Staining Colored Concrete

Staining Colored Concrete

We have answered a lot of different questions on staining concrete, but one that may confuse some DIY enthusiasts is: can I stain concrete that has been previously colored? You definitely can, but there a few factors to be aware of (mostly about stained concrete colors) and a few things to avoid.

Notes On Staining Colored Concrete

Previously colored concrete will often have sealer and/or wax already applied to it, so make sure to properly remove it and also remove any possible contaminants from your floor before you begin staining. You can remove it with strippers or removers, but oftentimes a light sanding will help do the trick.

There are a few different kinds of previously colored concrete: there is integral color, which is color added to concrete in the truck and is mixed together before it is poured and color hardeners, which is a colored powder that is added to the concrete surface after it is poured and worked into the concrete surface. Both of these types of colored concrete are compatible with concrete acid stain, but you should do a small test of the area to see what the end color will end up being. The current color of the concrete will affect the final color after acid staining. The important thing to remember is that you can't stain colored concrete lighter, you can only stain it darker. Keep this in mind when picking concrete stain colors. We have quite a few darker acid stain colors available to choose from.

Some guides will suggest using faux stains (which are actually paints) on colored concrete to make the process of coloring concrete easier. We feel like this is terrible advice. This will only cause problems with colored concrete. These "stains" will peel up with time and end up looking terrible and require you to apply them again in the future costing you time and money. The best thing to do is test the acid stain and find a color that works for you and create a beautiful piece of concrete that you will like and will last forever. All of our acid stains are available in test sizes to make this process easier.

The Process of Staining Colored Concrete

Aside from the above notes, the process is the same for colored concrete as any other stained concrete project. Prep the colored concrete, apply acid stain to it, and then neutralize the stain. We always recommend sealing the concrete to increase longevity and applying wax if it will be a higher traffic area. We have extensive guides on the entirety of this process from planning to sealing and every step in between that can be located in our concrete staining guide. With the exceptions of what we mentioned above, all of this information applies to acid staining colored concrete as it would any other concrete. This information also applies to stained stamped concrete.

If you have any more questions about staining colored concrete, questions on which acid stain to use, or just questions on the entire process in general, feel free to send us a message. We love answering questions about concrete acid stain!