How to Fix Bad Concrete Stain Job? (5 steps)

This article will answer the question, “how to fix bad concrete stain job?”.Methods and materials you can use to solve your bad concrete stain job will be provided in this article. There will be lots of options that will be presented in this article and it will be up to you what is the better method depending on how bad you applied the concrete stain and what stain you used.

How to fix a bad concrete stain job?

Staining your concrete to improve your floor can be a good idea especially for old concrete floors. Stained concrete can make your concrete floor look luxurious and can be done not just the floor inside your house but also can be applied in your patio, sidewalk, driveway and other wood and concrete floors.

However, doing a concrete stain job can go wrong if not done properly. Whether it is Do it Yourself (DIY) or you contacted a contractor to do a concrete stain job, there is still a possibility that a concrete stain job can go wrong especially since you are dealing with acid stain. How are you going to fix it?

Here are several methods you can do to fix the problem.

  • Use your acid stain in full strength

Sometimes your concrete can be too smooth or maybe it was power troweled achieving a very smooth surface making it hard to deposit the color in the concrete. You can use the acid stain in full strength for it to etch the surface. You can also apply the color twice to achieve your desired color.

To open pores in your concrete you can also try sanding the area with a palm sander and a fine grit sandpaper.

  • Use concrete dye

Concrete dye can fix your bad concrete stain job by covering up your previously acid stained concrete. It can either add a secondary accent or add highlights on top of sealer to color the areas where the acid stain did not penetrate. In addition, concrete dye can control the degree and tone of the color.

Here are the steps to fix a bad concrete stain job using a concrete dye:

Step 1: Clean the concrete surface

Before adding any chemicals to remove the stain, clean the concrete surface first. Scrub the floor with a light concrete cleaner and degreaser solution. Rinse all residues from the surface onse all areas are covered then allow the floor to dry.

Step 2: Seal the concrete surface

Since concrete is a porous material and dye particles are finely milled, these dye particles can be trapped in the concrete itself. Thus, it is necessary to seal the concrete floor first before applying the dye. Apply one coat of acrylic concrete sealer before spraying the dye colors.

Step 3: Mix the concrete dye

Wear your safety goggles and gloves for this step. Concrete dye can cause abrasion, redness, and discomfort once it contacts your skin. Also this can discolor your skin. So mix your concrete dye powder carefully and follow the instructions on your dye color on how to carefully prepare the mixture.

Step 4: Apply the concrete dye

This step is very crucial because the concrete dye applied can largely affect the result. It can either solve your acid stained floor or it can further ruin it. Ensure an even and consistent coloring during the application by shaking the mixture then spray the dye from right to left then north to south. Do not make the spray too thick, about 3-4 coats of fye is enough, but if the surface is darker additional spray can be done. Mop the spots with disposable reg on the dye that pool up

Step 5: Wipe off residue

Let the concrete dye dry thoroughly then remove the excess colorant or residue on the surface using dry buffer, soft cloth, or dust mop before sealing the concrete floor.

Step 6: Seal the dyed concrete.

Using a pump-up sprayer or HPLV sprayer apply the acrylic concrete sealer. Strap-in a face mask and make sure to work in a well-ventilated area when spraying especially for indoor applications. For poorly ventilated spaces you can use a water -based dealer.

  • Apply a mild acid

This method can be helpful if you haven’t applied the stamped concrete sealer  in your stained concrete floor.  Mix 40 parts of water to 1 part of muriatic acid then scrub the area with brush and cotton rugs applying the solution to remove the stain. Water alone is not enough to remove orange-colored stain, that’s why a small amount of acid is needed to pull the stain out the concrete without etching the concrete surface. Then let the surface dry  and work back to staining your floor to our desired color.

  • Apply a dark stain

You can still save the existing concrete stain by applying dark stain to produce highlights to your light stain like color orange and yellow. This a more artistic approach, however, it should be done with great caution and high comfort level on how the stains will react and produce colors in your concrete floor. Not doing this right can further elevate your problem and not fix it.

Applying floor wax on a dark stained concrete floor is a good idea to have a finished polished concrete. This will further improve the appeal of your stained concrete.

  • Use a tinted sealer

This is the cheapest option you can do to save your existing stained concrete. A tinted sealer can be applied over the stained concrete to hide the existing color. Using this method means that your concrete floor stain color will be tied up in the sealer so when the sealer wears off so does the color of your floor.

  • Epoxy treatments

Epoxy treatments are often used to repair damaged concrete. It can be poured to cracks and crevices. In applying epoxy paint over concrete stain proper preparation is required. Ensure that the concrete floor is dry and thoroughly clean the concrete to remove any stains. Then etch the concrete with muriatic acid to make the concrete slab porous enough to accept the epoxy. Apply the epoxy using a paint brush or paint roller.

  • Cover up your floor with carpet

If you are really out of options and doing remedy on your concrete floor seems like making the problem worse you can just cover it up with nice carpeting. However, carpeting will also require additional cost and you have to totally redo your project and prepare again separate tools and materials. Also, carpeting can be just a band-aid solution not fixing your concrete can further damage the floor in the long run.

So if you are really running out of options calling a professional might be the best. Professionals will provide you further options and aid you in accomplishing your dream concrete floor for our homes.


A bad concrete stain job can be disappointing since you already put an effort and used money to achieve a decorative concrete. However, there are still several methods you can do to save your failed concrete stain job and you can still actually improve the design. Methods presented in this article can be useful depending on the type of problem. You cannot easily decide to use a specific method without first determining what needs to be done because doing so can further worsen the situation.

For any questions and suggestions about this article, please feel free to submit your thoughts in the comment section below.

FAQs: How to fix a bad concrete stain job?

Can you stain over stained concrete?

You can stain again over your stained concrete, however, the color will not be as rich and even for all areas of your concrete. The color of restrained concrete will be then different from the sample stained concrete slab that serves as the basis for your color as compared to the naked concrete floor.

How long does the concrete stain last?

The concrete that is stained can last for a maximum of 100 years, but in order to achieve this duration it stained concrete should be properly maintained by applying seal and floor wax at least once or twice a year.

Is it better to stain or paint concrete?

Concrete stains offer a more luxurious look on your concrete floor than paint since it creates a pigmented, marbled effect instead of just having a one color. It is also easier to apply than paint, however, concrete staining requires frequent reapplication to keep it looking new, thus, making it more expensive as compared to just painting your concrete.

Do you have to seal concrete after staining?

Stained concrete should always be maintained and protected for its color to last longer. Thus, it is advisable to apply a new coat of sealer once or twice a year or even when you noticed that water is already being absorbed or flatten out in the concrete instead of water beading up in the surface.

How many coats of sealer can you put on concrete?

It is suggested to coat your concrete with sealer twice because the first coat is usually absorbed by some areas of the concrete leaving an uneven sealed concrete. The second coat provides a better finish since it will ensure a proper coverage on the floor evening out the color of your concrete. 


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