Most professional contractors want to meet or exceed their clients’ expectations or, at the very least, avoid an unhappy customer. (That’s why you buy Redi-Mix stains to begin with, right?) When performing concrete stain application, there are so many variables involved that the reality is: concrete staining mistakes happen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t recover!
Concrete Staining Mistakes to Fix & Avoid
While this decorative and artistic process usually produces beautiful results, we’ve focused on a few of the most common water-based stain application mistakes and how to avoid them.
“This isn’t the concrete color I wanted.”
One of the most common issues with applying water-based stains to concrete is that the final color is too dark, too light, or just not what the customer wanted. So now what?
First, get approval before you seal it. If there is any chance at all that the color isn’t what the customer wants, don’t seal it. Or, seal a small area just to get an idea of what the finished product will look like.
If the stain isn’t dark or vibrant enough, sealing often makes the stain deepen in color which can be delightful or detrimental, depending on the customer’s expectations.
If it’s too dark and the customer wants a lighter color, sealing or re-staining will probably not help. Sometimes you can use a pressure washer or wet/dry vacuum to pull some color out and lighten the overall look.
However, if the final application has been sealed and the color isn’t right, your options are pretty much limited to stripping the sealer off to access the stain or trying to use a tinted sealer. Keep in mind, if you choose to use a tinted sealer, the color will wear away as the sealer ages.
“Where did this stain come from?”
Sometimes surface stains in concrete that hadn’t been visible before, such as oil, wine, or pet stains, become darker or more visible after staining and sealing. This is a pretty straightforward fix using the proper cleaning chemicals for the stain type.
It’s helpful to thoroughly clean an existing concrete area prior to staining. While many stains are invisible when the concrete is dry, water acts like a black light to reveal stains. Douse the area first so you can spot & treat any contamination beforehand.
“Is that a tape mark?”
A little-known fact is that the glue in tape will migrate into the pores of concrete and act as a barrier to staining. It may look perfectly fine until you apply the stain and then you’ll have a clean line where the tape was.
Scrub the area with a solvent to get glue or tape residue out of concrete.