Can Old Concrete Be Stained?
The most prevalent question we are questioned relating to old concrete is that of staining of them. Concrete patios and walkways are attractive to be looked at but with the passage of time become outdated.
The answer to whether old concrete can be stained is yes. They can be acid stained. The process for doing so is not quite difficult to be done, just a few appropriate pieces of information are to be known, along with some extra steps to be taken.
If the stain is not getting soaked into the pores of the concrete, then it will not be able to cover as required. This in turn indicates that old concrete will not be able to get sealed, or painted when it is to be stained or to be coated with epoxy.
The age of concrete does not relate to the stain’s effectiveness while the condition of concrete is the determining factor. We should remain away from paint and acrylics as both are masked as paints. They act as surface covering but not as our required stains.
Also Read: Difference Between Rafter and Truss
Concrete Stain Is Permanent
It is to be kept in mind that once the old concrete surface is stained, the color will be permanent. The stain will penetrate and be absorbed into the pores of concrete. There will be no way left to remove the stain once applied.
Unlike paint or acrylic stain will not be a surface leveler. Color sampling should be done on concrete, before stain is to be applied, especially while working in indoor conditions. Acid stains might sometimes be impossible to be removed and can be tough in nature.
Can Your Old Concrete Be Stained?
It is a fun and convenient way to freshen up old concrete surfaces by staining old concrete surfaces. Just while staining the concrete must be clean and made free from any kind of debris. The quality of staining depends on the condition of the concrete.
It is so, due to the working characteristic of acid stain. Acid concrete stains are a thin mixture consisting of chemicals and color. As soon as it is poured on the surface of old concrete, it gets absorbed into the pores of concrete and colour is created.
Due to the above process if dirt will be present, the pores will be filled which in turn will obstruct acid stains to be soaked into pores. Any sort of material can lead to the filling of pores, but the most prominent among them are sealers, dirt, paint, and grime.
Paint, sealant coats, and epoxy seep into the pores and blocks them. So, in that case, the oldness of concrete will not be a factor for effective staining blockage will be the obstructing factor for getting the proper results.
The best thing is regardless of the concrete’s age surface can be properly stained regardless of the fact the surface is properly cleaned.
If a condition arises that an older concrete surface has got paint on it or is sealed there is nothing to worry about. Few ways are available to get them removed.
Just muriatic acid should not be applied for cleaning paint as it will lead to the destruction of important required minerals which are essential for the production of the colour range which we want from concrete stain.
Industrial paint remover is the best way for removing paint from the required concrete surface. It is to be laid on the surface and then waited for it to work. Paint removers result in lifting off the paint on concrete.
Everything can not be removed in one go, so repeated action should be done as required for proper completion. After the removal of the total paint, the surface should be cleaned and dried properly.
For protecting concrete from water damage, the sealant is to be used. It is generally recommended for any concrete patio surface. This sealant prevents the proper application of stain, as the sealant will penetrate the pores and result in blockage.
A seal and stain can be used together, following one rule, i.e., the stain should be applied first. After that sealant is to be applied.
Removal of paint is much easier than sealant to be removed. With the passage of time sealer fades away, for this reason, reseal of concrete is mandatory. If someone does not need to wait for the fading away of the sealant, a pressure washer should be used for washing away the sealant.
For the removal of tough sealant, you can try Xylene. The material is poured on concrete, then let it settle for about 30 seconds, and then it is to use a stiff brush to scrub it off. At last use a scraper for removing the sealer. Repeat if required.
If wax has built up on the surface of the concrete, a floor wax remover is required. The floor wax remover is to be applied on the old surface, then let it sit for a certain time, after that scrub off with a soft bristle brush. Until the floor wax is properly removed mop the affected area.
For finishing the concrete epoxy is used sometimes and staining will not be possible. So, the epoxy finish must be removed prior to the application of staining. The most hard-to-remove material is epoxy as compared to sealer and paint.
The most effective ways to remove epoxy from concrete are:
- Acetone: The concrete is to be soaked in acetone and then you need to wait to get them soft so that they can be scrapped off.
- Heat Gun: Evaporate and peel off the epoxy from the concrete surface, at a single time small sections are done part by part
- Paint Thinner: The same method should be used as used with acetone.
- Sanding: This option is an extreme category, but the top layer of concrete can be covered with sand. Doing so, will help in the removal of traces of acrylic and in turn a smooth surface will be created for staining.
A combined material of the above three methods can also be used. The concrete is to be soaked in either acetone or paint thinner and scraped when ready. A heat gun can be used for hardening the clean areas.
Also Read: How To Make A Window Seat More Comfortable
Acid Staining Old Concrete
It is to be remembered that staining old concrete is not a big different from staining new concrete. It all depends on the condition of the concrete. As soon as it is clean and dried the surface can be stained.
Old concrete will have dirt, sealant, paint, mildew, or substances entrapped in the pores of the concrete. Cleaning is the most essential step which should not be skipped.
Just after cleaning the major issues which will affect the effectiveness of stain like, old sealant, paint, or acrylic is removed, the concrete is to be cleaned by mopping, sweeping, and scrubbing them with the help of concrete wash or just simple soap with hot water.
If by any chance dirt, dust, pollen or other substances are left on the concrete after staining is done they can be noticed.
Test for Old Sealants
It is to be made sure that bare and clean concrete is stained, a test is to be conducted to make that sure. The best way to test so is by pouring little water over the entire required surface. As soon as you see the water gets soaked, staining can be started.
Whereas if water gets puffed on the surface or gets blocked on the surface, then further cleaning is required. Acrylic and paints are easy to get spotted. Anywhere on the concrete surface can be cleaned off that is not bare concrete.
A test like the above mentioned can be performed in the last step, since if some extra sealant gets remained on the surface, then that also can be cleaned before staining.
Otherwise, if that is not done the areas will not hold stains then the concrete will be looking blotchy.
Colour Test the Concrete
Stains might get a different look when applied on actual concrete, rather than on a test swab or picture. Stains undergo a reaction when applied to the concrete.
It is not the same as applying paints where the color will be exactly the same as the sample. For this reason, some testing is to be done. On the small test area apply some stain, just before you stain the entire surface.
Then an area is to be picked that will not be noticed. Then stain a very minimal spot then see what the colour will look like when dried. If the colour is not liked by you, adjustment can be done as required and then again tested.