee Brown and Sepia – to blend in the tones while keeping with the original color scheme. 

Prior to application, Concrete Dye is mixed with acetone and applied with an acetone–rated sprayer. After walking her through these basic steps, she used the dye to spray accents where needed and help even out the colors. In total, she used a gallon of each color to improve the color of all her walkways and driveway. 

Finally, she applied two coats of solvent-based satin finish acrylic concrete sealer. Because the concrete dye dries so quickly, the whole project only took an afternoon to complete and the driveway and walkway look great.

Concrete Dyes are also a great alternative for indoor floors. Here’s a great example of a concrete floor project where Concrete Dye saved the day when poor surface preparation prior to acid staining ruined a DIYer’s first project.